Evaluation: Enabling Fund for official language minority communities

Official title: Summative Evaluation of the Enabling Fund for Official Language Minority Communities

This report presents the findings from the Summative Evaluation of the Enabling Fund for Official Language Minority Communities (henceforth 'the Enabling Fund' or 'the Fund'). The evaluation was conducted by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) and primarily focused on activities completed during fiscal year 2010-11.

List of abbreviations

  • CCEDECs - Community Economic Development and Employability Committees
  • CEDEC - Community Economic Development and Employability Corporation
  • HRSDC - Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
  • OLA - Official Languages Act
  • OLMCs - Official language minority communities
  • RDÉEs - Réseaux de développement économique et d'employabilité
  • SNC - Secretariat of National Committees

List of definitions

Contribution Agreement: The Enabling Fund is delivered in the form of contribution agreements between HRSDC and OLMC organizations.

Contribution Agreement Signatories: The organization that signs the contribution agreement with HRSDC for funding from the Enabling Fund.

Enabling Fund or Fund (The): The Enabling Fund for Official Language Minority Communities.

National Committee - Anglophone: National Human Resource Development Committee for the English Linguistic Minority (National Committee) in Quebec.

National Committee - Francophone: Comité national de développement économique et d'employabilité (Comité national) pour les communautés francophones.

Participants: Participants attended activities Contribution Agreement Signatories or partners supported. The Enabling Fund involved many types of participants. Most participants contacted for this evaluation participated in an entrepreneurial/employability event. The level of direct contact between these participants and the signatory organization is unknown.

Partners: Partners are those that cooperated with the signatory organization in carrying out the activity. The nature of the partner's cooperation varied from a supporting role to the signatory organization, to being the lead person in carrying out the activity with the organization's support.

Executive summary

Overview of the program

The overall objective of the Enabling Fund is to enhance the development and vitality of official language minority communities (OLMC) by strengthening capacity in the areas of human resource and community economic development, and by promoting partnerships at all levels, including with federal departments. The Fund plays the role of facilitator by helping OLMCs create and strengthen partnerships, and gain access to additional sources of funding. The Fund is intended to complement existing programs that directly support OLMCs.

The Enabling Fund has an annual budget of $13.8 million, of which an average of $12 million funds contribution agreements and $1.8 million is used for program policy and management as well as research, analysis, monitoring, evaluation and secretariat services for two National Committees. Funding is provided to 14 Contribution Agreement Signatories (13 provincial/territorial and 1 national organization) who receive support to carry out activities that will ultimately benefit OLMCs. In the 2010-11 fiscal year, Contribution Agreement Signatories spent $11.5 million and HRSDC spent $1.4 million on operating and management expenses.

Evaluation approach

The summative evaluation of the Enabling Fund, which follows the formative evaluation completed in 2008-09, used multiple lines of evidence to assess the relevance and performance of the Fund. The summative evaluation was executed in two phases. Phase I assessed the feasibility of conducting the full summative evaluation (Phase II). In Phase I, the evaluation team reviewed the final quarterly reports submitted by Contribution Agreement Signatories for fiscal year 2010-11, and completed interviews with Contribution Agreement Signatories to collect and validate information on activities, and to confirm the availability of contact information for community partners and participants. Phase II activity included an assessment of more than 2,000 documents and the activities and outputs reported by Contribution Agreement Signatories in the 2010-11 fiscal year. Additionally, the evaluation included key informant interviews with representatives of all of the Contribution Agreement Signatories; HRSDC staff and program managers; representatives of the national organization and committees; and semi-structured interviews with community partners and participants.

Evaluation strengths and limitations

Given the complexity and diversity of the Fund's activities and initiatives, the summative evaluation aimed to present objective and credible findings by using evaluation methods tailored to the nature of the program, including both quantitative and qualitative methods. The evaluation team utilized a large volume of data, information and documentation, which allowed an examination of the link between the needs of OLMCs, the activities carried out, and the objectives of the Fund.

Due to the nature of the Fund, there were limitations in measuring the incremental impacts at the community level. This was a result of the Fund's facilitative role and the complexity of factors that impact community-level outcomes. In addition, due to their type and completeness, the data collected could not always be used to fully address the evaluation questions or fully measure the Program's impacts. The nature of the Fund also made it difficult to develop performance measures that could be used to calculate the Fund's direct impacts and to attribute the findings directly to the Fund. Nevertheless, attribution could be demonstrated at the activity and output level, as well as for some outcomes (e.g., leveraging and partnerships).

Main findings

Relevance of the Enabling Fund

According to the Census, over two million people in Canada belonged to an official language minority population in 2011. These individuals were approximately evenly divided into minority Anglophones and Francophones, with 1,057,485 Anglophones living in Quebec and 1,007,590 Francophones living outside Quebec. Economic trends among OLMCs and minority-language speakers are complex. For instance, while some OLMCs are on par with majority communities in terms of labour force participation and income level, others are struggling to maintain the vitality of their communities. The flexibility of the Enabling Fund allows Contribution Agreement Signatories to tailor their activities to the needs of the OLMCs in their provinces and territories. The evaluation found that signatories followed a process of researching and planning prior to undertaking their activities in order to meet the needs of the communities they serve.

The Contribution Agreement Signatories confirmed that their communities face economic and human resource development challenges. The recent Report of the Standing Committee on Official Languages also confirmed the continued needs of these communities.Footnote 1 While differences exist, there are parallels in the needs of all OLMCs, particularly in terms of the Enabling Fund goals of supporting community vitality and economic development. Community partners and participants found the activities in which they participated to be relevant and useful. Partners found the activities to be useful in terms of: contributing to the promotion of minority language communities; developing mutual aid; community collaboration and partnerships at different levels of government and non-government organizations; helping with enterprise development and cooperation; contributing to job creation and retention of youth in the community; and facilitating networking. Community participants felt that activities they participated in were useful in terms of: contributing to the promotion of minority language communities, the development of their community, their skills development, youth retention, and regional tourism. They also felt that the activities facilitated networking.

In addition to being relevant to the official language minority population and communities, the Enabling Fund responds directly to departmental and federal priorities. Specifically, the objectives of the Fund align with legal and mandated responsibilities, as well as with the commitments to support linguistic duality, develop a skilled, flexible labour market, and focus on community-based solutions when relevant.

The Enabling Fund is one of the measures undertaken by the federal government under Section 41 of the Official Languages Act 1988. Moreover, the Government of Canada has committed to support both official languages in its policy of linguistic duality as set out in the Roadmap for Linguistic Duality 2008-2013: Acting for the Future (2008) and the Speech from the Throne (2010). More recently, Budget 2012 announced that the Economic Action Plan 2012 would continue to support official languages by maintaining funding to protect, celebrate and enhance Canada's linguistic duality.

Human resources development among OLMCs is one of the key expected outcomes of the Enabling Fund and is consistent with the government's and HRSDC's priority to develop a skilled, adaptable and inclusive labour force and an efficient labour market. HRSDC specifically notes OLMCs as a key client community. Furthermore, the Enabling Fund is also aligned with the priority to engage in community-based solutions as outlined in the 2010 and 2011 Speeches from the Throne.

Performance

The assessment of activities and outputs showed that Contribution Agreement Signatories undertake a wide range of activities and deliver outputs that support the Enabling Fund's objectives. The range of activities speaks to the various roles and levels of collaboration between Contribution Agreement Signatories and their partners; where in some cases the organization leads a project, in others it provides support to partner organizations. Interviews with Contribution Agreement Signatories and the review of activities and documents showed that the activities and outputs are aligned with the Enabling Fund's objectives of community-level capacity building, economic development, human resources development, and leveraging.

Community capacity building involves processes that encourage participation and engagement and that strengthen the capacities of individuals, groups and communities. Activities that supported community capacity building aimed to: enhance the recipient organization to increase its reach in the community and improve performance; assess community needs and report on OLMC community economic development and human resource development; engage community partners to support and plan activities; plan with partners and communities to sustain community economic development and human resources development; support the activities of stakeholders in the community; and promote awareness within the minority community and to the broader community (in particular, the official language majority community).

PERCÉ Program - Atlantic Provinces

The PERCÉ program was developed in 2004 by La Société de développement de la Baie acadienne, in partnership with RDÉE Île-du-Prince-Edouard, an organization funded by the Enabling Fund. The program aims to respond to youth exodus, in particular youth who leave their province or region to complete their postsecondary education and do not return. The program introduces youth to career opportunities that exist in their native province. In 2010-11, the program was expanded to include all Atlantic Provinces. In total, there were 44 summer internships and 7 fall internships.

To contribute to human resources development, Contribution Agreement Signatories developed learning tools (e.g., manuals, curricula); hosted or facilitated learning events (e.g., workshops, training sessions, camps); and provided guidance and support to jobseekers. Community economic development was supported by focusing on: promoting OLMC businesses to the community; promoting OLMC as a tourist destination to the rest of the country and abroad; holding events to retain or recruit young workers; and assisting in meeting the demands of employers. Activities supported by the Enabling Fund were also successful in supporting community economic development by generating revenue. A few Contribution Agreement Signatories reported events supported, at least in part, by the Enabling Fund that generated revenue for them or OLMC businesses.

Bikes in the Bay - Campbell's Bay, Quebec

Since 2005, the community of Campbell's Bay has been affected by the closure of a number of local lumbers mills. In 2007, CEDEC, an organization funded by the Enabling Fund, provided support and guidance to the community to help them establish the "Bikes in the Bay" summer festival. The first edition of the festival took place in 2008. Since then, the annual festival has been growing steadily. CEDEC's involvement in Campbell's Bay was described as instrumental to the community's revival.

Leveraging is perhaps the most tangible outcome of the Enabling Fund. Leveraging is defined as a financial or in-kind contribution from a federal, provincial, municipal, private sector, or community organization through a partnership framework in which the recipient organization initiates a community economic or human resources development project and exercises the lead role. Enabling Fund Contribution Agreement Signatories were successful in leveraging an additional $20.5 million. These leveraged contributions were primarily financial, although in-kind contributions were also received. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of reported leveraged support was received from other government programs (federal, provincial, and municipal). Most of the remainder came from nongovernmental organizations (such as community associations). The private sector contributed about 4% of leveraged support.

For every dollar invested by the Enabling Fund in 2010-11, Contribution Agreement Signatories leveraged $1.37 in financial support and $0.40 in in-kind support, for a total leverage of $1.78 for every contribution dollar invested by the Fund.Footnote 2 While the logic model includes "leveraged funds and programs support OLMC human resource and community economic development" as a direct outcome, Contribution Agreement Signatories were not required to report on how the contributions they leveraged supported these two objectives. Given the range of reported activities that supported human resource and community economic development, it is likely that the leveraged funds contributed to these objectives. However, with the performance indicators and reporting requirements that were in place in 2010-11, this cannot be confirmed.

In 2010-11, $1.4 million supported operating and management expenses, including funding for program policy, research, analysis, monitoring, and the Secretariat of National Committees. This amount spent on program operation and management within HRSDC was equivalent to 11% of total expenditures. Since the last formative evaluation, HRSDC has continued to work towards better performance management by conducting research and analysis, and by investing in the development of tools to support Contribution Agreement Signatories in their work. The support provided by HRSDC program staff to Contribution Agreement Signatories and to National Committee members was considered useful. Program staff was perceived as being accessible, knowledgeable, and understanding. However, approximately, one-third of signatories commented that they felt staff did not sufficiently understand or respond to the signatories' situations (for example, their financial reality or the effects that data collection and performance measurement tools had on the signatories' organizations).

While Contribution Agreement Signatories play an important role in enhancing the development and vitality of OLMCs, the Enabling Fund is designed to play a facilitative role and is therefore only one among many potential contributors to community development and vitality. Outcomes such as community economic development are also difficult to measure and are influenced by factors beyond the control of the Contribution Agreement Signatories. Despite the challenges in fully attributing results and outcomes to the Fund, attribution can be demonstrated at the activity and output level. Through the process of validating the Contribution Agreement Signatories' activities, many of the outputs resulting from the Fund's activities could be attributed with certainty either to the activities carried out by the Fund's signatories directly or through their partners. Also, these activities and outputs were clearly aligned with the objectives of the Enabling Fund, and can be seen as contributing to the Fund's ultimate outcomes.

Performance measurement and data reporting

The formative evaluation concluded that a lack of consistent and credible information limited HRSDC's ability to understand the activities, outputs and outcomes that could be attributed to the Enabling Fund. Since the formative evaluation, the program has made changes to its data reporting processes, more specifically in terms of updating the performance measurement framework to reflect a revised logic model. In addition, a standardized data collection tool was developed to record performance measurement indicators and these indicators are included in Contribution Agreement Signatories' regular reports. The reporting templates also include information on the activities, outputs and observed outcomes. However, these templates do not feed into an electronic database and the data reporting process does not capture information in a consistent way. The varying quality of the recorded information limits the potential analysis and reporting on outputs, observed outcomes and performance indicators. Additionally, from the information provided in the quarterly reports, it continues to be difficult to understand the nature of all activities and whether they have taken place to the extent planned.

Contribution Agreement Signatories recognized the importance of reporting. However they felt that, despite changes to the reporting frequency, the current reporting requirements reduced the time available to engage with their communities. Additionally, the contribution agreements are one year in length and Contribution Agreement Signatories found it difficult to report on the longer term impacts and successes within the one-year reporting cycle. This was especially challenging when projects faced delays or were not scheduled to start at the beginning of the fiscal year.

