INNOVATION, EXPERIMENTATION AND EVALUATION
We help policy-makers and practitioners identify policies and programs that improve the well-being of all Canadians.
The Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC) is a non-profit research organization created specifically to develop, field test, and rigorously evaluate new programs. Our two-part mission is to help policymakers and practitioners identify policies and programs that improve the well-being of all Canadians, with a special concern for the effects on the disadvantaged, and to raise the standards of evidence that are used in assessing these policies.
Since our establishment in December 1991, our SRDC team has conducted over 450 projects and studies for various federal and provincial departments, municipalities, as well as other public and non-profit organizations. We have offices located in Ottawa and Vancouver and satellite offices in Calgary, Hamilton, Montreal, Regina, St. John’s, Toronto, and Winnipeg.
We are an independent, non-profit organization
SRDC is a non-profit corporation and registered charitable organization. We are independent, non-partisan, and do not receive core funding from any government. Our operations are overseen by a distinguished Board of Directors
years of experience in running randomized controlled trials and policy experiments
years of experience in developing and testing of behaviour-based interventions
years of extensive experience advising non-profits, foundations, and sector-based organizations
completed projects using applied econometrics, pay-for-performance and lab experiments
What truly sets SRDC apart, however, is our history of innovation. We have been running randomized controlled trials and policy experiments for 30 years.
We have 25 years of experience in developing and testing behaviour-based interventions.
We have been studying and evaluating social finance initiatives, including social impact bonds, for half a decade. Applied econometrics, pay-for-performance, and lab experiments also figure prominently in our portfolio of over 450 completed projects.
Innovation, experimentation, and evaluation since 1991
In SRDC’s early years, our mission was addressed mainly through large-scale policy experiments. These projects gave us unique insights into program delivery and innovation, as well as experience in a wide range of research and evaluation methodologies. Today the lessons learned from those large-scale projects are applied to a full range of research and evaluation services.
Our Code of Practice
SRDC has been applying high ethical standards to all its research activities for more than 30 years. We pay particular attention to the treatment of participants in our research and demonstration projects.
Our Code of Practice is based on guidelines established by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR); the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada has been applying high ethical standards to all its research activities for more than 30 years. We pay particular attention to the treatment of participants in our research and demonstration projects. Our Code of Practice is based on guidelines established by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
- Respect for Human Dignity
- Respect for Free and Informed Consent
- Respect for Vulnerable Persons
- Respect for Privacy and Confidentiality
- Respect for Justice and Inclusiveness
- Minimizing the Risk of Harm
- Respect for Interests of the Wider Society
- Respect for the Broad Dissemination of Research Findings
- Respect for High Standards of Evidence
- Respect for Truth
Respect for Human Dignity
The cardinal principle of modern research ethics is respect for human dignity. This principle pertains to protecting the multiple and interdependent interests of the person — from bodily to psychological to cultural integrity. It is unacceptable to treat persons solely as objects or things, because doing so fails to respect their intrinsic human dignity and diminishes the humanity of everyone involved. The welfare and integrity of the individual remain paramount in research involving humans.
Respect for Free and Informed Consent
Individuals are presumed to have the capacity and right to make free and informed decisions. Respect for persons means respecting the exercise of individual consent, and the principle of respect for persons translates into a requirement for free and informed consent on the part of all participants in research, including the right to withdraw from research without penalty.
Respect for Vulnerable Persons
Respect for human dignity entails high ethical obligations towards vulnerable persons — those who may be less capable to make decisions regarding their own welfare. Children, institutionalized persons or others who are vulnerable are entitled — on grounds of human dignity, caring and fairness — to special protection against abuse, exploitation, or discrimination. Ethical obligations to vulnerable individuals who are involved in research require the use of special procedures to protect their interests.
Respect for Privacy and Confidentiality
Respect for human dignity encompasses privacy and confidentiality practices. Privacy and confidentiality are considered fundamental to human dignity. Thus, standards of privacy and confidentiality must be applied to protect the access, control and dissemination of personal information. In doing so, such standards help to protect the integrity of individuals.
Respect for Justice and Inclusiveness
Justice implies fairness and equity. In the research setting, it concerns the distribution of benefits and burdens among participants. On the one hand, distributive justice means that no segment of the population should be unfairly burdened with the harms of research. Thus particular attention should be paid to the treatment of vulnerable individuals to ensure that they are not exploited for the advancement of knowledge. On the other hand, distributive justice also imposes duties to neither neglect nor discriminate against individuals and groups who may benefit from advances in research.
Minimizing the Risk of Harm
Attention to the potential for harm is critical to the ethics of research involving humans. Although it is impossible to eliminate all risks from any human endeavor, proposed research activities must be analyzed to ensure that participants are not subjected to unnecessary risks of social, behavioral, psychological, physical, or economic harm. Researchers must also be aware of potential risks associated with the environment and timing of research activities to effectively minimize the risk of unintended harm to participants.
Respect for Interests of the Wider Society
Greater access to research-based evidence should serve the interests of society. Respecting the interests of wider society requires consideration of the potential outcomes of research activities for funders, operational partners, other researchers and evaluators, and others who may be affected by those activities. No research should be undertaken that is predisposed toward a particular outcome. Funders should be provided with an impartial assessment of the methods available to address each research question. Funders and operational partners should be notified of the protocols, standards and guidelines under which the research will be undertaken.
Respect for the Broad Dissemination of Research Findings
The contribution of research to the public good and the advancement of knowledge is maximized when it is shared with a broad audience. Therefore, consideration must be given to ways in which research findings can be shared with the general public, funders, research participants, and colleagues. Findings should be made available in independently published and easily accessible reports. Additionally, non-confidential information regarding methods and data quality should be disclosed to permit other researchers and evaluators to assess the research methods and findings.
Respect for High Standards of Evidence
The analysis of all research data is guided by a commitment to raise the standards of evidence that are used in assessing social policies and programs. This commitment implies the use of the best available technologies, methodologies, and practices appropriate to each research project.
Respect for Truth
Respect for the truth requires that data be accurately gathered, recorded, and preserved. Above all, the results of research must be reported fairly and honestly. Information will not be knowingly misinterpreted or used in inappropriate ways.
SRDC has qualified as a vendor of record or supplier for a number of government departments and organizations. Our current arrangements are listed below. If you have any questions regarding these arrangements or think we would be a good fit with your organization, please let us know at [email protected].
BC Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills
Labour Market Program Evaluators
First Nations Health Authority
Evaluation Consulting; Health Economist Consulting; Policy Consulting
Data Science Services on Issues Related to Criminal Justice System Involvement
Commissioned Research Services – Vendor of Record: Quantitative Research; In-Person Qualitative Research; Marketing Data Services
Research and Evaluation Services – Vendor of Record: Early Learning; Secondary Education; Postsecondary Education; Apprenticeship and Skills Training; Labour Market Analysis, Employment Services, Adult Education/Literacy and Basic Skills Training; Social and Economic Integration of Immigrants and Second-Generation Canadians
Public Health Agency of Canada
Public health expertise
Public Works and Government Services Canada
Pro Services SA – Business Analyst; Business Consultant; Business Process Consultant; Needs Analysis and Research Consultant; Statistical Analyst; Knowledge Management Consultant; Evaluation Services Consultant; Performance Measurement Consultant; Subject Matter Expert; Facilitator Consultant
Public Works and Government Services Canada
Tasks and Solutions Professional Services – Solutions-based Services: Business Consulting/Change Management Services Stream