Program evaluation and performance measurement studies

Development of a performance measurement framework for a women in trades initiative

SRDC is developing a performance measurement framework and an evaluation strategy for a women in trades initiative on behalf of BuildForce Canada. The project will see the development, implementation, and evaluation of a tool for employers and online training for staff to support diversity policies and respectful workplaces.

Start-end date: January 2017 - March 2017
Sponsor: BuildForce Canada

A public health approach to cannabis (and other substances): Prevention, health promotion, surveillance and capacity building

In light of the Government of Canada’s announcement that it would introduce legislation to legalize and regulate cannabis, the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) 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 CPHA 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

Evaluation of the AILE program

Launched during the 2012-13 school year, the Appui intensif en lecture et écriture program (known under its acronym as AILE) is part of the Ontario Ministry of Education goal of improving the literacy achievement of children enrolled in grades one to six. The program aims to offer additional supports to students in grades one to three at risk of a delay in their reading and writing skills conducive to educational achievement. The intervention takes place outside the classroom, in small groups of three students for about 30 minutes, five days per week over a period of 12 weeks. The program AILE is the subject of an implementation study and outcome evaluation.

Start-end date: September 2016 - March 2017
Sponsor: Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario

Labour Market Transfer Agreements summary report

Employment and skills training programming and services in Canada are supported and delivered by federal, provincial, and territorial governments. The federal government provides almost $3 billion annually to provinces and territories through four major bilateral transfer agreements to support training and employment programming for Canadians. The design and delivery of the programs and services funded under these agreements are the responsibility of provinces and territories. This includes programs and services for unemployed workers eligible for Employment Insurance (EI), individuals without recent or sustained labour market attachment (non-EI insured), low-skilled workers, employers, persons with disabilities, and older workers. The 2016 Federal Budget announced new investments for 2016-17 totaling an additional $175 million. This is the first step in a plan to boost support for skills and training through the transfer agreements. To further ensure that these agreements continue to be relevant, flexible, and responsive to new and emerging labour market needs and priorities, the federal, provincial, and territorial governments have collaboratively embarked on a process in the summer 2016 to gather stakeholder input on these important investments. SRDC summarizes the outcomes of the consultations related to the labour market agreements renewal in this report.

Start-end date: August 2016 - September 2016
Sponsor: Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale du Québec

An Innovative Cluster Training Model for New Brunswick Small Business

Development and pilot testing of a multi-level cluster-based training model for New Brunswick small businesses, who lack the capacity for traditional workplace training approaches. The project documents best practices in cluster training and refines existing needs assessments and evaluation tools for pooled small business delivery. The new model will be pilot tested with 6 firms and up to 24 employees in 2-3 clusters. SRDC is leading the evaluation in partnership with the Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick (TIANB) with funding from New Brunswick’s Department of Post-secondary Education Training and Labour.

New Brunswick Government news release

 

Start-end date: July 2016 - March 2017
Sponsor: Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick

Active outdoor play

This project was initiated in response to two main needs identified by the community: (1) counter organizations’ tendency to limit occasions for children to engage in self-directed outdoor play, and (2) encourage children to engage in self-directed play. Project activities first focus on developing resources to inform adults as to the benefits of self-directed outdoor play to optimize child development and encourage lifelong healthy habits. Second, project activities center on the development and piloting of a series of workshops whose goal is to enhance the capacity of educators in offering children, aged 3 to 12, with opportunities for learning through exploration, outdoor play and inquiry. The project takes place in four schools, involves more than 600 adults (administration, early childcare educators, teachers and parents) and more than 400 children. To successfully carry out the first phase of the project, SRDC has partnered with the Association francophone à l’éducation des services à l’enfance de l’Ontario (AFÉSEO) and the Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario (CEPEO).

Aféseo notice (in French only)

Ontario Trillium Foundation award notice

CEPEO notice (in French only)

 

Start-end date: July 2016 - October 2017
Sponsor: Ontario Trillium Foundation

MHFA for Members of the Veteran Community – Project Evaluation – Phase 2

SRDC was engaged by the Mental Health Commission of Canada to evaluate the second phase of the adaptation of the Mental Health First Aid course for members of the veteran community. Results of this formative evaluation informed the program adaptation for its launch in the fall of 2016.