While all contribution agreements included at least some performance measurement indicators related to the objectives of the Enabling Fund, the collected information did not enable the measurement of the program's performance. The majority of the Contribution Agreement Signatories indicated that from their perspective the current indicators do not adequately measure the performance of the Fund. Additionally, effective performance measurement requires a clear measure of success and a series of timelines, targets, benchmarks or baselines for the chosen performance indicators. These do not exist for the current suite of indicators.

National Committee structure

The findings suggest that as per recommendations arising from the formative evaluation, there have been several improvements in the operations of the national committees. For example, the Francophone National Committee board membership was reviewed and changed to be more inclusive and more representative. Additionally, there have been improvements in the areas of knowledge sharing and committee memberships, as well as a shift of discussions towards focusing on regional challenges, human resources and community economic development. While progress has been made, the findings also indicate that there is room for continued improvement of National Committee operations. Changes still can be made to further enhance representation and horizontality at national committee meetings. Findings also highlight the need to further clarify the purpose of the National Committees and assess whether it is meeting the needs and objectives of the Enabling Fund.

Recommendations

Based on the findings and conclusions from the evaluation, it is recommended that:

  • The Enabling Fund develops a clear definition of Program success and revises the Program's performance measurement strategy to include success measures with a view to collect essential information focused on performance management.
  • The Enabling Fund improves the data collection and reporting processes by simplifying the reporting template and decreasing the reporting frequency. An electronic template be implemented that collects information essential for performance measurement and improves reporting consistency to help ensure that the data are being collected and reported on for future analytical, monitoring and evaluation work.
  • The Enabling Fund clarifies the purpose of the National Committees as well as assesses whether they are meeting the Program's needs and objectives.

Management response

Introduction

The Employment Programs and Partnerships Directorate (EPPD) is pleased to respond to the summative evaluation of the Enabling Fund for Official Language Minority Communities (henceforth 'the Enabling Fund' or 'the Fund'). The evaluation findings and recommendations will help inform and support current efforts toward the Fund's renewal. The report is particularly timely as the Enabling Fund's authorities and Terms and Conditions sunset in March 2013 with the ending of the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008-2013 (the Roadmap). Introduced in 2008, the five-year Roadmap represents a comprehensive strategy with an unprecedented investment of $1.1B guiding the efforts of 15 federal departments delivering 32 initiatives.

EPPD recognizes the significant amount of work that was required to produce this evaluation and thanks everyone who participated for their valuable perspectives and insights.

Enabling Fund for official language minority communities

Launched in 2005, the Enabling Fund and its predecessor the Support Fund (1999-2005) represent a sustained effort to enable community-wide economic development. Economic development is a key component of the Government of Canada's strategy for Canada's linguistic duality. It supports choice for individual members of Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs) by improving opportunities to live and work within their OLMC, and use their language while benefiting from a good quality of life.

The Fund's key objective is to enhance the development and vitality of OLMCs by strengthening capacity in the areas of community economic development and human resource development and by promoting partnerships at all levels to consolidate resources and take concerted actions.

Over the last decade, activities supported by the Fund have evolved from economic and human resources capacity building in OLMCs to supporting and leading collaborative community economic development efforts contributing to better labour market outcomes.

Concretely, the Enabling Fund supports fourteen organizations from two networks that provide on-going professional support to over a hundred private sector volunteers active in the area of community economic and human resources development. These are leaders from each Canadian province and territory that participate actively through Boards of Directors, community planning exercises and in economic development initiatives. The Enabling Fund allows for interactions between these organizations and with federal departments, resulting in an environment amenable to knowledge transfer and collaborative action.

The evaluation confirms that the Enabling Fund continues to be relevant and useful in addressing OLMCs' community economic and human resources development needs. In addition to allowing the Department to meet its legal and mandated responsibilities, the program responds directly to departmental and federal priorities. Findings also demonstrate the strength of the program in terms of leveraging resources and facilitating partnerships. The evaluation highlights that the Fund appears to be well-implemented within HRSDC and that staff are perceived by Contribution Agreement Signatories as being accessible, knowledgeable and understanding. Finally, the evaluation confirms that the Enabling Fund contributes to community development and vitality and that attribution can be demonstrated at the activity and output level.

While there is evidence that the Enabling Fund is responsive to OLMCs' needs and that progress has been made since its implementation, there remain areas requiring ongoing work and improvements. The following provides details on what HRSDC is doing and what further action will be taken in response to the evaluation's recommendations.

Recommendation #1: The Enabling Fund develops a clear definition of Program success and revises the Program's performance measurement strategy to include success measures with a view to collect essential information focused on performance management.

EPPD agrees with this recommendation.

Over the past several years, EPPD has made steady incremental progress in improving results management. This has included working with community partners to strengthen the overall results focus and supporting organizations by developing tools to better collect data and measure positive change in communities. The evaluation report clearly recognized the challenges of measuring the impact of the Enabling Fund given the complexities of community conditions, the diversity of activities and the difficulty in attributing changes to any given organization or activity. EPPD agrees that there remains, however, room for improvement in this area and additional effort will be required to define, at an aggregate level, Enabling Fund success, objectives, outcomes and performance indicators.

In recent years, evaluation practitioners have made progress in developing tools and approaches to improve understanding and measurement of impact in the areas of community economic and human resources development. These approaches engage communities and allow for the measurement of change in ways that are relevant to the people and organizations that experience or contribute to it. These advancements will help EPPD better measure successes, impacts and results in community economic and human resources development initiatives.

Over the next 12 months, and in the context of the Enabling Fund's renewal, EPPD in collaboration with experts and with input from recipient organizations will develop and implement a new performance measurement framework. The framework will include a clear definition of overall Program success and include sufficient flexibility for result measures to be meaningful at a local level as well as meet federal accountability requirements. This will require striking a balance between focussing efforts and allowing for organizations to respond to the diversity of local needs.

For example, measures will be linked to organizations' strategic plans with the specific metrics selected to measure the progress towards each plan's objectives. If, for example the recipient organization's objective is to diversify the local economy away from a dependence on traditional industries by supporting the growth of knowledge intensive businesses, they will be required to include a specific metric that will show the number of jobs created or how many new knowledge intensive businesses have been opened or expanded in the area.

Recipient organizations will require the Enabling Fund's support to fully implement the performance measurement framework. The implementation of the framework will be done in a manner to allow for system-wide learning, peer review and ongoing progress in management processes.

Over the next 12 months and in the context of program renewal, EPPD will develop and implement tools to ensure that local-level information is available to Contribution Agreement Signatories. Locally meaningful labour market-related information will help support efforts to develop responsive strategic plans and to identify meaningful objectives for communities. This could include a quarterly newsletter with OLMC economic development-related intelligence and other tools to share information on an on-going basis.

The contribution agreement beginning in 2014-15 will include a requirement that recipient organizations communicate and define organizational success as per their strategic plans and clearly demonstrate the indicators that will allow for the measurement of that success. EPPD will work closely with organizations to clarify links between activities and outcomes and will support organizations to enhance the results culture of organizations and of the program.

The level of organizational engagement and buy-in as well as the department's ability to provide support will be important determinants of success. These risks are manageable and will not limit EPPD's ability to deliver on this commitment. This said, strains to existing capacity on both sides could slow progress. EPPD is committed to continuing to progress in this area given the contribution of performance measurement to organizational learning and priority-setting.

Recommendation #2: The Enabling Fund improves the data collection and reporting processes by simplifying the reporting template and decreasing the reporting frequency. An electronic template be implemented that collects information essential for performance measurement and improves reporting consistency to help ensure that the data are being collected and reported on for future analytical, monitoring and evaluation work.

EPPD agrees with this recommendation.

The formative evaluation of the Enabling Fund that was undertaken in 2007-08 highlighted certain shortcomings in data collection and accountability processes. Since that time, EPPD has taken steps to simplify reporting for recipient organizations by streamlining electronic forms and providing better contextual information on the nature of the information required.

While the summative evaluation report recognizes these improvements, there continues to be a need for progress on streamlining data collection and results reporting. EPPD is currently investigating promising practices across the department. Enabling Fund officials from HRSDC are actively participating in the departmental Grants and Contributions (Gs and Cs) Modernization Agenda. G and C Modernization seeks to standardize business processes and tools making administrative processes more efficient, simplified and streamlined. EPPD will use certain tools developed under this initiative in the 2013-14 call for proposal process.

Collecting essential information as per the revised performance measurement strategy will be a priority for EPPD after the Fund's renewal. EPPD commits to having the electronic data collection framework in place in the next 12 months. In fact, a number of options have been explored and Contribution Agreement Signatories have been engaged on this issue. While HRSDC's Program Operations Branch already has a database that captures financial and some activity-related data, its focus is on outputs rather than on performance data and other "essential information".

It is clear that identifying and capturing "essential information" without overly increasing the reporting burden or significantly increasing program costs has been a challenge. Since decisions to segregate financial and program responsibilities were taken in 2007, some additional complexities were unintentionally introduced for recipient organizations. This is because the financial monitoring and performance monitoring have yet to be reviewed holistically to ensure that only critical information is being requested from organizations. As part of the process of developing an electronic data collection framework and reducing the reporting burden on Contribution Agreement Signatories, in the next 6 months, EPPD will undertake a review and rationalization of all current reporting requirements on recipient organizations. While reporting to other government departments will be included, the primary focus of the exercise will be on departmental data reporting requirements.

To reduce the reporting burden on organizations, the Enabling Fund will periodically revisit data requirements to determine their ongoing usefulness and value. The issue of reporting frequency will also be addressed in part by identifying which measures make sense to track on a monthly basis, and which are only meaningful to track on a quarterly, semi-annual or even annual basis.

Some data are easy for recipient organizations to collect, such as number of participants in activities, because the data can be generated by the organizations themselves. Other data, such as changes in employment levels in communities, are more complex and will require Enabling Fund support (e.g. by providing data and analysis on current labour market trends, for example).

EPPD is committed to improving data collection and to ensuring that it supports the broader performance measurement strategy. The availability of data is key to informing the actions and activities of program authorities and of Enabling Fund recipient organizations. Within 6 months of the renewal of the program, a working group with representatives from recipient organizations and the Enabling Fund will be struck to oversee the development, implementation and quality control of an electronic data collection and reporting framework.

Finally, EPPD has made progress in strengthening the availability and relevance of information to support recipient organizations in the development of their strategic plans, associated priorities and performance measures. For example, EPPD worked with an expert consultant and with representatives from recipient organizations to develop and pilot a community self-assessment tool. The tool helps organizations work with their community partners to identify community assets and barriers to development.

Over the next 12 months this tool will be implemented across the network of organizations.

EPPD has also worked with Statistics Canada and internal experts to better understand OLMC labour markets and labour forces. This has included work to better understand the dynamics of OLMC local labour markets including gauging the current supply of skills in OLMCs, the local demand for skills and bilingual capacity, assessing in which sectors OLMCs participate, identifying growth and declining sectors in or near OLMC labour markets, etc. This work was undertaken with the objective of generating an information base to support recipient organizations in the identification of local needs and potential development opportunities for their respective communities. A renewed Enabling Fund will place considerably more emphasis on the dissemination of locally relevant information.

Recommendation #3: The Enabling Fund clarifies the purpose of the National Committees as well as assesses whether it is meeting the Program's needs and objectives.

EPPD agrees with this recommendation.

The evaluation recognizes recent improvements to the operations of the National Committees and acknowledges the efforts of HRSDC Program officials and National Committee members. These improvements have allowed for greater knowledge sharing, representativeness and more focus on regional issues.

Despite progress, the evaluation confirms that there continues to be a need for further clarification of purpose and an assessment of whether National Committees contribute to the Enabling Fund's objectives.

EPPD is committed to improving the National Committees and Program governance more generally. One distinguishing feature of the Enabling Fund is the deliberate effort to integrate collaborative approaches within the Program's design. The National Committees are unique in that they bring together OLMC economic/business leaders, government officials and other community stakeholders. Moving forward the Enabling Fund will work with its stakeholders to develop a vision for the National Committees and help formulate a common perspective.

Before the 2014-15 call for proposals, a strategic plan will be developed for the National Committees that clearly defines the mandate and objectives for the Committees. It will include success indicators and a description of roles and responsibilities. Governance arrangements require adjustments over time to remain relevant. While evolution is normal, it is crucial that explicit measures be taken to ensure that stakeholders continue to be committed and share a guiding strategic vision.

In 2010, a draft strategic plan was developed with the English-speaking minority community and government representatives. This work provides a good starting point for future discussions. In addition to clarifying the mandate, roles and responsibilities, EPPD commits to developing a communication strategy for the Committees. Federal and OLMC National Committee representatives require strategic communications support in order to be better equipped to prepare for meetings and to disseminate outcomes within their respective communities/departments and contribute to more concerted action. The communications strategy will be developed in parallel with the joint strategic plan and will also be in place before the 2014-15 call for proposals.

In recent months, efforts have been made to strengthen governance and, as a result, there have been significant improvements in regional representation on National Committees. In fact, Boards of Directors for each recipient organization now select provincial/territorial representatives to participate on the National Committee, thus allowing for a greater focus on regional perspectives related to community economic and human resources development challenges and opportunities. In addition, the federal co-chair of each National Committee is now at the ADM-level, which has had an impact on the nature and level of Committee discussions.

In March 2012, the Enabling Fund and the Francophone and Anglophone network umbrella organizations worked collaboratively to host the first joint national meeting. This was the first time representatives from both the Francophone and English-speaking minority networks came together at one National Committee meeting to exchange on community economic and human resources development issues. Feedback received on this event confirmed that organizations found value in exchanging on issues of common interest and in sharing successful practices. With renewal, similar meetings will be held on an annual or bi-annual basis.

