Communities and Families

Immunization Partnership Fund: Development of a Performance Measurement (PM) Strategy

The Immunization Partnership Fund (IPF) aims to improve immunization coverage rates across Canada. It will support public health stakeholders in the development and implementation of projects, tools, best practices, and interventions to meet the objectives of the IPF, which are to enable providers to immunize clients, enhance access to immunization services, and increase demand for immunization. SRDC will support the IPF in developing a logic model and performance measurement framework to systematically monitor, assess, and report on IPF performance.

Start-end date: December 2016 - March 2017
Sponsor: Public Health Agency of Canada

Developing an effective public health approach to cannabis

In light of the Government of Canada’s announcement that it would introduce legislation to legalize and regulate cannabis, the Canadian Public Health Association has been funded by Health Canada to engage a range of individuals and organizations from the health, public health, and social service communities to enhance their knowledge of, and capacity to address issues related to cannabis and other substance use. The project is grounded in a public health approach to the legalization of cannabis. SRDC is working with the Association to evaluate the project, with a particular focus on outcomes related to knowledge transfer, capacity-building, and stakeholder engagement.

Start-end date: December 2016 - November 2018
Sponsor: Canadian Public Health Association

Kid Food Nation

Canadian children are entering adulthood without sufficient knowledge to make healthy food choices. Moreover, rates of childhood obesity and chronic diseases such as diabetes are increasing. In collaboration with SRDC and other partners, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada is designing and delivering a food skills and healthy eating curriculum for children aged 7-12 in select Clubs. This food literacy program will be supplemented by a national media campaign, and recipe competition and gala event for children. SRDC is evaluating the design and delivery of the initiative, as well as the extent to which food literacy and other outcomes have been achieved.

Government news release

Start-end date: November 2016 - March 2021
Sponsor: Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada

National Housing Collaborative

The National Housing Collaborative engages a broad range of pan-Canadian interests to generate and advocate for the inclusion of critical ideas and policies that will guide the renewed federal role in affordable housing. SRDC was engaged by the Collaborative to assist with the policy analysis process including: scoping out policy objectives; developing a detailed research agenda; and overseeing the development of a series of policy options papers. SRDC will also work with the Collaborative to develop the final submission to the Federal government as part of the government’s consultation phase on the National Housing Strategy. The Collaborative is administered by a Secretariat, housed within the United Way Toronto & York Region. The Secretariat is funded by a funding circle that includes United Way, the Maytree Foundation, Evergreen CityWorks, and the McConnell Foundation.

Start-end date: June 2016 - October 2016
Sponsor: United Way of Greater Toronto

Evaluation of the Active Outdoor Play Strategy

'Active outdoor play' is unstructured and of varied intensity, takes place outdoors with natural materials, and involves an element of risk (e.g., due to the height, speed, context, or tools involved). A wide range of sectors and organizations has recently begun to promote active outdoor play as a means of correcting a perceived over-emphasis on safety/risk and injury prevention, as well as promoting healthy child development in the long term.

The aim of the Lawson Foundation’s Outdoor Play Strategy is to better understand how to support Canadian communities to foster children’s opportunities for outdoor play; in other words, how to create environments that enable – rather than hinder – such play. The Strategy is designed to support the development and implementation of a variety of creative ideas across sectors and a range of contexts, including community programs, services, and supports as well as policy and research initiatives. SRDC conducted an evaluation of the Strategy to develop understanding about how and why funded initiatives experience success, and to what degree. The evaluation includes information about both implementation and early impacts of the Outdoor Play Strategy, at three levels: individual projects/grantees; the collective cohort of grantees; and the broader landscape of stakeholders involved in outdoor play. In addition to examining multiple levels of operation and impact, the project takes a developmental evaluation approach – one that is flexible, future-oriented, and focused more on learning and performance improvement than on narrow definitions of merit and accountability.

Lawson Foundation notice

 

Start-end date: November 2015 - April 2019
Sponsor: Lawson Foundation

Social Assistance Rate Level(s) and Withdrawal Models

The project generated three products to inform the ongoing review of social assistance in Ontario. These include: a literature review on existing theoretical and empirical evidence from Canadian provinces and internationally on approaches to setting income assistance rates and withdrawal rates; an environmental scan of existing practices; and an options paper comprising a set of alternative future models for setting social assistance rates and withdrawal rates. All three consider the implications of different approaches for work incentives, fairness and adequacy.