Start-end date: May 2016 - August 2016
Sponsor: Mental Health Commission of Canada

BuildForce Labour Market Information (LMI) study

On behalf of BuildForce Canada, the national construction sector council, SRDC conducted an evaluation of the Labour Market Information (LMI) products that currently support the construction sector. The cornerstone of their LMI program is a demand and supply model, which is used to provide forecasts of both construction investment and labour market demand for skilled trades. This study explores how employers, tradespeople, and other stakeholders such as training institutions currently access, utilize, and value BuildForce Canada’s products. The design included a series of key informant interviews with stakeholders and a regional survey of users of construction sector LMI.

Start-end date: April 2016 - December 2016
Sponsor: BuildForce Canada

MHFA for Members of the Veteran Community – Project Evaluation

MHFA is an evidence-based training course designed to increase mental health literacy, decrease stigma, and increase helping behaviours. In collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Mental Health Commission of Canada is adapting MHFA for members of the Veteran Community, to improve their capacity to address mental health problems and illnesses. To support this process, SRDC was engaged to evaluate the design and pilot delivery of the adapted course, prior to broader delivery. As part of this formative evaluation, SRDC conducted a document review, interviewed stakeholders, and observed the initial pilot training sessions; a framework for future evaluation work was also developed.

Start-end date: January 2016 - March 2016
Sponsor: Mental Health Commission of Canada

Community Employment Loan Program Evaluation

Social Capital Partners has engaged SRDC to evaluate the impact and return on investment of the Ontario Community Loans Program (OCLP). The OCLP is a joint initiative between Social Capital Partners (a non-profit organization that develops innovative social finance solutions) and the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure (MEDEI), in partnership with employment service providers and financial institutions. Through the OCLP, low-income jobseekers facing employment barriers are matched with job opportunities at small- and medium-sized employers (SMEs). SMEs who hire and retain jobseekers for at least six months pay reduced interest rates on their business loans through reimbursements provided by the Ontario government. SRDC is conducting an impact evaluation to examine the extent to which the OCLP leads to increased employer reach among employment service providers, improved employment outcomes for low-income jobseekers, and improved business outcomes for SMEs, as well as a cost-benefit analysis to assess the extent to which OCLP yields a net return for the Ontario government.

Start-end date: January 2016 - January 2017
Sponsor: Social Capital Partners

Toronto District School Board (TDSB) Local Poverty Reduction Fund Program Evaluation

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has engaged SRDC to evaluate the impact of its Local Poverty Reduction Fund initiative. The Local Poverty Reduction Fund is a six-year initiative launched by the Ontario government in 2015 to support innovative, community-driven projects that measurably improve the lives of those most affected by poverty. TDSB has been granted funding through the initiative to introduce innovative process improvements at its Next-Steps Employment Centres, including a coaching-based case management framework and Motivational Interviewing. The changes are designed to improve outcomes for clients who are not in education, employment or training, and clients who are long-term unemployed. SRDC is serving as a third-party evaluator that is designing and conducting an evaluation of the implementation and impact of these process improvements on clients’ outcomes.

Start-end date: January 2016 - January 2017
Sponsor: Toronto District School Board

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

Mental Health First Aid Inuit Program Evaluation — Phase 2

SRDC was engaged by the Mental Health Commission of Canada to evaluate the second phase of the adaptation of the Mental Health First Aid course for Inuit, using cultural safety principles. Results of this formative evaluation were used to finalize the program adaptation and prepare for its launch in the spring of 2016.

Start-end date: November 2015 - March 2016
Sponsor: Mental Health Commission of Canada

Evaluation of the Thompson Rivers University Front-End Loaded Truck and Transport Vehicle Mechanic Pilot Program

The BC Centre for Employment Excellence, a division of SRDC, is evaluating the Industry Training Authority/Thompson Rivers University Front-End Loaded Pilot Program for the Truck and Transport Vehicle Mechanic apprenticeship training. The objective is to determine the effectiveness of the model in achieving its intended objectives and how it compares to the traditional apprenticeship training model.