Optimizing this unique forum will be a priority area for action following the renewal of the Enabling Fund. This work will contribute to strengthening the responsiveness of relationships between OLMC economies and communities so that both benefit and sustain advantages. National Committees bring federal, private sector and community economic, social and policy interests together and provide a space for collaboration on strategies for communities.

1. Introduction

This report provides an overview of the findings from the summative evaluation of the Enabling Fund for Official Language Minority Communities (henceforth 'the Enabling Fund' or 'the Fund'). The evaluation was conducted by the Evaluation Directorate of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) in 2010-11 and 2011-12. The report is organized as follows:

  • Section One provides an overview of the Enabling Fund;
  • Section Two describes the evaluation methodology;
  • Section Three summarizes the evaluation findings; and
  • Section Four provides conclusions and recommendations.

1.1 The Enabling Fund for Official Language Minority Communities

The Enabling Fund for Official Language Minority Communities provides funding to official language minority community (OLMC) organizations and its objective is to enhance the development and vitality of OLMCs by strengthening their capacity in the areas of human resources and community economic development, and by promoting partnerships at all levels, including with federal partners. The Enabling Fund provides funding to OLMC-designated organizations to support activities such as developing, adopting and implementing community economic and human resource development plans; creating, implementing and consolidating collaborative community projects; and mobilizing community stakeholders to further community economic development.Footnote 3 The Fund also plays the role of facilitator by helping organizations to create and strengthen partnerships, and to gain access to additional sources of funding.

The Enabling Fund was launched on April 1, 2005 to replace the Support Fund (1999-2005). From 2005 to May 31, 2008, the Enabling Fund continued to provide support to OLMCs. Funding was renewed for fiscal year 2008-09 and subsequently, for four additional years (up to and including fiscal year 2012-13) as part of the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008-2013: Acting for the Future (henceforth 'the Roadmap'). The Roadmap is a horizontal initiative led by Canadian Heritage with funding of $1.1 billion, of which $69 million over five years was allocated for the Enabling Fund.

The majority of the Fund's budget is allocated under contribution agreements with 14 eligible Contribution Agreement Signatories:

Réseau de développement économique et d'employabilité (RDÉE Canada);

  • Twelve Réseaux de développement économique et d'employabilité (RDÉEs) one for each province and territory, not including Quebec.Footnote 4
  • The Community Economic Development and Employability Corporation (Quebec), which supports nine local Community Economic Development and Employability Committees (CEDECs);Footnote 5 and

The list of Enabling Fund beneficiaries is included in Appendix A.

Governance of the Enabling Fund is provided by two national committees of federal and community representatives: a national committee representing Francophone OLMCs (the Comité national d'employabilité et de développement économique communautaire) and a national committee representing the English-speaking community in Quebec (the National Human Resources Development Committee). The two national committees are composed of representatives from the communities and the federal government and are a mechanism for direct consultation on issues of human resource and community economic development. The committees are co-chaired by HRSDC and a community representative, and are mandated to develop and implement strategic development plans. The national committees also perform functions to support OLMCs in terms of coordination, information dissemination, liaison and research.

HRSDC's roles with respect to the Enabling Fund include meeting legal (see Section 1.2) and mandated responsibilities and implementing the Enabling Fund. The Official Language Minority Communities Division in the Employment Programs and Partnerships DirectorateFootnote 6 of HRSDC's Skills and Employment Branch is responsible for the overall delivery of the Enabling Fund, monitoring results, and financial oversight. The Division also provides secretariat services to the two national committees and the federal co-chair. The Division ensures that contribution agreements have clear objectives and focus on results for communities, include specific activities with well-defined responsibilities, and specify reporting requirements.

Funding applications are submitted to the Internal Project Review Committee. Each application is examined by a review committee. This committee is responsible for verifying whether applications meet the Fund's terms and conditions and for providing recommendations for departmental approval and the signing of a contribution agreement. Once contribution agreements are approved, the Project Management and Administration DivisionFootnote 7 ensures receipt of requirements for funding and activities, and coordinates compliance reviews and program audits. Together, the Official Language Minority Communities Division, the Internal Project Review Committee, and the Project Management and Administration Division work together in implementing the Fund.

1.2 The Official Languages Act 1988

The Enabling Fund is one of the measures which helps fulfill the federal government's obligations under Section 41 of the Official Languages Act (OLA) of 1988. The OLA stems from the Constitution of Canada, which provides that English and French are the two official languages of Canada. Pursuant to Part VII, section 41 of the OLA, the federal government is committed :Footnote 8

  • to enhance the vitality of the English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada and supporting and assisting their development, and;
  • to foster the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society.

1.3 Official language minority communities in Canada

The Enabling Fund targets OLMCs. For the purpose of this report, OLMCs are defined as being a population group unified by language. OLMCs generally consist of Francophones outside of Quebec and the English-speaking community in Quebec.Footnote 9 OLMCs may also include groups unified by language regardless of their geographic area (e.g., subscribers of an official language minority newspaper or members of an official language minority association). OLMCs have distinct histories: some are 'founding communities' that predate Confederation; while others are the result of interprovincial migrations driven by later socioeconomic opportunities. Some OLMCs boast longstanding community associations which provide links within their community or to other minority language communities while others may not have developed such formal links. In some OLMCs, community members may live and work in the minority official language; in other OLMCs, their use of their minority language may be more restricted.Footnote 10

Examples of types of OLMCs include:

  • A grouping of several counties (e.g., Acadian Peninsula, NB);
  • Consolidated counties (e.g., Prescott-Russell, ON);
  • Cities (e.g., Hearst and Sudbury, ON);
  • Neighbourhoods within larger cities/urban agglomeration (e.g., Vanier, ON; Beaconsfield and Lennoxville, QC);
  • Towns and villages (e.g., Bonnyville, AB; Gravelbourg and Zénon Park, SK); or
  • Francophone/Anglophone minorities located in major metropolitan regions (e.g., Francophones living in Calgary; Anglophones living in Quebec City).

Overall, the Enabling Fund complements existing support programs that directly assist OLMCs.Footnote11 Other sources of contributions accessed by Contribution Agreement Signatories may include those from local or community organizations, municipal, provincial or territorial programs, or federal programs. The exact roles and level of collaboration between the Contribution Agreement Signatories and other programs/organizations will vary, with either acting as lead, advisor, participant or observer. Ultimately, the Enabling Fund is only one among many potential contributors to OLMC development and vitality.

1.3.1 Intended beneficiaries

The Fund helps OLMCs to develop projects for communities and to access additional sources of funding for those projects. Rather than supporting individuals, the Fund creates conditions that enable sustainable human resources and community-wide economic development for OLMCs. Through the contribution agreements, direct recipients of the Enabling Fund are the 14 designated agencies who receive the funds to support and carry out activities that will ultimately benefit OLMCs and their populations.

The ultimate beneficiaries of the Enabling Fund are those who form the OLMCs across Canada. According to the Census, over two million people in Canada belonged to an official language minority population in 2011, as derived from Census respondents' knowledge of official languages, their mother tongue, and the language spoken at home.Footnote12 These numbers were approximately evenly divided into minority Anglophones and Francophones, with 1,057,485 Anglophones living inQuébec, and 1,007,590 Francophones living outsideQuébec. Minority language Francophones live primarily in Ontario (542,390) and New Brunswick (235,695).Footnote13 (See Exhibit 1-1).

Exhibit 1-1: Official language minority members by province and territory
Province/territory Official language minority Members percentage of
provincial/territorial population
Newfoundland and Labrador 2,100 0.4%
Prince Edward Island 4,810 3.5%
Nova Scotia 30,330 3.3%
New Brunswick 235,695 31.9%
Québec 1,057,485 13.5%
Ontario 542,390 4.3%
Manitoba 41,365 3.5%
Saskatchewan 14,290 1.4%
Alberta 71,370 2.0%
British Columbia 62,195 1.4%
Yukon 1,485 4.4%
Northwest Territories 1,080 2.6%
Nunavut 480 1.5%
  • Source from the above table Note: Statistics Canada, 2011 Census of Population. The official language identity variable is based on responses to Census questions regarding knowledge of official languages, mother tongue, and language spoken at home. As such, the above exhibit is indicative of official language minority populations based on whether individuals speak only English or only French, and if they speak both, from the perspective of their mother tongue or language spoken at home.

1.4 Resources and allocation

The Enabling Fund has an annual budget of $13.8 million, with an average of $12 million to fund contribution agreements and $1.8 million for operating and management expenses. In the 2010-11 fiscal year $11.5 million was spent by Contribution Agreement Signatories. Of the $11.5 million, two-thirds ($7.7 million) was used for the salaries and related expenses of Contribution Agreement Signatories' staff. Contribution Agreement Signatories also allocated a significant proportion to projects-specific costs, such as facility rental expenses for hosting events or publishing costs for communications materials.

The operating and management expenses of the Enabling Fund totaled $1.4 million in 2010-11 and included funding for program policy, research, analysis, monitoring, and evaluation, as well as for the Secretariat of National Committees (SNC) and other meetings.Footnote14 More specifically, these expenses cover:

  • Program operations such as overseeing contribution agreements with Enabling Fund Contribution Agreement Signatories and monitoring their progress.
  • Program intelligence such as being able to report to HRSDC on the activities of the Contribution Agreement Signatories and supporting organizations with relevant information. In addition, data and analysis (including analysis conducted internally) are provided to recipient organizations to help inform their priorities and actions, and tools are developed jointly by the Program and recipients to support communities' human resources and community economic development.
  • Program performance including governance reviews, evaluations and financial audits.
  • Stakeholder engagement including participation on various human resources and community economic development related working groups and committees, as well as liaising with other government departments, Contribution Agreement Signatories and other stakeholders on matters related to human resources and community economic development in OLMCs.

The Enabling Fund is supported by two full-time positions in the Project Management and Administration Division and between 10 and 12 full-time positions in the Official Language Minority Communities Division.

1.5 Logic model

To illustrate the bonds between the activities, outputs and outcomes (direct, intermediate and ultimate), a new logic model for the Enabling Fund was developed in 2009 by HRSDC in consultation with the Contribution Agreement Signatories. The logic model (Appendix B ) also details the relationship between the Enabling Fund's program management, national coordinators and Contribution Agreement Signatories. The key elements of the logic model are described below.

Contribution Agreement Signatories

By means of contribution agreements with HRSDC, 14 Contribution Agreement Signatories utilize funding through the Enabling Fund to support activities and outputs that contribute to human resources and community economic development.

Activities and outputs: Contribution Agreement Signatories' activities include supporting and engaging OLMCs to plan, implement and sustain community economic development and human resources development, as well as engaging partners located in OLMCs. In addition, Contribution Agreement Signatories ensure that OLMCs are supported in their access to appropriate funds and programs (at the federal, provincial/territorial and private sector levels) to suit their particular context. Contribution Agreement Signatories report to HRSDC and to other organizations that provide funding, ensuring that funded activities are aligned with and respond to the needs of their community members. They also monitor OLMCs for signs that funded activities are having an impact on community economic and human resources development. Related outputs include community profiles, action plans for human resources and community economic development, and related projects, events, partnerships, reports and publications.

Direct and intermediate outcomes: The activities and outputs of the Contribution Agreement Signatories are expected to enhance partnerships and increase the capacity of OLMCs to plan, foster and sustain community economic and human resources development. Contribution Agreement Signatories also leverage funds and increase community partners' awareness of programs that reflect their particular community's economic and human resources development realities. These efforts are intended to result in positive changes in OLMCs, such as implementing programs designed to provide minority-language workers with skills to find and maintain productive employment.

National coordination

National coordination is achieved via the Secretariat of National Committees, which focuses on developing collaborative arrangements for community economic development.

Activities and Outputs: The SNC has both a national and a community focus. At a national level the SNC coordinates strategic plans with other community and governmental partners in support of the initiatives related to the unique needs of OLMCs. At a community level the SNC convenes information sharing forums and identifies issues related to economic and human resources development. The SNC's outputs include meetings, documents, and reports.

Direct and Intermediate Outcomes: The activities and outputs associated with national coordination are intended to address OLMC issues, as well as to increase the engagement of National Committee members and partners with these issues. These activities and outputs are expected to result in increased coordination of federal policy and programs to address each OLMC's specific needs.

Program management

Overall program management is provided by HRSDC.

Activities and outputs: HRSDC has responsibility for developing, funding, managing, delivering and monitoring the Enabling Fund. HRSDC also reviews, reports and promotes the Enabling Fund. Outputs of HRSDC's activities include: contribution agreements, reports, data/knowledge and research, as well as program and policy advice.

Direct and intermediate outcomes: The activities and outputs of program management are expected to contribute to financial accountability and the sharing of data and knowledge. Through these efforts, program management aims to ensure the Fund's probity.

Ultimate and strategic outcomes

Ultimate outcomes are long-term impacts at the community level that are the consequence of one or more intermediate outcomes being achieved. Strategic outcomes are the higher-level departmental and Government of Canada's Roadmap aims that are achieved by programs achieving their ultimate outcomes. These outcomes align with the Enabling Fund's objectives of supporting OLMCs as vibrant communities, ensuring employers can meet their labour force needs and that workers are self-reliant and adaptable to market change.