Start-end date: June 2015 - December 2015
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services

Transformation of CEPEO school readiness programs

The goal of this project is to develop a school readiness and transition program for implementation in CEPEO schools starting in the fall of 2015. The program’s objective is to foster the following: parent involvement over the short and long term, the construction of a family identity, the notion and importance of attachment to a significant adult, learning through play at home, and resilience in young children. The project is conducted in collaboration with the AFÉSEO (Association francophone à l’éducation des services à l’enfance de l’Ontario).

Start-end date: February 2015 - May 2015
Sponsor: Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario

Flexible Workplace Practices in Support of Caregivers

Working Canadians often have multiple roles outside of the workplace that may conflict with the demands of their jobs. One increasingly prominent role is to provide unpaid care for family members or close friends with a long-term health condition, physical or mental disability. Caregiving commitments have a number of direct consequences for workers and businesses that employers can help mitigate through various leave policies, flexible practices, and supports. The objective of this project is to fill knowledge gaps with respect to the costs and benefits to Canadian employers of offering various flexible workplace practices in support of caregivers. SRDC conducted a series of nine business case studies with a comprehensive cost-benefit methodology that measures the return on investment for employers from introducing a range of flexible practices and policies in support of caregivers.

Start-end date: February 2015 - September 2015
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

Measuring the value of Food Banks Canada’s work

SRDC was engaged by Food Banks Canada to assist in the development of an evaluation approach and framework for measuring the social impacts of its work. The approach and framework support Food Banks Canada's effort to measure the impacts of its programs and initiatives supporting the national food bank network, including its food sharing initiatives and research and advocacy, as well as report on the effectiveness of the financial investments its donors make to the network. SRDC assisted Food Banks Canada by: developing recommendations for an evaluation approach and framework for measuring the organization’s social value; developing recommendations for evaluating funding requests; and applying the new framework to prepare a report for donors on the impact of the organization’s Capacity Grant program.

Start-end date: February 2015 - May 2015
Sponsor: Food Banks Canada

Impacts of Interoperability and Information Sharing Across Settings

The implementation and utilization of electronic health technology are playing an important role in coping with the increasing demand for health care services and managing the coordination of care, especially for patients with complex medical needs who are cared for by different health care providers in a variety of settings. This study looks broadly at the impacts of interoperability and information sharing across settings in BC’s Interior Health Authority to evaluate how the utilization of a regional medical health record hub impacts clinician access to complete patient information for clinical encounters and care coordination for their patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings. The results of this study contribute to research knowledge in this field and inform future planning.

Start-end date: April 2014 - July 2015
Sponsor: Canada Health Infoway

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

Measuring the Impact of the YMCA of Greater Toronto on Community Health

The project supports the YMCA of Greater Toronto’s 2010-2020 Strategic Plan and the establishment and continuous improvement of its new Centres of Community by identifying a community health monitoring strategy that cuts across life stages and the community level, the regional level, and the GTA. The project provides a set of options for a community health monitoring strategy based on an analysis of other community health monitoring initiatives in Canada and abroad, data availability and quality for selected indicators in the GTA, and the YMCA’s outcomes of interest related to its programming.

Start-end date: November 2013 - March 2014
Sponsor: YMCA of Greater Toronto

Evaluating the impact of patients’ direct lab access

As part of the move toward a more modernized health care system, tele-health and digital health services provide patients with direct access to health information and advice 24/7, 365 days a year. The aim of this study is to understand the impact of direct patient access to laboratory results in B.C. in terms of healthcare access, quality, and productivity. Through interviews with physicians and a survey of service subscribers and a general population panel, the study examines how direct access to lab results compares to traditional means of access (i.e., via the physicians’ office) in terms of service reliability and efficiency, patient experience, patients’ utilization of healthcare services, and physicians’ practices and workloads. Results of this study support future planning around patient access to health information and contribute to the peer-reviewed literature.