Start-end date: July 2015 - October 2015
Sponsor: Industry Training Authority

Year Two Review of the Canada-Manitoba Job Grant

SRDC conducted an evaluation of the Canada-Manitoba Job Grant. The review assessed the early results from the first year of implementation of the Canada-Manitoba Job Grant and determined whether the grant is (1) helping participants develop the skills necessary to find and keep meaningful long-term employment, and (2) increasing employer investment in training to ensure that skills are better aligned with job opportunities and address labour market demands. SRDC developed a research framework, designed and implemented follow-up surveys for training participants and employers, analyzed administrative and survey data on participant employment outcomes, and conducted interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders. The findings of the review identify promising practices and challenges and inform adjustments required at a provincial and/or national level to better meet the goals of the Canada Job Grant.

Start-end date: May 2015 - September 2015
Sponsor: Manitoba Ministry of Jobs and the Economy

BC Labour Market Attachment Evaluation Framework for ITWs

SRDC constructed an evaluation framework for labour market attachment projects for internationally-trained workers (ITWs) in British Columbia. The work supports a future evaluation to measure success in projects that the BC Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training is investing in, as a new area of the Foreign Qualifications Recognition (FQR) Pathway. SRDC developed an evaluation framework and data collection templates, identified software/system requirements, defined and validated indicators of outcomes, and developed and tested the data collection framework.

Start-end date: March 2015 - June 2015
Sponsor: British Columbia Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training

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

Mental Health First Aid Canada: Inuit Course Framework and Evaluation

Like first aid for physical injury, Mental Health First Aid is designed to provide immediate help to a person experiencing distress or crisis until professional assistance is provided or the crisis is over. Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based course that increases mental health literacy, decreases stigma, and increases helping behaviours. The Mental Health Commission of Canada has adapted the basic course for many special populations, and together with Inuit communities and organizations, is developing an adaptation for Inuit. SRDC was engaged to conduct a formative evaluation of the first stage of the adapted program, using cultural safety principles. Results help to guide subsequent iterations of the course.

Start-end date: January 2015 - June 2015
Sponsor: Mental Health Commission of Canada

School engagement in middle and secondary schools – Phase IV

The « Engagement scolaire » project is funded by the Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario (CEPEO). The objective of the research project is to evaluate the impact of a program offered by the CEPEO on teaching practices, and in turn, of these teaching practices on student outcomes. This phase also focuses on scaling up the initiative in all classes at participating schools. The program offered by the CEPEO aims to help teachers develop effective teaching strategies, including the integration of ICTs, to promote student self-regulation and engagement, as well as learning skills and work habits as defined by the Ontario Ministry of Education.

Start-end date: November 2014 - February 2015
Sponsor: Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario

Essential Skills in Douglas College

The Essential Skills in Douglas College (ES in DC) program is offering up to 20 hours of in-class Essential Skills training to students in selected programs. By targeting the training to learner needs, and utilizing occupationally-relevant materials, the program aims to increase students’ literacy and essential skills, and their academic success. The study includes a research framework, designing pre- and post-training student surveys, and analysing administrative data from school records and literacy scores in addition to the survey data. Using historical program data from the school records, SRDC conducts a comparative analysis to estimate program impacts in addition to measuring the outcomes of interest.

Start-end date: August 2014 - August 2015
Sponsor: Douglas College

Evaluation of the Urban and Priority High Schools (UPHS) Initiative

The initiative was first implemented in the 2008-09 school year with 37 urban secondary schools across the 12 school boards receiving funding until 2013-2014. It aimed to enhance the well-being and academic success of students living in high-needs neighbourhoods by way of creating a safe and positive learning school environment. The secondary schools that participated in the UPHS worked with community partners to provide additional supports and opportunities to these students based on a needs assessment and existing services. This evaluation intends to increase our understanding of how additional supports and opportunities influenced at-risk youths’ academic success, to document effective practices in engaging students, parents, and the community, to provide recommendations in regards to the content of a program monitoring information system, and to draw recommendations for improving student outcomes at the system level.

Start-end date: February 2014 - March 2015
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Education

An Evaluation of the BRIDGES Incubator Model

The BRIDGES Collaborative identifies, develops, and tests models of integrated healthcare for patients with complex chronic conditions, with the aim of reducing avoidable hospital visits and improving quality of care. Funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health, BRIDGES is run by the Departments of Medicine, Psychiatry, and Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. SRDC conducted an evaluation of the impact and effectiveness of the BRIDGES model, and its potential impact on the health care system.