2. Evaluation methodology

2.1 Evaluation scope

The summative evaluation of the Enabling Fund was initiated in August 2011 and addressed issues and questions related to the relevance of the program and its performance in achieving desired outputs and outcomes. The summative evaluation focused primarily on activities completed during fiscal year 2010-11. It also followed up on the findings and conclusions of the formative evaluation which was completed in 2008-09 and published in January 2010.

2.2 Evaluation questions

In order to address the core issues set out in the Directive on the Evaluation FunctionFootnote15 pertaining to relevance and performance, as well as to assess the changes implemented in response to the formative evaluation, the evaluation considered the following questions:

Relevance

  • Continuing need for the program: Does the Enabling Fund respond to well-defined needs of OLMCs?
  • Consistency with government priorities: Is the Enabling Fund still aligned with departmental and federal government priorities?
  • Alignment with government roles and responsibilities: Is HRSDC meeting its responsibilities with respect to program execution?

Performance

  • What outputs and outcomes have been achieved? Can they be attributable to the activities carried out by Contribution Agreement Signatories? In particular, is there evidence of:
    • Leverage effect on investments (other sources of funding resulting from partnerships), including the sustainability of the networks, the impact generated at a regional and provincial level, as well as the lessons learned for other programs and initiatives;
    • Community capacity building;
    • Human resources development; and
    • Community economic development.
  • How do program costs ($13.8 million per year) compare to the reported outputs and outcomes?
  • Do the leveraged funds support human resources and community economic development?
  • Is there a causal link between the outputs and outcomes achieved and the program activities as well as the short and medium-term objectives? Can the chain of outputs and outcomes influence the achievement of the program's long-term and ultimate objectives?

Performance measurement and data reporting

  • Data collection process: Has the Enabling Fund developed an electronic data collection system? Are the data collected by HRSDC managers sufficient to quantify outputs and outcomes at the community level?
  • Performance measurement: Do contribution agreements contain performance indicators? Are the indicators related to program objectives? Does the collection of data on results enable measurement of the program's performance?

Improving operations of the National Committees

  • Has the strategic content of discussions at the National Committee meetings been increased by placing greater emphasis on achieving concrete results, including follow-up?
  • Have the National Committees adopted a more inclusive and participatory approach involving other community partners that reflects particularly regional diversity?

2.3 Evaluation approach

The summative evaluation was carried out in two phases, which both involved extensive planning and consultative work. Phase I assessed the feasibility of conducting the full summative evaluation. In this phase, the evaluation team reviewed the final quarterly reports submitted by Contribution Agreement Signatories for fiscal year 2010-11, as well as other documents. The evaluation team also conducted interviews with Contribution Agreement Signatories to collect and validate information on activities, and to confirm the availability of contact information for community partners and participants. Phase II built on Phase I and used multiple lines of evidence to assess the relevance and performance of the program. The lines of inquiry included:

  • A detailed assessment of the activities and outputs reported by Contribution Agreement Signatories via
    • An extensive review of the final quarterly reports for 2010-11 and related data;
    • An assessment of more than 2,000 documents related to 2010-11 activities;
    • Key informant interviews with representatives of all the Contribution Agreement Signatories and HRSDC program managers; and,
    • Semi-structured interviews with community partners and participants.
  • A review of program documents (e.g., contribution agreements, performance measurement templates and strategies, and applicant guides);
  • A review of literature and secondary data (primarily from Statistics Canada); and,
  • Interviews with the national organizations and national committee co-chairs.

2.3.1 Evaluation methods

In addition to reviewing program documents, literature, and secondary data to answer the evaluation questions, the summative evaluation focused significant attention on the assessment of the activities and outputs reported by the Contribution Agreement Signatories in 2010-11. The two main methods to achieve this were: an extensive and thorough review of reports, outputs and documents produced by Contribution Agreement Signatories, and 82 interviews with Contribution Agreement Signatories, HRSDC staff, community partners and participants. Using information from all lines of evidence, the evaluation team examined the nature of the Fund's activities to understand their relationship to the Fund's direct, intermediate and ultimate outcomes.

2.3.1.1 Review of signatory reports, outputs, and documents

In the first phase of the summative evaluation, the evaluation team reviewed the final quarterly reports from 2010-11, and coded the activities into defined categories to describe the general nature of the activities enabled through the Enabling Fund. During this review, representatives from each organization were contacted to establish whether the activities took place, to provide details about any additional activities, as well as to confirm they would be able to provide the names and contact details of partner organizations and of participants in at least some activities.

In the second phase of the summative evaluation, the evaluation team requested all outputs and documents produced by Contribution Agreement Signatories in 2010-2011. In total, Contribution Agreement Signatories submitted more than 2,000 documents to the evaluation team including reports, presentations, meeting agendas, and correspondence. All of the documents were compared against the activities identified in the Contribution Agreement Signatories' final quarterly report for 2010-11 and in some cases further clarification was sought. This assessment attempted to measure the extent to which there was sufficient evidence that the activities had occurred and better understand the nature of the activities that took place as well as their contribution to the Program's objectives. The analysis of the 2,000 documents was merged with the findings from the key informant and semi-structured interviews in order to provide a comprehensive picture of the nature of the activities that had taken place and the outputs and results stemming from those activities.

2.3.1.2 Interviews

The evaluation team conducted key informant interviews with representatives of all the Contribution Agreement Signatories, HRSDC program managers, and representatives of the national organizations and committees. Additionally, semi-structured interviews were conducted with community partners and participants. Interviews with all groups were conducted in the official language of the individual's choice and most were completed by telephone.

Key informant interviews

Following the document review, the evaluation team developed interview guides and conducted key informant interviews with Contribution Agreement Signatories, HRSDC program managers, and community national committee co-chairs. Interviews were completed to obtain information on:

  • The relevance of the Enabling Fund;
  • Any further context about activities and outputs listed;
  • The extent to which Contribution Agreement Signatories had achieved their objectives;
  • The adequacy of support from HRSDC;
  • Performance measurement and data collection processes;
  • Challenges faced by Contribution Agreement Signatories;
  • Development of the organization's internal capacity; and
  • The governance structure of the national committees.

In total, 22 interviews were completed (see Exhibit 2-1). Interviews with Contribution Agreement Signatories averaged approximately two hours. While those with the national organization representative and national committee co-chairs lasted approximately 45 minutes. Additionally, hour long interviews were conducted with Program staff.

Exhibit 2-1: Details of key informant interviews
Group Number of interviews Approximate length
Contribution Agreement Signatories Reference1 is located after the table 16 Reference2 is located after the table 120 minutes each
HRSDC Staff 4 60 minutes each
National organization representative and national committee co-chairs 2 45 minutes each
Total 22
  • Reference1 from the above table In many cases, more than one individual participated in the interview.
  • Reference2 from the above table Interviews were completed with each of the 13 provincial and territorial organizations; however, in Ontario, interviews were also completed with both the Provincial and the Regional Directors, and so there were 16 interviews in total.

Semi-structured interviews with community partners and participants

Contribution Agreement Signatories were asked to identify appropriate community partners and participants who could be interviewed (i.e., those best placed to discuss outputs and outcomes) and to obtain the consent of these individuals to be contacted by the evaluation team. Partners and participants were then interviewed in a semi-structured fashion and asked about the nature of their or their organizations' involvement with the Enabling Fund, the types of activities they were involved in, what the activities included, and their perceptions of the benefits and usefulness of the activities.

In total, 70 interviews were completed with participants and partners, with each lasting an average of 20 minutes (Exhibit 2-2). The interviews were distributed across Canada and included partners from all provinces and territories and participants from the majority of provinces and territories. Partner interviewees represented mostly non-profit organizations, followed by public organizations, municipal government and private organizations. Participant interviewees included community members that were employers, students, as well as employed and unemployed workers.

Exhibit 2-2: Details of interviews with partners and participants
Group Sample provided Interviews completed
Count Percentage
Partners 61 49 80%
Participants 28 21 75%
Total 89 70 79%

2.4 Strengths and limitations

The summative evaluation aimed to present objective and credible findings by using evaluation methods tailored to the nature of the program, including both quantitative and qualitative methods. However, there were some limitations in measuring the incremental impacts at the community level and assessing the outcomes achieved through the Enabling Fund's activities.

Specifically, the evaluation findings were limited by the information available, the difficulty attributing results to the Fund, and the lack of a definition of success:

  • Information available: Limited information was available about some of the outcomes the Contribution Agreement Signatories had achieved and the broader expected outcomes noted in the Fund's logic model. Moreover, there are no baseline data or benchmarks against which to assess the performance of the Enabling Fund. Additionally, while useful, the semi-structured interviews with community partners and participants were with a modest and non-randomized sample of those affected by the Fund.
  • Attribution: The nature of the Fund creates challenges with respect to attribution. The Enabling Fund plays the role of facilitator; funded activities are intended to complement existing programs and, as such, it is difficult to assess the Enabling Fund outcomes in isolation. Other environmental factors also influence human resources and economic development in communities. Thus, the extent to which achieved outcomes can be attributed to the activities funded through the Enabling Fund is limited.
  • Defining success: There is no clear definition of program success. Nor is there a clear indication of what can reasonably be expected to have been achieved by Contribution Agreement Signatories in the timeframe of the annual contribution agreements. This limits the extent to which a summative assessment can determine the Fund's overall performance.

The summative evaluation approach has a number of strengths. The data collected do allow an examination of the link between the needs of OLMCs, the activities carried out, and the objectives of the Fund. Despite the challenges in fully attributing at the ultimate outcome level, attribution can be demonstrated at the activity and output level, as well as for some outcomes (e.g., leveraging and partnerships). The evaluation approach utilized a large volume of information and documentation from Contribution Agreement Signatories, including their quarterly reports. Additionally, the evaluation team obtained detailed information about Contribution Agreement Signatories' activities and outputs through interviews and documents and validated the reported outputs and outcomes. The information available for the evaluation was sufficient to provide a description of the activities and outputs, and to an extent, the outcomes that have been achieved by the Enabling Fund.

3. Summary of evaluation findings

This section provides a summary of the main findings arising out of the summative evaluation of the Enabling Fund.

3.1 Program relevance

3.1.1 Does the Enabling Fund respond to the well-defined needs of OLMCs?

The challenges faced by OLMCs and the needs of different communities are as varied and complex as their historical, economic and social realities. For instance, while some economic data show OLMCs to be on par with the majority communities in terms of labour force participation and income level,Footnote16 there are differences within and across OLMCs.Footnote17 Economic disadvantage can be the result of broader economic trends or be specific to the minority-language population or community. Where OLMCs face the same challenges as the general community, a general intervention may be sufficient. However, when OLMC communities face unique challenges they may require a specific intervention. The variation in the profile and needs of OLMCs highlights the need for targeted strategies to support OLMC communities.Footnote18 The Enabling Fund accommodates the different needs of communities by allowing communities to identify their own specific needs and the activities to address these needs.

The Contribution Agreement Signatories confirmed that their communities face economic and human resources development challenges. While differences exist, there are some parallels in the needs of all OLMCs (both Anglophone and Francophone), particularly in terms of the Enabling Fund goals of supporting community vitality and economic development. In particular:

  • Declining populations and the disappearance of some traditional industries have contributed to challenges in the economic sustainability of OLMCs;
  • OLMCs, while having the potential for economic growth, may lack the expertise and capacity to market their products effectively and may need support to help them develop their economy, such as connecting with outside markets; and
  • People living in OLMCs also face barriers in accessing services (such as health and education) in their language of choice and such challenges may negatively influence the vitality of the minority community.

Contribution agreements include a list of priorities for actions and related activities that the Contribution Agreement Signatories propose to carry out to address the specific needs identified within their OLMCs. HRSDC reviews the proposed activities prior to the signing of the contribution agreements to ensure that these have the potential to contribute to the Enabling Fund outcomes. Signatories identified the following priorities in 2010-11: retention of youth, increasing the number of jobs, the employability of minority language workers, inbound tourism of minority language groups, population retention (in general), and minority language immigration.

In assessing the needs of their OLMCs, Contribution Agreement Signatories reported they consulted with partners or other community organizations, developed strategies, implemented their own plans, and shared existing research and data (e.g., reports from Statistics Canada). Some Contribution Agreement Signatories also mentioned that they aligned their own plans with those of other organizations, such as their provincial government's strategies. Interviews with Contribution Agreement Signatories and review of activities and documents confirmed that signatories followed a process of researching and planning prior to undertaking their activities. In 2010-11, gap analyses, needs assessments and similar studies were conducted across regions. For example:

  • A gap analysis and needs assessment of the tourism industry in Alberta identified appropriate development opportunities to build on and enhance the three themed trails in the region as indicated by market demand;
  • A study of information and communications technology needs in 13 communities in Saskatchewan was used to develop workshops which were delivered in two communities about information and communications technology; and
  • A study on community organizations' needs related to the knowledge economy conducted in Newfoundland and Labrador contributed to workshops at a forum attended by 150-200 people.

Interviews with signatories, partners and participants also validated that the Enabling Fund responds to the needs of OLMCs by providing support for activities to increase community vitality, and by building the capacity of communities through community economic development and human resources development. Moreover, all interviewed community partners and participants felt that the activities that were carried out through the Enabling Fund were relevant and useful in addressing their community's specific needs.

3.1.2 Is the Enabling Fund still aligned with departmental and federal government priorities?

Documents from the Government of Canada and HRSDC demonstrated alignment between the Enabling Fund and departmental and federal priorities. Specifically, the Enabling Fund (1) responds to legal and mandated responsibilities, and (2) supports the Government of Canada in addressing the priorities of (a) linguistic duality, (b) developing a skilled, flexible labour workforce, and (c) focusing on community-based solutions when relevant.