Start-end date: July 2013 - March 2014
Sponsor: Canada Health Infoway

Moving on Mental Health – Toronto Implementation Panel

Working with the Ministry and sector stakeholder groups to develop a report that outlines options and recommendations for system reform consistent with Moving on Mental Health, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services policy framework for child and youth mental Health (A Shared Responsibility).

Start-end date: April 2013 - October 2013
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services

Summative Evaluation of HealthLink BC – Phase Two

HealthLink BC (HLBC) provides BC residents with 24-hour, 365-day access to medically approved information and advice. The aim of the second phase of this project is to conduct a summative evaluation of HLBC client facing services. This includes examining awareness, use, satisfaction, outcomes, impacts, and cost-benefit associated with the HLBC programs and services.

Start-end date: December 2012 - June 2016
Sponsor: BC Ministry of Health, HealthLink BC

Investor Education Fund Review

In collaboration with Susan Murray and Associates, SRDC conducted a review and assessment of the Investor Education Fund’s goals, strategic priorities, activities, and programs. Key objectives for the review included benchmarking IEF activities against those of peer organizations with comparable mandates; aligning IEF programs and activities with its goals, priorities, and mandate; and making recommendations to ensure optimal alignment, performance, and accountability.

Start-end date: October 2012 - December 2012
Sponsor: Anonymous sponsor

Focus Groups for the Expert Panel on French-language Post-secondary Education

To conduct focus groups with high-school and post-secondary students, learners, and parents from Francophone communities in the Centre and South-West regions of the province, with a view to inform the work of the Expert Panel on the most efficient models to adopt in order to increase the capacity to offer post-secondary education in French in those regions.

Start-end date: February 2012 - May 2012
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Education

Summative Evaluation of HealthLink BC – Phase One

HealthLink BC (HLBC) provides BC residents with 24-hour, 365-day access to medically approved information and advice. The goal of the first phase of the project is to develop an evaluation framework to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the HLBC services that examines awareness, use, satisfaction, outcomes, impacts, and cost-benefit associated with the HLBC programs and services.

Start-end date: December 2011 - December 2012
Sponsor: BC Ministry of Health, HealthLink BC

Welcome to Kindergarten Program National Evaluation, Phase II

The Welcome to Kindergarten Program aims to prepare children and families for the important transition to school. The first phase of the current Welcome to Kindergarten Program National Evaluation began in 2009, which resulted in an evaluation framework and plan, cost proposal, and literature and policy review. SRDC conducted the Phase II of the Welcome to Kindergarten Program National Evaluation, to compare 20 high implementation fidelity schools across Canada that have two years of experience participating in the program against 20 non-program schools to determine program effects. This pan-Canadian evaluation is being guided by Dr. Fraser Mustard.

Start-end date: March 2011 - July 2012
Sponsor: The Learning Partnership

Children’s Lives in Context

A panel discussion was held with experts in child and adolescent development with a focus on the importance of time (e.g., age, cohort) and place (e.g., home, school, social interaction) in conducting research as intervention. Three Canadian projects are presented: Better Beginnings Better Futures, Pilot Project: Readiness to Learn in Minority Francophone Communities (formerly the Child Care Pilot Project), and Understanding the Early Years (UEY). Invited panellists examine the element of time and place according to their unique perspectives.

Start-end date: February 2011 - July 2011
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Healthy After School Pilot Project

The aim of this project is to develop a program around physical activity and healthy eating in after-school care. The program will provide after-school care providers with a range of supports and resources to encourage and facilitate children to be more active and to choose healthy foods. After-school care sites participating in the project will be trained and given a resource bin that will include some equipment and tools to help staff incorporate the program into their activities. Ongoing training and support will also be provided to staff and they can choose what to use from these resource bins. Lines of evidence: consultations, interviews, observations, surveys, and measurements of physical activity.

Start-end date: February 2011 - October 2012
Sponsor: Public Health Agency of Canada

EmbraceBC Program Evaluation

The Welcoming and Inclusive Communities Dialogue Initiative is a program component of the EmbraceBC. SRDC carried out a process evaluation of dialogues convened to encourage and sustain local community engagement on themes related to multiculturalism, anti-racism, and welcoming and inclusive communities in BC.