Start-end date: January 2014 - January 2015
Sponsor: University of Toronto

Motivational Interviewing for Manitoba Employment Income Assistance recipients

The project aims to determine the effectiveness of an innovative approach to employment counselling – called Motivational Interviewing – to help Employment Income Assistance (EIA) recipients in Manitoba progress along the Government of Manitoba’s employment service continuum. The study assesses the extent to which the approach: helps participants move forward along the stages of change; improves participants’ readiness for employment; helps participants obtain employment, particularly stable employment; and reduces the receipt of income assistance benefits and recidivism. The study also investigates participants’ experience with the program to learn about what worked well and what did not.

Start date: November 2013
Sponsor: Manitoba Department of Jobs and the Economy

Manitoba Works! evaluation

The purpose of the research is to test the Government of Manitoba’s Manitoba Works! employment service model in the real-world setting of Manitoba’s new and evolving employment continuum and to assess its effectiveness for improving the labour market success of individuals who are receiving EIA and/or have complex needs. The research will assess gains on outcomes of interest among participants compared to non-participants, model cost-effectiveness, model implementation, and identify key success factors.

Start date: November 2013
Sponsor: Manitoba Department of Jobs and the Economy

Validation of Manitoba’s Employment and Training Assessment (ETA)

The project aims to assess the predictive validity of Manitoba’s new Employment and Training Assessment tool. As well, it assesses the extent to which adding additional information improves the overall accuracy of the model in predicting long-term unemployment and the extent to which a “scoring” method could be designed that identifies “tiers” or segmentation points, that categorize jobseekers into “categories of risk” or “levels of need” using what has been referred to as a “distance to the labour market approach.” Given the results of the analyses, the project will recommend an optimal approach to needs assessment and jobseeker classification in the Manitoba context.

Start date: November 2013
Sponsor: Manitoba Department of Jobs and the Economy

Vulnerable Immigrant Populations Program Evaluation

The evaluation of settlement and integration programs over the years highlighted that a subset of the immigrant population characterized by complex and multiple barriers such as mental health issues and trauma experienced greater challenges in settling and integrating into BC communities and the labour market. In response to this realization, the BC government launched the Vulnerable Immigration Populations Program (VIPP) in the fall of 2012. The uniqueness of the VIPP amongst immigrant settlement and integration programs resides in its focus on alleviating significant challenges and barriers experienced by this subset of the immigrant population using a client-centred approach. The program relies on a comprehensive and coordinated multi-agency/multi-sector team to address each client’s unique needs. The evaluation aims to gauge how well the services delivered match the program principles and expectations, examine the strengths and challenges that have arisen to date, and assess impacts of the program on clients, the broader community, and the BC settlement system at large. Part of this evaluation involves a comparison of the program model with similar Canadian programs and with previously implemented pilot programs upon which the VIPP model is based. Evaluation findings provide accurate and useful information for future programming targeting vulnerable immigration populations.

Start-end date: November 2013 - March 2015
Sponsor: British Columbia Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation

Skills Bridge essential skills pilot project in BC

Skills Bridge offers Essential Skills training with the aim of ensuring that participants in academic, trades training, and apprenticeship programs emerge fully ready for employment. The pilot project is an outcome evaluation of a system of Essential Skills coaching at three sites – Douglas College, North Island College, and SkillPlan. The performance measures include Essential Skills learning gains, student engagement, and grades. The study develops an evaluation framework and survey instruments, and includes a cost-effectiveness analysis. Implementation of Skills Bridge at the three pilot sites informs a larger consortium of educational institutions implementing Essential Skills training for their students. SRDC is a research partner in the pilot project funded by the participating colleges and industry training institutions.

Start-end date: September 2013 - April 2014
Sponsor: DataAngel Policy Research Inc.

Evaluation of the Healthy Eating After School project

Healthy Eating After School (HEAS) is a pilot project funded by the Ministry of Health and implemented by the YMCA of Greater Vancouver. SRDC was contracted to conduct the evaluation. The purpose of the project is to create an environment that supports healthy eating in the after-school care setting. The objectives of the project are to: 1) improve the knowledge and confidence of after-school care staff in healthy eating and in food skills and their confidence to implement these; 2) develop and implement healthy eating policies/guidelines for an after-school care setting; 3) engage parents of children in after school care, in implementing and maintaining children’s healthy eating behaviours; and 4) increase the interest and ability in food skills for children attending after-school care programs.