3.1.2.1 Meeting legal and mandated responsibilities

As indicated in Section 1.2, the Enabling Fund is one of the measures that helps fulfill the federal government's obligations under Section 41 of the Official Languages Act of 1988. The OLA stems from the Constitution of Canada, which provides that English and French are the two official languages of Canada. Pursuant to Part VII, section 41 of the OLA, the federal government is committed:

  • to enhance the vitality of the English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada and to support and assist their development, and;
  • to foster the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society.

An Act to Amend the OLA (2005) reinforced the federal government's commitment by setting out the obligation of federal institutions' duty to ensure that positive measures are taken to enhance the vitality and development of the OLMCs.Footnote19 The Enabling Fund is a mechanism through which HRSDC meets its legal responsibilities to support OLMCs. The OLA does not, however, specify what constitutes a positive measure but the spirit of the law suggests that program content be determined by community need and that federal programming should be designed so as to pursue the mandate of its responsible agency. Moreover, in supporting access to other federal government programs, the Enabling Fund supports other agencies' efforts to meet their own Section 41 obligations under the Act, as OLMCs can more readily access other departments' programming.

3.1.2.2 Linguistic duality

The government committed to supporting both official languages in its policy of linguistic duality as set out in the Action Plan for Official Languages (2003), the Roadmap for Linguistic Duality 2008-2013: Acting for the Future (2008), and the Speech from the Throne (2010). More recently, Budget 2012 announced that Economic Action Plan 2012 will continue support for official languages by maintaining funding to protect, celebrate and enhance Canada's linguistic duality.

The Roadmap is a government-wide initiative led by Canadian Heritage that represents funding of $1.1 billion over five years. Funding from the Roadmap provided increased support for some initiatives, such as the Enabling Fund, as well as funding for the development and implementation of new initiatives. As part of the Roadmap, the Enabling Fund received $69 million during 2008-13.Footnote20

The Roadmap commits the Government of Canada to exercising its leadership in official languages and to complement and respect the jurisdictions of its provincial and territorial partners. The Roadmap favours partnerships between federal agencies and provincial/ territorial governments, but also seeks to leverage non-government partners in the private and voluntary sectors. One of the intended intermediate outcomes of the Roadmap is for strengthened community capacity in areas of human resources and economic development in OLMCs which contribute toward the long-term vitality of such communities. The Enabling Fund's objectives support the achievement of this intermediate outcome.

3.1.2.3 Developing a skilled, flexible workforce

Human resources development among OLMCs is one of the key expected outcomes of the Enabling Fund. This outcome is consistent with federal and departmental priorities. The development of a skilled and flexible workforce was cited by the Government of Canada in the 2010 and 2011 Speeches from the Throne. The government has also made a link between bilingualism and workforce competitiveness for some time. For instance, the Action Plan for Official Languages (2003) cited OLMCs as "an essential asset for Canada's future success". Additionally, Canada's Economic Action Plan (Budget 2009) indicates that improving Canada's competitive position over the longer term will depend on Canada's success in developing a well-educated, skilled and flexible workforce.

The Enabling Fund allows HRSDC to fulfill its mandate of developing Canada's labour force. HRSDC, as per its founding act, is responsible for human resources development in Canada. Its purpose includes "improving the standard of living and quality of life of all Canadians by promoting a highly skilled and mobile workforce and efficient and inclusive labour market."Footnote21 In 2010-11, this was reflected in the first priority of HRSDC's Report on Plans and Priorities (2010-11), which was to support the changing needs of Canadian workers and employers. The associated strategic outcome, a skilled, adaptable and inclusive labour force and an efficient labour market, was indicated in the Report on Plans and PrioritiesFootnote22 and continues to be important for HRSDC.Footnote23 To achieve this outcome, HRSDC can establish and implement programs that contribute to this outcome, or make grants and contributions to support these programs. The Enabling Fund fits this definition as it is flexible in how it responds to particular needs of OLMCs while setting parameters that are consistent with enhancing the vitality and development of OLMCs, within the context of the mandate of HRSDC. Moreover, HRSDC has specifically noted OLMCs as a key client community.Footnote24

Human resources development among OLMCs is one of the key expected outcomes of the Enabling Fund and is consistent with the above noted workforce priorities. Contributing activities in 2010-11 included:

  • Skills development:
    • At least 21 workshops were held on business skills;
  • An adaptable labour force:
    • At least 15 workshops were held on economic diversification, either building on traditional trades or developing new competencies in growing fields such as sustainable development;
    • At least 16 training sessions and workshops for adults and 13 youth camps focused on entrepreneurship, leadership and/or business development were supported, as well as promotion of entrepreneurship in schools through awareness events and curriculum development;
  • Inclusive labour force: Programs to support under-represented groups within minority language communities were supported, including:
    • Three programs to assist immigrants' entry into the workforce;
    • One outreach program promoting employment resources and services for older workers; and
    • One program to assist youth with disabilities in finding work.

All of these activities contribute towards supporting a bilingual, skilled, adaptable and inclusive labour force across Canada.

3.1.2.4 Community-based Solutions

In the 2010 and 2011 Speeches from the Throne, the Government of Canada stated that community-based solutions and partnerships provide the best approach for challenges facing communities and that the community capacity for innovation is maximized when individuals, businesses and charitable groups form partnerships. In the 2010 Speeches from the Throne, the government stated that 'red tape' hobbled grassroots efforts; that often "the efforts of communities falter not on account of a lack of effort or heart, but because of a lack of expertise to turn good ideas into reality"; thus further defining the need to 'enable' communities.Footnote25 A similar statement was made in the 2011 Speeches from the Throne, in which local communities are described as "best placed to overcome their unique challenges" and that the "government can help create the conditions for these communities - and the industries that sustain them - to succeed".Footnote26 The Government of Canada's commitment to preserving Canada's diverse cultural treasures and to improving the quality of life in communities across the country was also reiterated in Budget 2012.Footnote27

HRSDC's stated priorities stress the need for community-based responses to social challenges undertaken in coordination with national and/or regional efforts, as the Department recognizes communities as the focal point for program and service delivery.Footnote28 HRSDC's Report on Plans and Priorities (2011-12) highlights that the government's focus is 'on the ground' solutions. In its testimony before the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages (2010),Footnote29 HRSDC explained how the Fund provides flexibility for communities to respond to their particular needs and priorities. The need for support to official language populations and the contributions of the Enabling Fund to economic development have also been discussed in more recent meetings.Footnote30

To assist communities in navigating the services and supports available to them, in 2010-11 Contribution Agreement Signatories:

  • Developed public inventories of local assets that offer opportunities for business development, and of available resources and funding programs; and
  • Worked with community partners to develop plans for new human resources development facilities, provided expertise to entrepreneurs (for instance by reviewing their business plans), and facilitated networking events and economic missions for regional businesses.

Through its design, focused on developing partnerships, community capacity, human resources and community economy, the Enabling Fund is consistent with the priority of the federal government and of HRSDC to engage in community-based solutions,Footnote31 and to help create the conditions for communities - and the industries that sustain them - to succeed.Footnote32 The Enabling Fund builds on partnerships at all levels to engage and support OLMCs and partners in community development initiatives.

3.1.3 Is HRSDC meeting its responsibilities with respect to program execution?

The Enabling Fund is one of the programs the Government of Canada in general, and HRSDC in particular, implements to meet obligations under the Official Languages Act. Moreover, HRSDC is an appropriate level of government and the appropriate department to deliver the Enabling Fund, as the Fund is consistent with the department's mandate to support human resources and skills development, as stated in the HRSDC Act.

HRSDC's roles with respect to the Enabling Fund include meeting legal and mandated responsibilities and implementing the Enabling Fund. The Official Language Minority Communities Division in the Employment Programs and Partnerships DirectorateFootnote33 of HRSDC's Skills and Employment Branch is responsible for the overall delivery of the Enabling Fund, monitoring results, and financial oversight. The Division also provides secretariat services to the two national committees and the federal co-chair representing HRSDC. The Division ensures that contribution agreements have clear objectives and focus on results for communities, include specific activities with well-defined responsibilities, and specify reporting requirements.

Funding applications are submitted to the Internal Project Review Committee. Each application is examined by a review committee. This committee is responsible for verifying whether applications meet the Fund's terms and conditions and for providing recommendations for departmental approval and the signing of a contribution agreement. Once contribution agreements are approved, the Project Management and Administration Division of the Program Operations BranchFootnote34 ensures receipt of requirements for funding and activities, and coordinates compliance reviews and program audits. Together, the Official Language Minority Communities Division of the Employment Program and Partnerships Directorate, the Internal Project Review Committee and the Project Management and Administration Division work together in implementing the Fund.

HRSDC has continued to work towards better performance management by conducting research and analysis, and by investing in the development of tools to support Contribution Agreement Signatories in their work. Via the Enabling Fund, HRSDC has also undertaken analytical work to increase knowledge and understanding of the particular labour market circumstances in OLMCs. It has also harnessed departmental data and expertise to improve information in areas identified as priorities by signatories such as the economic integration of minority language immigrants, youth entrepreneurship, emerging sectors, among others.

Almost all Contribution Agreement Signatories thought the collaboration with HRSDC staff was effective and that the support provided by HRSDC program staff had improved over the years the program has been in place. While staff were perceived as accessible, knowledgeable and understanding in terms of the contribution agreement, approximately one-third of signatories commented that they felt staff did not sufficiently understand or respond to the signatories' situations, for example, their financial reality or the effects that data collection and performance measurement tools had on the signatories' organizations. The support provided by HRSDC program staff to the National Committee members was also considered useful in terms of providing information on other programs, funding opportunities and consultations that the committee members could participate in. However, having staff that is more knowledgeable about community economic development would further enhance the relationship among members. Moreover, turnover in federal staffing has had an impact on the quality of the contribution from the Federal sector at the National Committee meetings.

3.2 Program performance

3.2.1 What outputs and outcomes have been achieved?

Details of Contribution Agreement Signatories' activities and outputs, as well as some outcomes, were obtained from a review of the quarterly reports, interviews completed with representatives from Contribution Agreement Signatories, and a detailed assessment of activities and outputs (including a review of over 2000 documents provided by the Contribution Agreement Signatories). Additionally, interviews were conducted with community partners and participants and key informants (e.g., HRSDC program managers). The analysis sought to confirm that the activities had taken place and were implemented as planned. Moreover, as part of the summative evaluation, details were collected about the context in which the activities took place, the nature of Contribution Agreement Signatories' involvement and the impact of the activities that took place.

The assessment of activities and outputs showed that Contribution Agreement Signatories undertake a range of activities and outputs that support the Enabling Fund's objectives including: business plans, activity plans and reports, feasibility and other studies, strategic and community plans, tourism guides, funding applications and partnership agreements. The outputs that were submitted for the evaluation focused on areas that were identified as priorities for action and that provided organizations (signatories and partners) with information (e.g., profiles, available services, service gaps and possible recommendations).

Interviews with Contribution Agreement Signatories and the review of activities and outputs provided evidence that research, consultations and planning were undertaken to support their planned activities. The activities and their outputs are aligned with the Enabling Fund's objectives of capacity building, economic development and human resources development at the community level. Activities and their links to the logic model are described further in the sections below and the challenges in specifically identifying and attributing outcomes to Enabling Fund activities are discussed in Section 3.2.4.

3.2.1.1 Building the capacity of OLMCs

Community capacity building involves processes that encourage participation and engagement by strengthening the capacities of individuals, groups and communities. Community capacity building is facilitated by the Enabling Fund at a number of levels:

  • Directly through building the capacity of the Contribution Agreement Signatories and their partner organizations; and
  • By implementing activities relating to community capacity building and human resources development.

Processes to build community capacity might include providing leadership, creating links and establishing networks, establishing committees, encouraging initiatives, providing training and finding financial or in-kind resources. As well, activities such as meetings, forums and workshops, along with various other facilitating and developmental activities and outputs were considered to have an impact at the community capacity building level. Therefore, activities that were considered to primarily focus on community capacity building largely corresponded to facilitating, planning and developing processes that would have an impact on the community as a whole.

Exhibit 3-1 provides a summary of the activities, outputs and outcomes of the Contribution Agreement Signatories that contribute to community capacity building. Activities are grouped to illustrate the way the Contribution Agreement Signatories approached their activities. The aims of these activities were to:

  • Enhance the recipient organization to increase its reach in the community and improve performance;
  • Assess community needs and report on OLMC human resources and community economic development;
  • Engage community partners to support and plan activities;
  • Plan with partners and communities to sustain human resources and community economic development;
  • Support the activities of stakeholders in the community; and
  • Promote awareness within the minority community and to the broader community (in particular, the official language majority community).

The range of activities under this (and other) objectives of the Fund speaks to the various roles and levels of collaboration between Contribution Agreement Signatories and their partners; where in some cases the organization leads the projects, in others it provides supports to partner organizations.

A specific example from 2010-11 illustrating the outcomes achieved through community capacity building and human resources development is:

  • Bikes in the Bay, Campbell's Bay, Québec: Since 2005, the community of Campbell's Bay has been affected by the closure of a number of local lumbers mills. In 2007, CEDEC, an organization funded by the Enabling Fund, provided support and guidance to the community to help them establish the "Bikes in the Bay" summer festival. The first edition of the festival took place in 2008. Since then, the annual festival has been growing steadily. The Bikes in the Bay festival helps stimulate the local economy. In 2010, the festival attracted 4,000 visitors and included 500 motorcycles, 320 volunteers and 24 partners, including private businesses; and generated $23,500 in profit and economic activity. The profits from the festival are put towards community development. CEDEC's involvement in Campbell's Bay was described as instrumental to the community's revival.