Start-end date: December 2010 - March 2011
Sponsor: B.C. Ministry of Citizens’ Services – BC Stats

Petits pas à trois – Monitoring System

To provide advice and technical assistance with the development of a program monitoring system with the objectives of ensuring that the program delivered is of high quality and that the training needs of early childhood educators are identified and addressed in a timely fashion.

Start-end date: October 2010 - July 2011
Sponsor: Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est de l’Ontario

Family Partnership Framework for Integrated Family Literacy Planning Project

To provide advice and technical assistance for the development of a partnership framework and cross-ministerial engagement strategy that forms the basis of a province-wide family literacy strategy.

Start-end date: February 2010 - October 2011
Sponsor: Ontario Literacy Coalition

Sip Smart! Education Module

A process evaluation of a short-term early prevention school-based education program to inform students in grades 4, 5, and 6 about the risks of sugar-sweetened beverages. The resources were delivered by classroom teachers.

Start-end date: January 2010 - July 2010
Sponsor: BC Pediatric Society

Community Action for Seniors Independence – Evaluation Framework

Workshop facilitation with government officials to develop a logic model for a project delivering non-medical support and services to frail seniors.

Start-end date: September 2009 - September 2010
Sponsor: United Way of the Lower Mainland

Evaluation of the Dietitians of Canada School Guidelines Support Initiative

SRDC conducted a process evaluation to determine the impact of the School Guidelines Support Initiative. The initiative developed and implemented a range of tools, resources, and supports, including telephone support from Dial-a-Dietitians online tools and information to implement the provincial government’s Guidelines for sale of food and beverages in BC schools. SRDC managed evaluation and led all research components; analyzed qualitative and quantitative data, and wrote evaluation report.

Start-end date: September 2009 - February 2010
Sponsor: Dietitians of Canada

Petits pas à trois

Impact and outcome evaluation of a new preschool program targeting minority Francophone preschoolers and their families.

Start-end date: July 2009 - June 2010
Sponsor: Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est de l’Ontario

Family Dynamics

An evaluation of indicators used to measure family dynamics influencing child development.

Start-end date: October 2008 - October 2009
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Evaluation of the BC Healthy Living Alliance (BCHLA) Initiatives

BCHLA is a provincial coalition of organizations working together to improve the health of British Columbians. The coalition has implemented 16 initiatives in the health promotion and population health areas, designed to deliver activities across the province in three themes: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity, and Tobacco Reduction. In the first phase of the evaluation project, SRDC conducted evaluability assessments for each initiative as well as the clusters or themes to produce evaluation plans and budgets for “evaluable” projects and clusters. In the second phase, SRDC evaluated 6 of the 16 initiatives, as well as a case study of the Community Capacity Building Strategy and provided technical assistance to the other BCHLA initiatives that were not part of the evaluation project. Some of the evaluations involved vulnerable populations, such as Aboriginal communities.

Start-end date: July 2007 - May 2010
Sponsor: Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research
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Readiness to Learn in Minority Francophone Communities

This large-scale demonstration project was part of the Government of Canada’s 2003–2008 Action Plan for Official Languages and was continued under the 2008–2013 Roadmap for Canada’s Linguistic Duality. The tested preschool program combined a childcare component developed specifically to meet the needs of Francophone children in minority settings with a family literacy component targeting the parents of these children. The program aimed to develop children’s language skills, knowledge and use of French, knowledge of and engagement in Francophone culture, as well as to foster their school readiness and overall development. The project involved some 400 children living in six minority Francophone communities in New Brunswick, Ontario, and Alberta. A mixed-methods approach was used to conduct an implementation study and an impact evaluation. Project findings will serve to inform decision-makers, service providers, and program developers on the delivery, effectiveness, and efficiency of a program whose aims are ensuring children master the language of instruction in addition to the preservation and strengthening of minority Francophone communities’ vitality.

Start-end date: March 2006 - May 2013
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
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Expert Advice and Participation in HRDC Working Group on Communities

Start-end date: November 2002 - November 2002
Sponsor: National Secretariat on Homelessness

Understanding the Early Years

A study of community process focusing on how information was absorbed, interpreted, and acted upon by community members.

Start-end date: February 2002 - June 2005
Sponsor: Social Development Canada