Start-end date: July 2013 - March 2014
Sponsor: YMCA of Greater Vancouver

Development of a master plan for the implementation of the Ontario Early Years Policy Framework

The Conseil scolaire catholique Franco-Nord (CSCFN) retained the services of SRDC to evaluate the current state of the implementation of the Ontario Early Years Policy Framework with the aim to produce a master plan for its full implementation across schools. The master plan provides a guide for a collective approach to the development and delivery of early years programs and services for children and families. Its development was based on several sources of information: (1) an environmental scan of existing programs and services (i.e., quantity and quality; strengths and weaknesses), gaps in services targeting young children and their family, and overlaps in and links between services; (2) a comparative analysis between best practices and the current status of programs and services offered by the school board and by community partners; (3) winning practices and training needs identified by teacher/early childhood educator teams; and (4) a series of consultations on the shape an integral implementation of the framework could take.

Start-end date: June 2013 - February 2014
Sponsor: Conseil scolaire catholique Franco-Nord

Evaluation of WellnessFits

The Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon Division, in partnership with Healthy Families BC Initiative, has developed a comprehensive workplace health promotion program, WellnessFits. The aim of WellnessFits is to help employers and employees address key health behaviours that can reduce an individual’s risk for cancer and other chronic diseases. The program’s three principle strategies of educate, act, and support guide the overall development and delivery of the program. SRDC was commissioned to conduct an initial evaluation of this program.

Start-end date: December 2012 - April 2013
Sponsor: Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon Division

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

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

Job Entry Manitoba (JEM)

The project is a developmental evaluation that examines and provides regular feedback to the client on the development and implementation of the new Job Entry Manitoba (JEM) program, a key component of Manitoba’s new training-to-employment service support continuum. The project also identifies key immediate outcomes and measurement approaches to support the building of a data collection system and tools. The evaluation addresses standard implementation questions such as how does the JEM model work in practice? It also aims to systematically understand how the implementation of JEM influences provider practices in both intended and unintended ways. More fundamentally, it assesses how JEM has impacted providers’ sense of professional efficacy by exploring the extent to which providers feel that the new model enables them to better meet the needs of their target population.

Start-end date: November 2012 - December 2013
Sponsor: Workplace Education Manitoba

CPP Disability Vocational Rehabilitation Business Case Analysis

This project provides an analysis and critique of the VR program and its business components, including its overall cost effectiveness, human resources model, regional delivery process, client participation, outcomes, and other relevant issues. It provides recommendations for re-design to support program and departmental objectives, i.e., for providing modernized, focused, and efficient services to people with disabilities to support their return to work.

Start-end date: October 2012 - March 2013
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

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

Evaluation of the Northern Skills Training Pilot Initiative

This project evaluates the Northern Skills Training Pilot, an essential skills training initiative aimed at up-skilling low-skilled unionized employed workers in the forestry and mining sectors in three northern regions of British Columbia. At the start of the evaluation, the initiative involved approximately 300 participants, but this number increased to nearly 600 during the evaluation. The evaluation determines (a) the extent to which targeted workers are receiving and responding to the employer outreach activities and making applications to the program, (b) whether the essential skills training is being delivered as expected, and (c) whether the essential skill levels of program participants are increasing following engagement with the NST Pilot services.

Start-end date: October 2012 - June 2013
Sponsor: B.C. Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training

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

Evaluation of HeartSmart KidsTM

HeartSmart KidsTM has trained over 8,390 educators to deliver health education to elementary school students. Its curricula based program is designed to help educators teach young people to have a healthy lifestyle and a healthy heart. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC and the Yukon commissioned SRDC to conduct an evaluation of this program to provide information for future development by identifying components that worked well and aspects of the program that could be improved.

Start-end date: August 2012 - March 2013
Sponsor: The Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC and the Yukon

Raising the Grade Evaluation

This project provides evaluation support to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada (BGCC) as they develop and launch an innovative new after-school program in 25 clubs across Canada. SRDC is conducting a developmental evaluation to provide useful, timely feedback to BGCC as it fine-tunes program design and implementation, as well as an outcome evaluation to investigate potential benefits of the program for participants and clubs.