Exhibit 3-1: Community capacity building activities, outputs, and outcomes

Activities

Enhancing the recipient organization to increase its reach in the community and improve performance

Outputs

  • Formation of a working group of Contribution Agreement Signatories in the region to collaboratively develop a plan and projects related to the knowledge economy.
  • Communication materials (e.g., press releases) and promotional activities to promote work done by Contribution Agreement Signatories.
  • Updated websites of organization and sister organization (e.g., tourism page).
  • Adaptation of electronic databases tracking project information (Garavou).
  • Satisfaction survey of service recipients.

OutcomesFootnote35

  • National collaboration between recipient organizations created opportunities for collaboration. Projects were developed related to the knowledge economy, an area of development identified in OLMC studies as essential to community vitality.
  • Promotional activities raise the profile of the organization and contribute to the number of individuals and other organizations accessing their services.
  • Electronic modernization improves the capacity of Contribution Agreement Signatories to deliver services. New and revised websites make it easier for communities to access Contribution Agreement Signatories.
  • Modernization also improves the profile of Contribution Agreement Signatories, enhancing their role as 'honest broker' in facilitating leveraging for OLMCs.
  • Satisfaction surveys allow Contribution Agreement Signatories to track their progress. One study found 80% of clients were satisfied with services provided.

Activities

Assessing community needs and reporting on OLMC human resources and community economic development

Outputs

  • Studies on business practices (e.g., study on business succession to understand the role of youth within organizations).
  • Research on funding programs to support Contribution Agreement Signatories and other organizations.
  • Market research on sectors identified as areas for community economic development (e.g., tourism, knowledge economy).
  • 15 needs assessments/gap analysis studies to identify HR needs for specific communities and regional labour markets.
  • 1 study on existing organizational structures in communities to develop long-term collaboration mechanisms.
  • 6 studies related to inbound tourism among which 3 were feasibility studies on tourist-related projects, including a new marketing plan for a museum and opening a youth hostel.
  • 1 study on the economic impacts of tourism in the three territories.
  • 5 strategic reports on the feasibility of developing cooperatives for different sectors (e.g., naval, aquaculture).
  • Engagement in community economic development process in 4 municipalities to identify opportunities for entrepreneurial development, resulting in 4 projects and 231 individuals participating in related meetings, consultations, and promotional events.
  • 3 inventories of local assets that offer opportunities for potential business development published: 2 covered tourism, heritage and cultural assets. 1 covered assets related to agriculture and the environment.
  • 2 inventories of available resources and funding programs, updated and posted online. Shared with at least 18 stakeholders.
  • 1 tool for tracking results of community economic development and human resources development progress (was shared with other organizations).

Outcomes

  • Business practice studies improve communities and Contribution Agreement Signatories' understanding of the workforce. Studies are focused on issues relevant to OLMCs (e.g., youth retention and advancement to combat out-migration). Findings often lead to development of human resources development programming.
  • Research on funding available regularly results in production of public inventories which communities use to find possible funders for their initiatives.
  • Market research identifies demand and thus opportunities for community economic development.
  • Needs assessments/gap analysis identifies human resources development requirements of sectors, leading to development of human resources development projects.
  • Structural studies allowed Contribution Agreement Signatories to identify areas of overlap and to find ways to work together or even merge, in order to be more efficient.
  • Tourism was identified by Contribution Agreement Signatories as a way to improve local businesses, thus contributing to the local economy. Contribution Agreement Signatories helped set the groundwork for the community to develop cultural products and expand cultural tourism as an important economic sector into the region.
  • The strategic reports and opportunity identification sought to support economic diversification in devitalized regions by investigating the potential of these sectors.

Activities

Engaging community partners to support and plan activities

Outputs

  • Committees and partnerships with community stakeholders.
  • Events to build awareness, consensus and networks.
  • Participation in meetings with partners, businesses and other community stakeholders to discuss human resource and community economic development.
  • Participation in community activities, such as job fairs, to promote the organization and to be involved in the community.
  • Meetings to follow-up on human resources and community economic development activities to learn understand their impact and to fine tune approach.
  • 2 business networks established/enhanced resulting in at least 29 events (including networking and training sessions), publications, and a weeklong series of events for SMB (small-to-medium business). 104 members joined 1 network.
  • Use of social media to promote discussions among community members. 1 virtual community formed to connect participants from events in an ongoing way.
  • 1 economic tour of 4 communities with 210 participants (conducted to discuss economic development and knowledge economy).
  • 1 economic mission between organizations in the NWT and Québec.

Outcomes

  • Strengthened partnerships/networks among stakeholders through identification of common objectives, synergies and means to mutually support activities.
  • Communities are consulted and participate in the identification of commonalities and, thus, opportunities for collaboration.
  • The events provide an opportunity for participants to create links and networks and to share information and practices.
  • Increased self-awareness among community members through social media-facilitated discussions.
  • Contribution Agreement Signatories were able to identify areas of overlap and to find ways to work together in order to be more efficient. Contribution Agreement Signatories are able to continue to be active in their communities and to be more competitive.
  • Networks established provide opportunities for minority language businesses/entrepreneurs to strengthen partnerships in the community and allow participants to collaborate on promotion and training opportunities, all contributing to stronger businesses.
  • Economic mission fostered links between OLMC organizations and the greater population, including areas of the country that share the same language.

Activities

Planning with partners and communities to sustain human resources and community economic development

Outputs

  • Worked with community partners to develop plans for new human resources development service facilities in communities, including at least 2 employment centres, 2 minority-language centres, 1 cooperative, 1 integration centre for newcomers and 1 multi-functional centre to support various community projects. At least 1 employment centre and 1 integration centre are now operational.
  • 20 distinct community plans and strategies for local community economic development developed. Single plans in some communities led to the initiation of multiple projects.
  • 2 strategic plans about governance and leadership developed for a multicultural organization.
  • Communication of findings and recommendations with public and organizations via public and private meetings.

Outcomes

  • Planning process strengthened ties between partners/stakeholders.
  • Strategies and plans, the result of broad community engagement, provide roadmaps for initiating human resources and community economic development projects. Plans may be adapted by other jurisdictions.
  • Development of new facilities creates infrastructure to support human resources and community economic development activities. The planning process is collaborative and ensures that sites are of utility to various community stakeholders. In one instance where a development was delayed, the recipient organization involved in planning provided their facilities as a temporary operations centre.
  • Plans for multicultural organization contributed to that organization's business development and access funding.

Activities

Supporting the activities of stakeholders in the community

Outputs

  • Advice to community stakeholders on how to make and implement plans.
  • Advice to community partners on funding sources and provision of help to submit applications for at least 8 projects.
  • Expertise provided in subject areas such as youth leadership development.
  • Expertise shared with other communities (Majority language, First Nations).

Outcomes

  • The work of Contribution Agreement Signatories supports committees and community groups in implementing plans.
  • Communities benefit from Contribution Agreement Signatories' experience and leadership to complete their application in a funding program and to locate sources of funding for their projects.
  • Contribution Agreement Signatories work with partners to secure funding for human resources and community economic development related projects.

Activities

Promoting awareness within the minority community and to the broader community

Outputs

  • Communication activities to share success stories, for instance on partnerships that have worked.
  • Distribution of communication materials for the media, such as a press release, videos, articles, and news radio interview.
  • Promotion of economic opportunities via newsletters, website, list of programs, etc.
  • Communication material about local artists to promote their work and support the sale of art products.

Outcomes

  • Raising awareness among the community about itself, as well as to the majority community. In doing so the community can better convey its needs to the public and private sector.
  • These promotional activities can indirectly contribute to human resources and community economic development.

3.2.1.2 Human resources development

Human resources development refers to the set of actions leading to the development of human capital for the purpose of meeting the needs of the labour market; specifically, skills development, labour market participation and initiatives that promote an inclusive labour market. Therefore, this area of influence largely corresponds to events focusing on the development of individual competencies. Activities in 2010-11 related to human resources development included entrepreneurial workshops, training events and forums, as well as events or activities aimed at supporting recruitment.

Contribution Agreement Signatories undertake these human resource development activities to support employment of OLMC workers in general as well as for specific groups, such as women, new comers, and people with disabilities. They build on developing the entrepreneurship skills of their communities and, particularly, of youth. In some cases, these activities are aligned with traditional industries, thereby building on existing strengths of the communities. They also aim to help workers and businesses in terms of diversification of products and/or product marketing. These activities can be grouped into three categories:

  • Developing learning tools (e.g., manuals, curricula);
  • Hosting/facilitating learning events (e.g., workshops, training sessions, camps); and
  • Providing guidance and support to jobseekers.

Specific examples from 2010-11 illustrating the outcomes achieved through human resources development, as supported by documents, include:

  • Camp Jeunes Entrepreneurs 2010, Saskatchewan: Two pre- and post-questionnaires of 17 participants in a youth camp about the business world demonstrated marked improvement in their understanding of notions of entrepreneurship, with their total scores increasing from 75% and 57% to 95% and 82% respectively.
  • Démarche de développement des compétences essentielles en milieu du travail dans la région du Restigouche, New Brunswick: A post-program follow-up of participants in a training program for unemployed adults showed that six out of twelve participants were about to begin new employment; one had found a job but had to back out due to personal issues; one registered for a literacy program; one registered for a school program; and three were without work.
  • Journée orientation et carrières, Newfoundland and Labrador: Following participation in a youth career fair, nearly all participants surveyed indicated that they learned about bilingual career options (178/182), and two-thirds (120) said that they were encouraged to pursue their studies in the minority official language French. Total attendance was 361 youth from five schools and 70 exhibitors.

Exhibit 3-2 provides a summary of the activities, outputs and observed or expected outcomes relating to human resources development.

Exhibit 3-2: Human resources development activities, outputs, and outcomes

Activities

Developing learning tools (e.g., manuals, curricula)

Outputs

  • 2 school curricula developed. 1 implemented by school board.
  • 1 manual developed for northerners to leverage traditional knowledge for tourism business startup.
  • 2 manuals developed for integrating under-represented groups in the workforce.

OutcomesFootnote36

  • Curricula set a study path for youth to stay in their community and take advantage of local opportunities.
  • Manuals guided jobseekers and employers towards ensuring an inclusive and skilled workforce.

Activities

Hosting/facilitating learning events (e.g., workshops, training sessions, camps)

Outputs

Employability of minority language workers

  • 20 workshops held on business skills (e.g., ICT, marketing, media literacy, succession, project management) and gaining experience. At least 419 participants and 3 schools involved.
  • 3 other youth workshops. 55 participants.
  • Information sessions held to teach work skills. 233 participants.
  • A 9 workshop course on careers in tourism delivered to 205 students and 30 adults across 5 schools.

Employability of under-represented groups

  • 3 programs, each involving workshops, implemented to assist immigrants' entry into the workforce. Approximately 386 assisted.
  • 1 training program for employers to support illiterate staff (20 attendees at 1 event).
  • 1 workshop on inclusive workplaces (50 attendees).

Economic diversification

  • At least 8 workshops on 'green' projects (renewable resources, composting). At least 150 participants.
  • 4 workshops on developing traditional trades.
  • 1 learning event on impact of fishing and aquaculture. 2200 people attended.
  • 1 conference on sustainable development initiatives held for businesses and organizations. 22 participants, at least 2 identified priorities for ecological development.
  • 1 training forum held on community capacity building. 75 participants.

Entrepreneurship/business development skills

  • 18 training sessions/workshops held on entrepreneurship and business development. At least 317 participants (including at least 26 small business starters).
  • 13 entrepreneurship and leadership camps for youth. At least 829 participants. At least 22 youth returned to region resulting from 2 camps.
  • Support to 1 youth entrepreneur club. 165 members.
  • 1 training program implemented for women entrepreneurs delivered. Some participants launched businesses.
  • Events promoting entrepreneurial skills to youth. 77 participants at 3 secondary schools.
  • Forum to promote entrepreneurship skills, opportunities and resources resulting in 13 individuals taking steps to start an enterprise.
  • Implemented entrepreneurial and business development strategy via outreach and newsletter. 31 businesses engaged.
  • 1 mentoring network established.

Inbound tourism to minority language communities

  • 11 training sessions/workshops on careers in tourism held. At least 205 participants at 5 schools, plus 30 adult participants.
  • 5 workshops on innovation in tourism (e.g., experimental tourism, geocaching, and marketing). 163 participants.
  • Sent workers on Ecotours to familiarize them with business opportunities.

Outcomes

  • Activities supporting the development of basic skills (e.g., ICT, communication) empowered jobseekers to find desired work and employees to expand their skill sets.
  • The programming targeting under-represented groups worked towards inclusion of community members, despite status, in the workforce by empowering both jobseekers and employers.
  • The economic vitality of communities is dependent on their capacity to keep up with changing economic trends. By supporting entrepreneurs, encouraging projects in burgeoning fields, and leveraging traditional trades, communities grew their business base and increased their human resources capital (i.e., variety of skills).
  • A variety of activities to develop entrepreneurial skills (e.g., workshops, youth camps, program, and forum) provided minority language speakers the competencies necessary to start and/or further develop their own businesses. This enhanced the ability of the communities to plan for succession of its business leaders. At least 16 businesses made changes to their business models resulting from the workshops. 3 entrepreneurs taking steps to start an enterprise. Organizations have also supported entrepreneurship camps for youth, contributing to community vitality both by spurring new business and combating youth out-migration.
  • By increasing employment and innovation in the tourism sector, communities can both strengthen their economic and cultural vitality. Workshops have focused on topics such as ways to innovate in a competitive market. The involvement of schools in these workshops also contributed to youth retention.

