Survey Design and Data Management

SRDC’s expertise in survey design and data management stems from long-term tracking of participants in large-scale demonstration projects. Such projects require attention to sample design, collection tools, data cleaning, the analytical purposes of the data, and a deep respect for participants’ privacy and the physical security of confidential data.

Current and Completed Projects:

BC Partners in Workforce Innovation – Increasing Employment Through Inclusive Workplaces

This two-year demonstration project is evaluating how enhanced employer supports and supported workplace experiences can enable BC employers to achieve their diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategies by establishing more inclusive workplaces, recruiting career-focused talent, and improving overall outcomes for people with disabilities. Through the position of an HR Specialist, the project is engaging employers in the Greater Vancouver region to secure work placements for a minimum of 100 people with disabilities/diverse abilities, with a goal of 75% of employed people with disabilities remaining employed with either the employer partner or elsewhere after six months. The project is building on a previous pilot that demonstrated the potential of this approach to meeting the needs of sectors facing workforce shortages through the further enhancement of recruitment and employer training strategies that can lead to the recruitment and retention of a more diverse workforce.

Start-end date: July 2019 - June 2021
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

Follow-up survey of Willingness to Pay study participants

This project extends SRDC’s previous study on Willingness to Borrow for post-secondary education (PSE) – a project funded by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario and the now-defunct Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation. The original fieldwork used an innovative, laboratory experiment design to assess receptivity to various types of PSE financing among Canadian students in their final year of high school. The experiment took place during the 2008-09 academic year, and involved 1,248 students from 12 different schools in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Quebec. After completing the experiment, the vast majority of the original sample agreed to being contacted for a follow-up study. This project initiates the follow-up survey to track ten years of post-high school outcomes among the original participating students. The survey is to generate a unique longitudinal data set for use by CIRANO, linking activities in the final year of high school to PSE enrolment and persistence outcomes in the context of a uniquely rich set of experimental and survey data from the original study, which captured preferences for PSE, willingness to pay and borrow as well as the experimental assignment of grants and loans.

Start-end date: July 2019 - October 2020
Sponsor: CIRANO

National Mentoring Study

SRDC is designing, implementing, and assessing a large-scale research project around the state of mentoring in Canada by mapping the mentoring experiences of young people and capturing the landscape of mentoring programs/services in Canada. The study includes the first ever nationally-representative survey of young people’s perspectives on mentoring in Canada. It also takes stock of the prevalence, practices, and scope of youth mentoring programs across Canada with a comprehensive literature and landscape review shaped by conversations with a variety of representatives within the youth development field.

Start-end date: July 2019 - July 2020
Sponsor: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada

ASTTBC Rights to Practice Membership Survey

The Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC) is a provincial regulatory association that regulates standards of training and practice of and for its members. ASTTBC has engaged SRDC to conduct a third-party survey of its members. The purpose of the survey is to hear the views of ASTTBC members on their independent rights to practice as well as their opinion on the organization’s mission and options for harmonizing the designations of technicians, technologists, and technical specialists in BC.

Start-end date: May 2019 - June 2019
Sponsor: Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC (ASTTBC)

Integrating Essential Skills Tools for Employment Counsellors

This project is being led by Alberta Workforce Essential Skills Society (AWES) and is building, testing, and refining a training program for employment counsellors to integrate Essential Skills (ES) tools into their practice and services. The ES framework that will be tested during the project will include how to incorporate ES assessments, occupational profiles, complexity levels, and job task terminology related to skills. The project will also reinforce practice by including mentoring and support services to ensure quality as practitioners begin to integrate the ES framework and tools (including all nine Essential Skills) in all their services. As the developmental evaluation partner on the project, SRDC’s research activities are supporting the development process to ensure that the training is practical, delivers results, and has high chances of replication and adoption in diverse sectors and with different populations across Canada.

Start-end date: April 2019 - February 2024
Sponsor: Alberta Workplace Essential Skills Society (AWES)

Enhancing Displaced Workers Literacy and Essential Skills

This three-year research project aims to fill knowledge gaps on what works in the realm of LES supports and training for displaced workers in Canada to improve their employability. The project is aimed at supporting workers who have been displaced from their jobs through planned or unplanned circumstances, with a focus on those workers who are hard to reach or reluctant to access skills training or employment services, and who have low essential skills, including digital skills. The project will be identifying and testing models that have the potential to be adapted and expanded at the national level, by conducting beta tests involving a new Displaced Worker Outreach Team and network partners in select regions of BC to evaluate their effectiveness and scalability. The ultimate aim of the project is to provide the evidence base for the development of a new model that can help address workforce displacement for individuals and communities in Canada.