Start-end date: June 2012 - June 2017
Sponsor: Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada

Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) Loans Pilot Project

Launched in 2012 by then Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, the FCR Loans Pilot Project targets internationally-trained workers who are unable to or experience difficulty in accessing traditional lending sources mainly through financial institutions. The project took place in 9 sites across Canada wherein 11 microloan program models were piloted. SRDC designed and implemented a research framework seeking to: (1) draw lessons learned from the diversity of models tested and the contexts in which they are tested; (2) determine whether the microloan programs have the desired effect and under what conditions; (3) conduct a costs analysis of the FCR Loans Pilot Project; and (4) explore whether the microloan models can be sustained in the longer term.

Start-end date: February 2012 - January 2015
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

Evaluation of the 2009-13 Agreement for the Development of Francophone Arts and Culture in Canada

In collaboration with the Department of Canadian Heritage, SRDC developed and conducted an evaluation of the objectives and issues of the Agreement for the Development of Francophone Arts and Culture, as well as of its four management and collaborative mechanisms. This evaluation identifies findings on processes, direct and indirect results, as well as lessons learned from the Agreement. These findings support recommendations on potential areas for improvement to this cooperation mechanism as well as inform the future direction of the Agreement.

Start-end date: January 2012 - August 2012
Sponsor: Canadian Heritage

BC Workplace Training Project

SRDC collaborated with Douglas College to design and conduct an evaluation of an Essential Skills training program designed to upgrade the transferable skills of 1,200 eligible participants working in the tourism and retail sectors throughout British Columbia. The Workplace Training Program is funded by the BC Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation. The program is delivered by the Continuing Education and Training Association of BC (CETABC), which is a consortium of post-secondary institutions. The evaluation involves both implementation and outcomes research.

Start-end date: December 2011 - March 2013
Sponsor: The Training Group at Douglas College

An Overview of Financial and Social Supports for Students with Dependants in Canada

This project fills knowledge gaps pertaining to existing policy and program levers in place to respond to the needs of students with dependants. The initiative entails jurisdictional policy review to identify the range of federal, provincial, and territorial social and financial programs available to students with dependants and provide an in-depth analysis of the extent to which these programs interact with each other, their degree of integration, and identification of existing program gaps that may prevent these students from undertaking and completing post-secondary education. The analysis informs policy decision-making on the accessibility issues faced by post-secondary students with dependants.

Start-end date: October 2011 - March 2012
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

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

A multidimensional approach to reducing the appeal of sweet beverages

The main goal of the project is to gain a better understanding of how sweet beverages are marketed to target young Canadians so that it is easier to take concrete actions in the future to make environments more conducive to healthy lifestyle habits. To accomplish this, the project incorporates three main thrusts: 1) provide a comprehensive picture of the sweet beverage market in Canada and existing marketing strategies targeting young people; 2) adapt the Gobes-tu ça? project developed by Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec for young Francophones age 13 to 17 in Alberta and, if funding is extended beyond this period, identify other potential sponsors for the Gobes-tu ça? project elsewhere in the country; and 3) disseminate and use our study of the sweet beverage market and adapt this knowledge transfer tool accordingly.

Start-end date: June 2011 - October 2012
Sponsor: Association pour la santé publique du Québec and Public Health Agency of Canada

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

Assessing the Impacts of the New Canada Student Grants Program

This project consists of a program evaluation study of HRSDC’s new Canada Student Grants Program (CSGP). Introduced in 2009, the CSGP consolidates all previous federal student grants. The new grants aim to improve access to post-secondary studies and to reduce costs for students from low- and middle-income families, students with permanent disabilities, part-time students, and students with dependants. The project involves a literature review of relevant policies and programs, an evaluation of the feasibility of the available data and research methods to assess the CSGP, and a final report containing an empirical analysis of the effectiveness of the CSGP in achieving its stated objectives.

Start-end date: February 2011 - March 2012
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development 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

ESWS Service Delivery Model in Action

A follow-up study of the Essential Skills Workplace Services (ESWS) delivery model, which was implemented from 2008-2010 by The Training Group at Douglas College in partnership with a national consortium of colleges specializing in workplace essential skills training. This research study aims to provide a rich understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of the ESWS model along with a series of practical lessons in its implementation. Particular attention is given to the fundamental role of employer engagement and how essential skills training and its benefits are best communicated in a workplace setting.