Activities

Providing guidance and support to jobseekers

Outputs

  • Ongoing support for minority language jobseekers, particularly where other options were limited.
  • Facilitation of internships and retention programs which linked minority language speakers with career opportunities in their communities. At least 22 internships facilitated, including 10 for immigrants.
  • Targeted programming to support groups under-represented in the labour force (e.g., older workers, youth with disabilities, new Canadians). 1 outreach program promoted employment resources and services for older workers resulting in outreach to 457 individuals.
  • 1 organization partnered to run youth employment programs, including holding a career symposium and delivering a program to assist youth with disabilities which resulted in 35 participants finding work and 4 returning to school.
  • 1 organization supported minority language speakers accessing (majority) language training.
  • 1 recruitment and retention program implemented.
  • 1 youth retention program implemented with a focus on career opportunities.
  • Support to entrepreneurs by examining their plans and helping them access support programs.

Outcomes

  • These activities resulted in jobseekers accessing services, participating in internships, and finding employment.
  • These activities have helped encouraged minority-language workers to find employment in their community rather than moving elsewhere, or to return to their communities. 18 minority language speakers returned to the community.

3.2.1.3 Community economic development

The Applicants' Guide in 2010-11 provided the following definition of community economic development: Community economic development is an integrated approach designed to strengthen communities. It involves combining community capacity building activities related to human resources development and community economic development activities in a set of processes initiated in a community, for the community, and based on the participation of local stakeholders and partners at all levels.Footnote37 Enabling Fund activities related to community economic development included workshops, partnership agreements, consultations, and strategic planning. These activities contributed to community economic development by focusing on:

  • Promoting OLMC businesses to the community;
  • Promoting OLMCs as official language tourist destination to the rest of the country and abroad;
  • Holding events to retain or recruit young workers; and
  • Assisting in meeting the demands of employers.

The ultimate goal of each respective activity was assessed in order to identify those which supported the economic development of the community. Specific examples from 2010-11 which illustrate outcomes achieved through community economic development (as supported by documents) include:

  • Je reviens, j'y reste, New Brunswick: All 22 participants in a youth retention event rated its workshops as excellent or very good. Twenty said the event met their expectations, 16 considered the match-up of youth and employers beneficial, and 12 intended to return to their community within one month. In addition, 12 said the event increased their intention to start a business.
  • Percé, Atlantic Provinces: This program aims to respond to youth exodus, in particular youth who leave their province or region to complete their postsecondary education and do not return. In 2010-11, the program was expanded to include all Atlantic Provinces. In total, there were 44 summer internships and 7 fall internships. Program partners include local agencies, provincial departments and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, as well as community organizations and local businesses that take on interns. Participants and employers expressed a high degree of satisfaction with the program and they found the program to be beneficial in connecting youth to local job opportunities.
  • Atelier sensibilisation au géocaching, Péninsule Acadienne, New Brunswick: All participants surveyed said the geocachingFootnote38 workshop met their expectations and was relevant (28/28), most (19/28) planned to work on implementing or enhancing this activity in their community, business, attraction or other events, and another 4 were going to study this further.
  • Tourism package development, Manitoba: Business owners who developed travel deals between 2007 and 2010, with support from Travel Manitoba and CDÉM, reported that they had a very good or good return on their investment. Three out of five said that the organization (CDÉM) helped them create deals that enable visitors to have a unique and authentic experience. They reported more than 300 new clients as well as visitors remaining longer in the region.
  • Tourism Strategy, Northern Territories: the Association franco-yukonnaise, the Conseil de coopération du Nunavut, and the Conseil de développement économique des Territoires du Nord-Ouest launched a three-year project in 2010-11 to promote and develop Francophone tourism in Canada's north. The Enabling Fund provided financial support to the three organizations to work collaboratively on this project and subsequent activities as well as leverage additional funding sources to fully implement the project. As a result, research was conducted on the Francophone tourism in the north and promotional events were developed. Overall, the research report and these events were described as beneficial in terms of promoting travel to Northern Canada and its attractions. It also helped build relationships between northern businesses and Quebec-based travel service providers, such as travel agencies and tour operators.

Activities supported by the Enabling Fund were also successful in supporting community economic development by generating revenue. A few Contribution Agreement Signatories reported events supported, at least in part, by the Enabling Fund that generated revenue for them or OLMC businesses:

  • Foire Gourmande en 2010, Ontario East: A regional food fair attracted 6,000 visitors, including 2,000 from outside Ontario. RDÉE de l'Ontario calculated spending by visitors using averages from Statistics Canada studies and reported it as totaling $474,824.
  • Salon du livre, Ontario North: An economic impact study of a book fair estimated, from a survey of the fair's attendees, that on average, each of the 172 visitors spent $130.61 in the community and each of the 137 exhibitors from inside the community spent $545.09.

Exhibit 3-3 provides a summary of the activities, outputs and observed or expected outcomes relating to community economic development.

Exhibit 3-3: Community economic development activities, outputs, and outcomes

Activities

Promoting OLMC businesses to the community

Outputs

  • Publication of 7 inventories of businesses that offer services in the minority language. 1 did so specifically for businesses in the tourism industry. One online version had 349 unique visitors as of time of reporting.
  • 100 stickers placed in the community to show where minority-language services are available.

OutcomesFootnote39

  • Increased visibility and presence of minority language businesses can contribute to the economic development of communities. By bringing together stakeholders, leaders and mayors, and by developing inventories of minority language service providers, the activities supported the development of networks, helped identify needs/priorities and facilitated finding of resources; activities help community members identify service providers and new potential partners to strengthen infrastructure.

Activities

Promoting OLMC as a tourist destination to the rest of the country

Outputs

  • 1 website promoting tourism, as well as related social media.
  • 3 tourism guides. At least 30,000 copies printed. One guide profiled minority language tourism industry entrepreneurs.
  • Translation of 1 visitor's guide.
  • 1 brochure on tourist activities (500 copies printed).
  • 1 tourism event to promote tourism (held in several locations).
  • 10 short films about eco-tours in the area released.
  • 1 food fair (attracted 6,000 visitors among which 2,000 were from out of province).
  • 4 tourism strategies. Resulted in launching/expanding of 14 initiatives/projects, including producing bilingual signage. 1 strategy sought to develop the OLMC as an artistic community by establishing an artists' guild. 11 businesses have joined the guild. One strategy sought to develop the OLMC's tourism brand.

Outcomes

  • Tourism guides and other materials help promote the OLMC to potential tourists, especially promotional materials in minority language. This stimulates the local economy and may attract investment. It is known that a tourism service provider hired 2 OLMC workers as a result. 6 travel packages to OLMC sold, including 4 to tourists from Belgium.
  • Events supported by Contribution Agreement Signatories drew visitors to minority language communities.
  • Tourism strategies built on existing attractions to expand the tourism industry and contribute to improved visibility of the community.

Activities

Holding events to retain or recruit young workers

Outputs

  • 9 youth events brought together educators, employers, mentors and youth service providers with at least 650 youth. 2 promoted youth summer jobs in the community. 1 promoted internships. 1 sought to promote starting community economic development projects. 1 event identified youth needs and communicated information on internships and school exchanges. Other events, entitled youth businesses and youth millionaires, encouraged entrepreneurship in the community.
  • Organization of a youth arts festival to support the cultural expression of young people in the community.

Outcomes

  • The aim of many of these youth events was to retain youth in the community or to attract other youth to the community. Having young skilled workers is vital to community economic development in terms of a long-term workforce. In one event, of the 5 youth that participated that were from out of province 2 are known to have returned.

Activities

Assisting in meeting the demands of employers

Outputs

  • 10 employment fairs or recruitment days to promote employment opportunities. Some were held in areas where the minority language is the majority language in order to attract workers to OLMCs. At least 12,000 visitors.
  • Networking session (attended by 32 employers and 255 job seekers).
  • Development of 1 recruitment strategy to attract workers the tourism industry by developing a job bank and getting candidates in contact with employers.
  • Collection and posting of information about job openings from employers; distribution to job seekers via newspaper articles, leaflets and participation in a job forum.
  • 3 tools that post CVs that offer employers access to qualified workers in the community. At least 8 communities involved.
  • 2 inventories of employment opportunities - used at Destination Canada (950 people met; 18 expressed an interest in working in the province).
  • Engagement in 2 projects: the Mature Workers Survey and a promotional campaign to address labour market integration needs of older OLMC workers in the community.
  • 1 strategy to identify and address gaps in employability training for older workers.
  • 1 strategy to increase newcomers' access to employment and employability services.
  • Provision of online support services to help recent immigrants integrate into the community and workforce.

Outcomes

  • Job fairs in areas of the country where the minority language is the majority language help draw new workers to OLMCs. Career fair participants reported uncovering new information on bilingual careers, and two thirds report being encouraged to continue studies in the minority language, thus combating out-migration and socio-economic de-vitalization.
  • Employers may be able to meet their labour needs more easily through use of job banks, CV posting websites, as well as outreach to job and career fairs. At least 4 jobs filled.
  • By integrating OLMC and immigrant workers, the community would better be able to profit from their skills and aptitudes, leading to a more efficient utilization of the labour pool, and a productive and inclusive workforce.

3.2.1.4 Perceptions of community stakeholders

Community partners and participants were interviewed to provide additional perspectives on the activities, outputs and outcomes of the Enabling Fund. Partners and participants were first asked about the nature of their role or involvement in a particular activity. They were then asked about the relevance, benefits and usefulness, for themselves and/or their community, of the activity, with responses either converted to categories (e.g., very, somewhat or not at all) or respondents choosing the categories themselves. They were also asked to detail the nature of the benefits they had observed arising from these activities and to describe in what way the activity was useful (or not).

Interviewed community partners and participants did not necessarily participate in the same activities, and the nature of their involvement in the activities differed. For instance, while partners may have been involved in multiple types of activities over a series of months or even years, participants may only have attended one workshop. Additionally, given that Contribution Agreement Signatories provided the names of partners and participants to be interviewed, and the low number of interviews completed, the respondents are not necessarily representative of all community partners and participants. Nevertheless, the interviews provided interesting perspectives on the relevance, benefits and usefulness of the activities.

Nearly all partners saw the activity in which they were involved as very useful to their community. Fewer, but still a substantial portion saw the activities as being very relevant or beneficial (Exhibit 3-4).

Exhibit 3-4: Partners' evaluation of the activity

Exhibit 3-4: Partners' Evaluation of the Activity

Textual description of Exhibit 3-4

Exhibit 3-4 - Bar 1

Partners’ responses to: Would you say that the activity was useful?
Partners Usefulness
Rating N %
Very useful 46 94%
Somewhat useful 3 6%
Not useful 0 0%
Total 49 100%
  • Source from the above tableNote: Totals may exceed 100% due to rounding.

Exhibit 3-4 - Bar 2

Partners’ responses to: Was the activity relevant to you, to the (local) community or to a (local) sector?
Partners Relevant
Rating N %
Very relevant 37 76%
Somewhat relevant 12 24%
Not relevant 0 0%
Total 49 100%
  • Source from the above tableNote: Totals may exceed 100% due to rounding.

Exhibit 3-4 - Bar 3

Partners’ responses to: Was the activity of benefit for you?
Partners Benefits
Rating N %
Very beneficial 34 69%
Somewhat beneficial 15 31%
Not beneficial 0 0%
Total 49 100%
  • Source from the above tableNote: Totals may exceed 100% due to rounding.
  • Source: Interviews with partners n=49. Partners were asked: 1) Was the activity relevant to you, to the (local) community or to a (local) sector? 2) Was the activity of benefit for you? 3) Would you say that the activity was useful? Depending on the question, responses were either converted to categories (e.g., very, somewhat, or not at all) or the respondents chose the category themselves.

Partners were also asked to consider the usefulness of the activity for their community. Their answers revealed that the activities were useful in terms of:

  • Contributing to the promotion of minority language communities;
  • Developing mutual aid, community collaboration and partnerships at different levels of government and non-government organizations;
  • Helping with enterprise development and cooperation;
  • Contributing to job creation and retention of youth in the community; and
  • Facilitating networking.

Similarly, most participants perceived the Enabling Fund activity they participated in as very useful to their community and almost half indicated that it was very relevant. Although only 29% of participants felt the activity was very beneficial, another 33% believed it was somewhat beneficial. (See Exhibit 3-5).

Exhibit 3-5: Participants' evaluation of the activity

Exhibit 3-5: Participants' Evaluation of the Activity

Textual description of Exhibit 3-5

Exhibit 3-5 - Bar 1

Participants’ responses to: Would you say that the activity was useful?
Partners Usefulness
Rating N %
Very useful 17 81%
Somewhat useful 4 19%
Not useful 0 0%
Total 21 100%
  • Source from the above tableNote: Totals may exceed 100% due to rounding.

Exhibit 3-5 - Bar 2

Participants’ responses to: Was the activity relevant to you, to the (local) community or to a (local) sector?
Partners Relevance
Rating N %
Very relevant 10 48%
Somewhat relevant 11 52%
Not relevant 0 0%
Total 21 100%
  • Source from the above tableNote: Totals may exceed 100% due to rounding.