Start-end date: March 2019 - February 2022
Sponsor: Decoda Literacy Solutions

Framework for the Professional Development of Essential Skills Practitioners

This project is developing and testing a new framework for professional development that standardizes the delivery of Essential Skills (ES) practitioner training in Canada. The framework will provide broad guidance to allow regional flexibility and customization based on the needs of the ES practitioners, while ensuring greater consistency in the delivery of ES practitioner training. To ensure its effectiveness, the project will test the new framework and assessment tools in a pan-Canadian pilot across five regions representing a diverse group of training organizations. The pilot will include a feasibility study as it tests the relevance and usefulness of the application of the framework and competency assessment tools, and will provide recommendations for the professionalization of the ES practitioner field. Ultimately, professionalizing the field of ES practitioners in Canada will ensure better and more consistent outcomes for learners receiving ES training.

Start-end date: March 2019 - March 2023
Sponsor: SkillPlan

Sector-led Evaluation of the Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy in British Columbia

The Province of B.C. is making a $136 million investment in an Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy (R&R Strategy) for B.C.’s Early Childhood Educator (ECE) sector. This sector-led evaluation is part of a larger 10-year plan to increase the quality and availability of childcare spaces in B.C. The evaluation project will help provide continuous feedback for strategies that are implemented. SRDC is helping to develop a framework that will assess the effectiveness of the R&R Strategy. Evaluation questions include: whether there is less turnover in the skilled Early Care and Learning workforce; whether the numbers of certified Early Childhood Educators are better able to meet demand; whether careers in Early Care and Learning become more popular; and whether public confidence in Early Care and Learning is increasing.

Generally, these outcomes are being measured as trends across the Early Care and Learning system in B.C. Evaluation methods include: cross-sectional surveys of providers of early childhood education and care in B.C., and their employees; creating and maintaining a unique database of the province’s providers to include licensed and unlicensed, registered and unregistered carers; public opinion surveys; media and social media analysis; key informant interviews; analysis of micro-data from the 2016 Census; and compilation and analysis of administrative data. SRDC is collecting, analyzing, and reporting on these measures to determine whether the R&R Strategy is on track to achieving its long-term goals and expected outcomes until 2022. A sector steering committee made up of individuals involved in B.C. childcare will guide the work. The project is being led by the Early Childhood Educators of B.C., with funding and approvals of project deliverables through the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.

Start-end date: December 2018 - July 2022
Sponsor: Early Childhood Educators of B.C.

Enhancing employment programming for vulnerable youth

In 2017, the Government of Canada committed to renewing its youth employment strategy, part of which involves a renewal of Skills Link with more focus on at-risk youth and additional investments to increase the planned participant intake. The Government has also committed to continue improving the way it serves the needs of youth including helping understand what’s working and to encourage good program practices. In coordination with ESDC’s Office of Literacy and Essential Skills (OLES) and youth employment branch, SRDC developed a multi-staged four-year project to both explore improvements in employment programming for vulnerable youth and to pilot test a Pay-for-Performance model for incentivizing innovation and best practices among service providers.
The first phase in year one will involve a comprehensive review and re-analysis of employment programming as part of Skills Link along with a series of consultations with providers of youth programming to document strengths in existing delivery, best practices, and any gaps and opportunities for innovation. The second phase will involve the design and implementation of a demonstration project to test a Pay-for-Performance model to incentivize innovation and best practices. The demonstration phase will span three years and will involve up to 600 youth from across Canada.

Start-end date: November 2018 - October 2022
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

The Changing Nature of Work: Digital Transformation & Innovation in the Electricity Sector

Technologies related to digitization, automation, artificial intelligence, and green technology are reshaping the structure of work and the required competencies for many occupations in the Electricity sector. In partnership with Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC), SRDC is studying the scope of technological change and its potential impacts on the sector. Through a series of consultations with employers, educational institutions, and other stakeholders this project will provide a rich analysis of the context and impacts of forthcoming technological change including its implications for the sector's workforce in terms of occupational demand and supply and the need for strategic investments in education and training.

Start-end date: October 2018 - August 2019
Sponsor: Electricity Human Resources Canada

TechAbility: Aligning Diverse Abilities to Technical Occupations

This project is developing and testing a technical occupational framework to support the recruitment of persons with disabilities in the technology sector of BC. The project is establishing the business case for hiring persons with disabilities into technical occupations and identifying the necessary supports to ensure successful outcomes for both employers and job seekers. The pilot is assessing the impact of the framework primarily through a series of job shadowing and mentorship opportunities that are designed to enhance skills and employment outcomes for research participants.

