Strategic Program Review

System-level analyses and reviews address some of the same questions as program evaluations, but in a broader context. For example, does a government’s suite of employment programs align with the needs of the population? SRDC’s expertise in high-quality program design, implementation, and evaluation techniques has helped it to become a trusted supplier of system-level reviews to provincial and federal government departments.

Current and Completed Projects:

Student Financial Assistance for Indigenous Learners

SRDC is compiling and reviewing available data on access and usage of CSLP and provincial and territorial student aid programs by Indigenous learners. The broad aim is to support assessment of the effectiveness of existing student financial assistance under CSLP as it relates to Indigenous learners. Federal funding for First Nation and Inuit learners under the Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP) has been capped since 1996, and program eligibility requirements can be limiting. Indigenous learners who do not receive PSSSP – or whose needs are not fully met – can apply for student financial assistance (SFA) from the federal and provincial/territorial governments, as a mix of student loans and grants. The work considers the demographic characteristics of clients identified as Indigenous learners, their aid received, loan repayment, and default rates. The deliverables will aid these jurisdictions' ongoing review of how effectively the system works to improve PSE access and affordability.

Start-end date: August 2017 - March 2018
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

Mapping of Specialized Services available in French in Ontario

The study provides a detailed inventory and geospatial mapping of specialized services available in French to children from birth to the end of schools and their families in Ontario. For the purpose of this study, specialized services include school rehabilitation services, speech language pathology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, child and youth mental health services, and addiction services. This comprehensive review of available French-language services provides information on what services exist, service volumes, their location and their availability in French or English as well as identified gaps in services.

Start-end date: April 2017 - July 2018
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Education

Employment and Training Service Integration (ETSI) Strategy for Evaluation and Evidence Generation

The purpose of this project was to develop a framework for conducting effective monitoring and evaluation of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities' Employment and Training Service Integration (ETSI) initiative. The framework sets the standards for, and provides strategic guidance around alignment, for all evaluation activities supporting ETSI. This work is supporting the Ministry's goal of ensuring it has a comprehensive strategy for evidence generation to inform current pilots, programs and system features being introduced, as well as to guide future evaluation frameworks for programs and system features under ETSI. The project involves: conducting a review of evaluation approaches and existing frameworks from other relevant jurisdictions used to assess active labour market programs; developing a monitoring and evaluation framework of ETSI in consultation with key stakeholders and based on findings from the review of existing frameworks in other jurisdictions; and developing options for a monitoring and evaluation strategy and methodology.

Start-end date: August 2015 - January 2016
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

Saskatchewan Program Supports Service

This project assists the Saskatchewan Ministry of the Economy in the redesign of an employment service program for parents applying to or in receipt of social assistance. SRDC applied a comprehensive, evidence-based approach that included an environmental scan, review of program documents, key informant interviews, stakeholder consultations, policy analysis, and program design. SRDC also developed an evaluation and research strategy to measure the effectiveness of the program.

Start-end date: October 2014 - March 2015
Sponsor: Government of Saskatchewan Ministry of the Economy

Review of Manitoba Employment Assistance Service Providers

SRDC conducted an evidence-based analysis of Manitoba’s Employment Assistance Service (EAS) providers to inform future funding decisions of the Manitoba government intended to promote an effective and efficient service delivery network. SRDC’s analysis provides indications of where changes in EAS programming are needed so that the program can “do more of the things that help, and less of the things that do not.” The analysis addresses five key questions: To what extent is EAS programming aligned with provincial and federal policy objectives? To what extent is current programming responsive to the needs of key population groups and communities? To what extent are programs responsive to the changing dynamics of Manitoba’s labour market? How effective is current programming in achieving results for job seekers, employers, and communities? What is the relative value for money of the existing EAS program, and are there opportunities for service improvements?

Start-end date: April 2014 - September 2015
Sponsor: Manitoba Department of Jobs and the Economy

Review of Employment and Training Programs

The purpose of this Program Review is to assist the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities in developing an evidence-based framework for the potential integration and ongoing evaluation of employment and training programs. To achieve this SRDC uses a comprehensive approach including: environmental scan, review of program documents, extensive discussions with MTCU staff, analysis of existing state of knowledge reviews that SRDC has conducted, key informant interviews with other ministries, value for money techniques, stakeholder consultations, policy analysis, and program design. Based on findings from the review of in-scope programs and consultations with key stakeholders as well as an analysis of the existing research on effective and/or promising approaches to employment and training services, SRDC develops high level recommendations for a potential future state of the Ontario employment and training system.

Start-end date: December 2012 - December 2013
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

Study of the gaps between French-language and English-language postsecondary education and training systems

SRDC reviews the French-language postsecondary education and training system in Ontario through comparative analyses of the French and English systems. Of particular interest is a review of the gaps between the two systems in terms of access, retention, and participation, as well as the quality of services offered by the French-language postsecondary education and training system in Ontario. In close collaboration with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and the Ministry of Education, SRDC developed a tool to assist postsecondary and training institutions self-assess the quality of the services they provide to Francophones. The results of this review provide information to both ministries on the strengths of the French-language system and aspects that would benefit from greater attention in order to better serve the student population wishing to pursue studies in French and increase the number of individuals studying in French in Ontario.

Start-end date: December 2012 - March 2013
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

Skills Upgrading for Ontario Working Age Adults: An Environmental Scan of Programs, Gaps, and Opportunities

A review of existing workforce and workplace-based skills training in Canada and selected international jurisdictions. The study provides a detailed examination of the most promising models and conducts a preliminary analysis of the feasibility of implementing them in an Ontario context.

Start-end date: April 2009 - August 2009
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

Review of the Coherence of Income Security Programs in New Brunswick

An analysis of options to improve the effectiveness of New Brunswick income security programs and related services for the non-elderly population by identifying specific aspects of the present income security system that can be improved to produce a more integrated and effective model of income and employment support.

Start-end date: January 2001 - March 2001
Sponsor: Human Resources Development Canada