Start-end date: December 2010 - March 2011
Sponsor: The Training Group at Douglas College

Successful Programs That Were Effective at Economically Integrating Immigrants Into Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs)

This research project seeks to understand the support and services available or needed for newly arrived families in Official Language Minority Communities to help them settle and adapt to life in Canada and to find gainful employment. It also seeks to identify promising ideas that can be implemented and evaluated in the Canadian OLMC context.

Start-end date: November 2010 - April 2011
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Successful Programs That Were Effective in Developing Entrepreneurship Skills Among Youth and Contributed to Sustainable Settlement of Youth in Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs)

This research project focuses on understanding and developing the role of youth entrepreneurship as a strategy to encourage the sustainable settlement of youth in Official Language Minority Communities. It also seeks to identify promising ideas that can be implemented and evaluated in the Canadian OLMC context.

Start-end date: November 2010 - April 2011
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

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

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

The Community Service Learning Program

SRDC was commissioned to conduct the summative evaluation of the University of Ottawa’s Community Service Learning (CSL) program. CSL is an innovative pedagogical model which allows students to contribute to their community by doing volunteer work that is related to their program of study. This evaluation of the CSL program aims to discover the benefits experienced by participating students, professors, and community partners, as well as to identify ways to improve program delivery and positive results.

Start-end date: September 2010 - June 2011
Sponsor: University of Ottawa

Evaluation of the Immigrant Bundle of the BC Employment Program

A process evaluation of an employment program targeted for immigrants and refugees who are permanent residents and in receipt of income assistance to learn about effective practices and outcomes for the clients.

Start-end date: February 2010 - September 2010
Sponsor: B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development

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

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

Summative Evaluation of the 2005 Employment Insurance Pilot Projects

Evaluation of the three employment insurance (EI) pilot projects implemented in 2005 in selected regions across Canada to assess whether or not the pilot projects truly altered targeted EI recipients’ work patterns in such a way as to increase their work effort.

Start-end date: September 2009 - March 2010
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Strategic Evaluation

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

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

Programs for PSE Access and Retention of Under-represented Groups

University and college partners are assessed in terms of their data-readiness for evaluating their programs, supporting achievement of goals, development, or implementation of new programs to increase participation in PSE of first-generation scholars, Aboriginal students, and those from lower-SES backgrounds.

Start-end date: May 2009 - November 2009
Sponsor: Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation

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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City of Vancouver Four Pillars Supported Employment Pilot Project

A project designed to provide long-term unemployed individuals with past addictions with a supported and gradual return to employment. The evaluation involves case studies of four participants and their experience with the program from start to end.

Start-end date: May 2007 - December 2007
Sponsor: City of Vancouver, Social Planning Department, Jobs Policy

Case Coordination Project in Downtown Eastside Vancouver

An evaluation of a three-year demonstration project delivering a multi-component employment-related intervention designed for long-term welfare recipients living in one of the most disadvantaged urban areas in Canada. Many of the program participants had issues with housing, addictions, health (both physical and mental), income, and coping. The service delivery network comprised six non-profit organizations, including an Aboriginal organization helping Aboriginals residing in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Almost half of the program participants were Aboriginal people.

Start-end date: December 2004 - February 2008
Sponsor: City of Vancouver (Vancouver Agreement) Employment Programs

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

BC Job Partnership Pilot Project

A formative evaluation of a British Columbia welfare-to-work pilot project that used third-party labour market intermediary organizations to facilitate and support the employment of income assistance recipients.

Start-end date: December 2000 - March 2001
Sponsor: BC Ministry of Social Development and Economic Security

BladeRunners and Picasso Café: A Case Study Evaluation of Two Work-based Training Programs for Disadvantaged Youth Case

The BladeRunners Partnership and the Picasso Café (Vancouver) both used work-based approaches to re-engage street youth. This case study evaluates the programs’ implementation and effectiveness.

Start-end date: August 1998 - March 2001
Sponsor: HRDC Evaluation and Data Development Branch, HRDC Youth Initiatives Directorate, National Literacy Secretariat, BC Ministry of Community Development, Cooperatives and Volunteers, and ARCO Foundation