Start-end date: October 2018 - January 2020
Sponsor: Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC

HungerCount Methodology Review

HungerCount is Food Banks Canada’s signature research project and report and the only research study of food banks and their use in Canada. Since 1997, data for the study have been collected in the month of March from thousands of food bank organizations across the country. The information from the survey has proven invaluable to the work of Food Banks Canada, provincial food banking associations, food banks, and external stakeholders such as governments and donors. SRDC will work with Food Banks Canada to examine current approaches to conducting the yearly HungerCount survey, as well as explore promising practices from national food banks in similar contexts such as the UK, USA, and Australia. SRDC will produce a technical review of data collection tools and survey methodology, as well as conduct interviews with Food Banks Canada staff and leaders of international food banks.

Start-end date: September 2018 - December 2018
Sponsor: Food Banks Canada

Connecting multi-barriered newcomers to the Canadian labour market

This project involves the design, delivery, and evaluation of a comprehensive package of employment services for the increasing numbers of refugees and other newcomers who have trouble transitioning from settlement to sustained employment. The program model augments traditional language training by offering a holistic suite of employment services including Essential Skill upgrading, technical training, work placement, and job retention support. A randomized control trial design is used to evaluate program impacts, by comparing the outcomes of those who are randomly assigned to receive the new suite of services with a control group who continue receiving existing services.

Start-end date: July 2018 - March 2021
Sponsor: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Equity in Education Collective Impact Initiative

Together, Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Center, Pathways to Education Ottawa, and stakeholders from across the city of Ottawa, have established a collective impact initiative to address the inequity in educational outcomes for youth living in low-income in the city. The long-term vision of the Equity in Education Collective Impact Initiative (EiE) is to engage stakeholders from all sectors to come together to provide tangible interventions that draw on the learnings of the Pathways to Education ProgramTM and other successful evidence-based models to inform policy and systems changes. SRDC will work with EiE to conduct a case study examining how EiE’s collective impact structure can inform student, parent, and community-level outcomes related to educational experience and attainment along the pathway to post-secondary enrolment; as well as how EiE-led initiatives influence the collective impact structure at the community level. This project is being funded by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO).

Start-end date: June 2018 - April 2019
Sponsor: Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre

Literacy and Essential Skills as a Poverty Reduction Strategy

Through a comprehensive literature review and series of practitioner and stakeholder consultations, this project will consolidate knowledge, best practices, and the latest innovations in literacy programming targeting lower-skilled individuals. This will inform the development of a broader poverty reduction strategy for Canada, which integrates literacy training in a way that is responsive to the full spectrum of needs of lower skilled Canadians including those most distant from the labour market.

Start-end date: May 2018 - March 2019
Sponsor: Frontier College

Manufacturing Essentials: Design of a performance measurement strategy and pay-for-performance funding model

On behalf of the Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC) and the Canadian Manufacturing Network (CMN), SRDC is developing an evaluation framework and performance measurement strategy for Manufacturing Essentials, the industry’s primary certification and Essential Skills training program. In coordination with EMC and CMN, SRDC will also consult with employers throughout the sector and design a Pay-For-Performance (PFP) funding model for reimbursing employer training costs and incentivizing best practices in training delivery.

Start-end date: April 2018 - September 2019
Sponsor: Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium

Field trials and evaluation of three WISE programs in Northern Simcoe County Ontario

SRDC is implementing a four-year research study in partnership with three work integration social enterprises (WISE) that are part of a co-operative network, known as the Karma Project. These social enterprises provide a range of services and green occupations in demand in the North Simcoe county region of Ontario. The study, spanning four years, will examine the effectiveness of WISE in improving the employability and social inclusion of youth in rural communities. At the same time, it will assess changes in the capacity of social enterprises and examine variations in outcomes by alternative models of work integration.

Start-end date: March 2018 - March 2022
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

A comprehensive review and development of measurement options for Essential Skills initiatives

The Office of Literacy and Essential Skills (OLES) currently supports a wide range of Literacy and Essential Skills initiatives including pilots of various delivery models in both workplace settings and for the unemployed, through the Adult Learning, Literacy and Essential Skills Program (ALLESP). Performance measurement is critical to the success of these projects and for the achievement of the broader objectives of ALLESP. On behalf of OLES, SRDC is conducting a comprehensive review of measurement options for assessing outcomes of Literacy and Essential Skills initiatives and will develop a framework to support a broader performance measurement strategy for the ALLESP program.

