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:

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 - December 2020
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 - May 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 - February 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 - September 2022
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