Start-end date: March 2018 - March 2019
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

Evaluation of the Essential Skills for Apprentices project

The ES for Apprentices project is a national initiative that is testing an instructor-led model of supplemental essential skills training in first-year apprenticeship programs with the aim of enhancing completion rates. The model was developed and refined by Bow Valley College (BVC) and Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT). SRDC is designing the research strategy to evaluate the model including an impact study to measure its effects on completion rates and employment of apprentices as well as an implementation research study to explore best practices in its delivery.

Start-end date: March 2018 - February 2021
Sponsor: Bow Valley College

A review of the Canadian Financial Capability Survey Questionnaire

The Canadian Financial Capability Survey (CFCS) is administered by Statistics Canada to a nationally representative sample of Canadian adults in an effort to measure their financial knowledge, abilities, and behaviours. The CFCS is administered on a five-year cycle with prior waves in 2009 and 2014. In preparation for the 2019 cycle, SRDC has been contracted by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) to advise on the renewal of the instrument. In addition to a review of the core financial literacy and knowledge assessments, SRDC will advise on the various measures of financial behaviours and outcomes. The review aims to enhance both the statistical properties of the instrument and align it with recent developments in both the Government of Canada’s National Strategy for Financial Literacy and international developments in measurement.

Start-end date: February 2018 - August 2018
Sponsor: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

High School Student and Parent Perceptions of OSAP

This project examines the relationship between aspirations towards postsecondary education and students/parents’ perception and knowledge of the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). The project administers surveys before and after students’ compulsory Grade 10 career studies class, and tracks postsecondary access and student financial aid use over four years, to evaluate provision of new interventions including information on OSAP and the likely actual costs and benefits of postsecondary education. The evaluation framework involves a clustered randomized trial.

Start-end date: August 2017 - August 2018
Sponsor: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario

Mentorship and Skills Development in BC's Construction Sector: A Needs Analysis

The large majority of technical training in the skilled building trades takes place on the job through mentoring relationships. Employers report mentorship as the key to developing a qualified tradesperson — however, they also report the quality of mentorship as drastically uneven. Many tradespersons are required to mentor apprentices but have never been prepared adequately to do so. This project supports the development and evaluation of mentorship training models in BC’s construction sector. The focus is on the electrical trade, the largest of skilled building trades in BC. The design includes a sector needs analysis where we explore the most prominent skills and job performance gaps and business needs through key informant interviews and a province-wide survey of electrical contractors. The primary goal of this analysis is to understand the role that quality mentorship can play in addressing these skills and performance gaps and to support the design and evaluation of a mentorship training model in a subsequent pilot.

Government of British Columbia news release

 

Start-end date: May 2016 - March 2017
Sponsor: Electrical Joint Training Committee

Essential Adult Skills Initiative (EASI)

The Essential Adult Skills Initiative (EASI) is a pilot project using the OECD’s newest version of the PIAAC assessment instrument, Education and Skills Online. The pilot is designed (a) to explore the practical challenges of administering the test to substantial numbers of PSE students and (b) to establish the utility of Education and Skills Online to assess PSE student skills. SRDC is advising the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario on planned survey design and analysis including sample size estimation.

Start-end date: January 2016 - December 2016
Sponsor: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario

Review of The Impacts of Technology on Apprentice and Journeyperson Skills Requirements at the Workplace survey

Reviewed draft questionnaire for clarity of concepts, consistency with workplace skills literature, likely quality of response, and flow pattern.

Start-end date: April 2013 - April 2013
Sponsor: Canadian Apprenticeship Forum

Digital Essential Skills Online Training in Rural Small Businesses

SRDC participated in this project to develop, implement, and evaluate an online digital skills assessment and training program intended to increase the digital skills of rural small businesses and their employees, as well as the capacity of businesses to increase these skills. The training was piloted in 10 small businesses, 2 in each of 5 rural communities across Canada, with up to 100 employees participating. SRDC designed skills assessment, employer and employee surveys, and interview protocols and analyzed the data gathered, in order to evaluate the implementation of the digital skills assessment and training tools and to measure the effects of the training on rural small businesses and their employees.

Start-end date: October 2012 - February 2016
Sponsor: Restigouche Community Business Development Corporation

School engagement in middle and secondary schools – Phase II

Pilot project for testing educational practices that encourage school engagement among middle and secondary school students. This second phase of the study focuses primarily on creating the measures required for evaluating implementation of the educational practices tested during Phase I of the project. The tools were developed in close collaboration with stakeholders from four schools in the Ottawa region, in particular school board and teaching staff members, as well as students. The third phase of the project aims to evaluate the effect of educational practices on student school engagement. To achieve this, student engagement is examined based on the degree of implementation of educational practices.

Start-end date: October 2012 - April 2013
Sponsor: Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario

Understanding the impact of numeracy and literacy skills on financial capability

In collaboration with the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, this SRDC study explores the link between Essential Skills and financial capability as well as the impact of workplace-based Essential Skills training on financial capability. Financial capability is defined as the ability to make informed financial decisions. This research study is part of the broader UPSKILL: Essentials to Excel demonstration project and aims to provide a better understanding of the relation between two domains of financial capability (managing money and planning ahead) with the TOWES essential skills scores (numeracy and document use). The study also explores other links between financial capability and important psycho-social outcomes and job performance indicators.

Start-end date: September 2012 - February 2014
Sponsor: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Labour Market Study of Literacy and Essential Skills Workers

SRDC was commissioned to design, administer, and analyze the results of a first-ever national online survey of professionals involved in the delivery of literacy and essential skills services as instructors, skills assessors, and program developers. As there was no survey sample frame, it was necessary to first engage organizations involved in the delivery of LES services in some way and to ask them to assist SRDC by forwarding the survey invitation and link to employed or contracted workers who deliver LES services. Organizations approached include those that deliver LES services directly, as well as those that do so as part of other services they provide to targeted groups such as persons with disabilities, Aboriginal persons, and new immigrants. The project also involves protocol design for key informant interviews conducted by the client with LES stakeholders to review the survey content. This survey is part of a larger labour market study of essential and literacy skills workers.

Start-end date: June 2012 - August 2013
Sponsor: Canadian Literacy and Learning Network

School Engagement in Middle School

A pilot project aiming to develop, apply, and test teaching strategies that enhance school engagement in middle school students. The existing strategies are identified based on document and literature reviews. In addition, new strategies are developed using a motivational framework extensively applied to the school setting. The strategies are then tested in two classrooms in a school located in the Ottawa area.

Start-end date: September 2011 - January 2012
Sponsor: Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario

Multisite evaluation of the Francophone Youth Inclusion Program (YIP)

A multisite evaluation of a youth crime prevention program entitled Youth Inclusion Program (YIP). The Francophone YIP seeks to reduce the number of arrests, truancy, and school expulsions for a group of high-risk youths within the same community. To achieve its objectives, the program offers youths, by way of an individualized intervention plan, a combination of sports, education, training, and interventions on subjects such as health and drugs. The evaluation of the Francophone YIP is spread over five years and was conducted in Montreal (Quebec) and in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield (Quebec). SRDC conducted a process evaluation, an impact evaluation, a costs analysis and a relevancy evaluation.

Start-end date: November 2010 - December 2016
Sponsor: Public Safety Canada

Comité d’action local des Promenades de Gatineau

Funded by the Fondation Lucie et André Chagnon as part of an activity of the Québec Enfants’s initiative, the Comité d’action local des Promenades de Gatineau (CAL) is a partnership between local community groups that aims to answer the needs of children, and their families, living in the Gatineau community via different activities. SRDC helped refine the logic model of the six activities already in place to define their objectives and their expected impacts. SRDC designed an evaluation plan and proposed tools to measure the implementation of the activities and follow children’s development. A summative evaluation identifies which activities were the most promising for the children and their families.

Start-end date: May 2009 - July 2010
Sponsor: Fondation Lucie et André Chagnon and Société de gestion du fonds pour le développement des jeunes enfants

2006 Manitoba Parent Survey

A one-hour telephone survey of 1,005 parents of kindergarten children in Manitoba whose children were assessed using the Early Development Instrument (EDI) in 2006, the creation of a linked (survey and EDI assessment) research file, and the preparation of a descriptive analytical report summarizing results including descriptive analysis and multivariate analysis of child development outcomes.

Start-end date: June 2006 - March 2007
Sponsor: Healthy Child Manitoba

2006 Manitoba Parent Survey Development

Start-end date: April 2006 - May 2006
Sponsor: Healthy Child Manitoba

Keeping in Touch with Project Participants: A Mailing Experiment

A randomized experiment to test the effect of between-wave mailing contact on survey response among Future to Discover project participants.

Start-end date: January 2006 - March 2007
Sponsor: Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation

2004 Manitoba Parent Survey

A survey of 1,000 parents of kindergarten children in Manitoba whose children were assessed using the Early Development Instrument (EDI) in 2004, the creation of a linked (survey and EDI assessment) research file, and the preparation of a descriptive analytical report summarizing results.

Start-end date: April 2004 - March 2005
Sponsor: Healthy Child Manitoba