Exhibit 3-5 - Bar 3

Participants’ responses to: Was the activity of benefit for you?
Partners Benefits
Rating N %
Very beneficial 6 29%
Somewhat beneficial 14 67%
Not beneficial 1 5%
Total 21 100%
  • Source from the above tableNote: Totals may exceed 100% due to rounding.
  • Source: Interviews with participants n=21. Participants were asked: 1) Was the activity relevant to you, to the (local) community or to a (local) sector? 2) Was the activity of benefit for you? 3) Would you say that the activity was useful? Depending on the question, responses were either converted to categories (e.g. very, somewhat or not at all) or the respondents chose the category themselves.

Community participants were also asked to consider the usefulness of the activity within their community. Their answers revealed that the activities were useful in terms of:

  • Contributing to the promotion of minority language communities;
  • Contributing to the development of their community;
  • Contributing to skills development;
  • Contributing to youth retention;
  • Facilitating networking; and
  • Contributing to regional tourism.

3.2.2 How do program costs ($13.8M) compare to the reported outputs and outcomes?

For the Enabling Fund, it remains difficult to compare program costs with reported outputs and outcomes. The Contribution Agreement Signatories had various funding sources, including leveraged funds. As operational revenues are likely pooled together from various sources, it is difficult for Contribution Agreement Signatories to fully distinguish the various funding sources for the activities they were involved in. Moreover, Contribution Agreement Signatories play different roles in implementing their activities. Additionally, assigning a value to the reported outputs and outcomes and establishing what portion of the value to attribute to the Enabling Fund is challenging. At a national level, it becomes even more difficult to assess the program costs of the Enabling Fund relative to the value of outputs and outcomes observed due to the horizontality of the OLMC activities.

As previously stated, the Enabling Fund's budget for fiscal year 2010-11 was $13.8 million. From this budget $11.5 million was spent on contribution agreements. Approximately $1.4 million supported HRSDC's operating and management expenses, including funding for program policy, research, analysis and national committee implementation. This was equivalent to 11% of total expenditures.Footnote40 Contribution Agreement Signatories also spent money on administrative costs. Exhibit 3-6 provides a breakdown of the expenditures of Enabling Fund Contribution Agreement Signatories for 2010-11. Note that the signatories do not directly identify administrative costs: the "wages" category would include both the internal administration costs and the costs of delivering or supporting projects.

It is clear from the findings that the Contribution Agreement Signatories undertake a range of activities and outputs that support the Enabling Fund's objectives. In 2010-11 these included, for example, over 50 workshops and training programs, multiple business plans, activity plans and reports, over 20 needs assessments, feasibility and other studies, over 25 strategic and community plans, 3 tourism guides, and various funding applications and partnership agreements. Additionally, Contribution Agreement Signatories leveraged $20.5 million, compiled information on community profiles, available services, and service gaps, and made recommendations. A description of the array of activities, their outputs and outcomes can be found in Exhibits 3-1, 3-2, 3-3.

Exhibit 3-6: Contribution Agreement Signatory expenditures for 2010-11
Expense type Amount spent Percentage of total
Wages (including benefits and other related costs) $7,662,395 66.5%
Project costs (materials, rental, etc.) $1,863,559 16.2%
Travel costs $1,036,726 9.0%
Professional fees $874,325 7.6%
Capital costs $37,344 0.3%
GST/HST $42,447 0.4%
Total $11,516,796 100.0%
  • Source from the above tableSource: HRSDC.

3.2.3 Do the leveraged funds support human resources and community economic development?

In 2010-11, Contribution Agreement Signatories reported that they leveraged $20.5 million. Thus, for every dollar invested by the Enabling Fund, Contribution Agreement Signatories leveraged $1.78, with $1.37 leveraged in financial support and $0.40 in in-kind support (see Exhibit 3-7). As well as providing additional resources, leveraging can build commitment and shared expectations between Contribution Agreement Signatories, their partners and the organizations contributing financial or in-kind support.

Exhibit 3-7: Ratio of HRDSC funding to leveraged contributions
Type Total HRSDC Total leveraged Ratio
Financial $11,516,796 $15,824,780 1.37
In-kind $4,656,371 0.40
Total $20,481,151 1.78 Reference1 is located after the table
  • Source from the above tableSource: HRSDC and 2010/11 Quarterly Reports.
  • Reference1 from the above table All three ratios were rounded to two decimal points.

Contribution Agreement Signatories leveraged resources from several sources. In 2010-11 they were asked to report on the type and value of support (funds, programs and in-kind) they leveraged to support human resources and community economic development. Contribution Agreement Signatories were also asked to report on their own use and OLMCs' use of the programs of other levels of governments, non-governmental organisations and from the private sector. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of reported leveraged support was received from other government programs (federal, provincial, and municipal). Most of the remainder came from nongovernmental organizations (such as community associations). The private sector contributed about 4% of leveraged support. Governments (particularly the federal government) primarily provided financial contributions, while the support from nongovernmental and private organizations was more evenly split between financial contributions and in-kind support (Exhibit 3-8).

Exhibit 3-8: Sources of leveraged contributions for 2010-11
Source Financial In-kind Total
Total Percentage Total Percentage Total Percentage
Federal $5,917,685 37.4% $375,543 8.1% $6,293,228 30.7%
Provincial / territorial $4,572,317 28.9% $1,081,472 23.2% $5,653,789 27.6%
Municipal $923,328 5.8% $430,014 9.2% $1,353,342 6.6%
Nongovernmental $3,889,152 24.6% $2,142,458 46.0% $6,031,610 29.4%
Private $397,679 2.5% $401,124 8.6% $798,803 3.9%
Other $124,619 0.8% $225,760 4.8% $350,379 1.7%
Total $15,824,780 100.0% $4,656,371 100.0% $20,481,151 100.0%
  • Source from the above tableSource: Quarterly Reports. The category "other" refers to a drop-down code Other (Specify). Few specified the source of "other". Examples from those who did include cooperatives, non-incorporated territories, schools, institutions and inter-sectoral. Leveraged contributions figures were generated from the figures reported in the quarterly reports.

Findings indicated that Contribution Agreement Signatories not only leverage contributions from other partners but also work with them. Contribution Agreement Signatories may apply for funding from other departments and agencies since their mandates might also align with the organization's work. In the domain of economic development, for example, signatories may work with organizations or agencies such as Western Economic Diversification, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and CanNord. However, it is not a requirement to report on these other partnerships in the quarterly reports.

While the logic model includes "leveraged funds and programs support OLMC community economic development and human resources development" as a direct outcome, Contribution Agreement Signatories were not required to report on how the contributions they leveraged supported these two objectives. In fact, leveraging did not appear to be perceived by signatories as a direct impact of the Enabling Fund, but rather a means to support other activities. As such, there was limited recording of leveraging as an activity in the documents reviewed, though leveraging is clearly observed in terms of reported contributions. Given that the range of reported activities in Exhibits 3-2 and 3-3 supported human resources and community economic development, it is likely that the leveraged funds contributed to these objectives. However, with the performance indicators and reporting requirements that were in place in 2010-11, this cannot be confirmed.

3.2.4 Can outputs and outcomes be attributed to the activities carried out by contribution agreement signatories?

Attributing outputs and some outcomes directly to the activities is possible. However it is important to note that the Enabling Fund is one among many potential contributors to community development and vitality. In evaluating interventions aimed at achieving complex societal and economic changes, when activities are consistent with a program's logic model and the activities are completed and outputs achieved, it can be assumed that there will be outcomes that can be attributed to the program.

The summative evaluation aligned the activities, outputs, and outcomes with the logic model. The text below either taken from the Program's logic model or from the evaluation findings. The evaluation found evidence of contributions towards the objectives of the Enabling Fund as well as evidence of success in leveraging other support to contribute to additional activities. For example, activities carried out by Contribution Agreement Signatories contributed to increasing the capacity of OLMCs, partner organizations and the community as a whole. This increased capacity in turn will contribute to community economic development and human resources development of the OLMC.

Exhibit 3-9: Alignment of activities, outputs, and outcomes with the logic model

Exhibit 3-9: Alignment of Activities, Outputs and Outcomes with the Logic Model

Textual description of Exhibit 3-9

Exhibit 3-9: Alignment of activities, outputs, and outcomes with the logic model

From left to right, this chart illustrates three columns containing information describing the alignment of activities, outputs and outcomes with the logic model.

Left column: Activities

  • Recipients supported and engaged OLMCs to plan, implement and sustain human resources (HRD) and community economic development (CED).
  • Recipients supported and engaged OLMCs by:
    • Creating collaborative HRD and CED plans
    • Hosting events to develop technical, entrepreneurial and basic skills
    • Attracting workers to the community and connecting them to employers
  • Recipients engaged partners in OLMC HRD and CED.
  • Recipients engaged partners through:
    • Forming working groups and committees
    • Advising stakeholders on OLMC issues
    • Building capacity in the community such as hosting networking events
  • Recipients supported OLMCs to access appropriate funds and programs (federal, non-fed, other) to suit their particular HRD and CED context.
  • Recipients assisted partners with:
    • Communicating the unique context of their OLMC
    • Locating appropriate funding channels
    • Preparing funding applications
  • Recipients monitored and reported on OLMC HRD and CED.
  • Recipients monitored and reported on OLMCs through:
    • Conducting HRD needs assessments
    • Studying CED opportunities
    • Reporting on leveraged contributions

Middle column: Outputs

  • OLMC HRD and CED profiles, plans and priorities.
  • HRD and CED planning and implementation of events with OLMCs.
  • HRD and CED partnerships.
  • Reports and publications.
  • Evaluation has found that activities of the Enabling Fund have resulted in:
    • HRD needs assessments and CED feasibility studies have provided a foundation for strategic planning
    • Workshops, conferences and job fairs held in OLMCs across the country where OLMCs connect and learn
    • Stakeholders with common aims of building HRD and CED have forged formal partnerships to work towards enhanced OLMC vitality and accessed funding mechanisms
    • Research reports, marketing materials and travel guides have been published and disseminated that monitor vitality, foster awareness and attract tourism.

Right column: Direct outcomes

  • Increased capacity of OLMCs to plan, implement and sustain HRD and CED.
  • The evaluation identified activities with the potential to increase capacity of OLMCs. Data limitations made it difficult to measure this outcome.
  • Increased OLMC community partner/stakeholder awareness of funds and programs (federal, non-federal, other) to suit their particular HRD and CED context.
  • Funds were leveraged but whether awareness of funds or programs increased could not be measured.
  • HRD and CED partnerships are created and enhanced.
  • The evaluation provided evidence of partnerships created. The quality and extent to which partnerships were enhanced could not be measured.
  • Leveraged funds and programs supported OLMC HRD and CED.
  • Contribution Agreement Signatories leveraged $1.78 for every funded dollar.

There was also evidence of success in leveraging other support to contribute to additional activities. Moreover, partners and participants noted that the Enabling Fund had contributed to:Footnote41

  • Community capacity building through enhanced capacity to plan activities (16% of partners; 48% of participants), enhanced ability to plan or implement activities (10% of partners; 9% of participants) and to identify priorities (12% of partners; 29% of participants);
  • Human resources development through enhanced employability of workers (29% of partners; 23% of participants) and enhanced entrepreneurial skills (18% of partners; 67% of participants;Footnote42) and
  • Community economic development through an improved environment for local businesses (51% of partners) and youth retention (20% of partners). Participants noted new jobs (10% of participants) and the retention of skilled workers (10% of participants).

Although the evaluation provided evidence that demonstrates the alignment of activities to outputs and to some extent to direct and intermediate outcomes, it was not possible to measure the extent the Enabling Fund activities contributed to the ultimate outcomes outlined in the logic model.

3.2.5 Factors enhancing or limiting outcomes

Contribution Agreement Signatories also discussed factors which impacted on the extent to which Enabling Fund activities were able to achieve the intended outcomes. Factors enhancing or limiting the outcomes of the Enabling Fund are summarized in Exhibit 3-10. The identified limiting factors reinforce the importance of the broader environmental context of the Enabling Fund and the need of the activities of the Fund to work in concert with other government programs to achieve their desired ultimate outcomes.

The challenge of limited resources was raised several times in interviews with Contribution Agreement Signatories, who stated that there remains a need for additional support, especially financial support, from the Enabling Fund. While HRSDC does provide support in helping Contribution Agreement Signatories find and access other sources of funding, all signatories felt that there was a need for more support for their OLMCs and that they would be better able to meet this need if more base funding was available through the Enabling Fund.

Exhibit 3-10: Factors enhancing or limiting outcomes

Factors enhancing outcomes

  • Leveraged resources/working with others
  • Increased recognition of the organization in the majority community
  • Engagement of staff
  • Increased visibility of OLMCs within the majority community
  • Quality of projects
  • Flexibility of the program

Factors limiting outcomes

  • Limited resources
    • Enabling Fund's budget has not been increased despite increased expenses
    • Cuts to other programs
  • Lack of interest (of partners/of OLMCs)
  • Level of readiness/structures in place in OLMCs

Source: Interviews with Contribution Agreement Signatories.

Base funding from the Enabling Fund has remained the same for a decade, and has therefore not kept up with inflation and increased costs of living. The majority of Contribution Agreement Signatories noted that it has been increasingly difficult to maintain their programs within the same baseline. This was particularly noted by those serving remote or northern communities, where the cost of living and travel is typically higher than elsewhere.

Some Contribution Agreement Signatories identified ways by which they have attempted to work within their limited resources, including developing partnerships, sharing office space, and planning the work wisely. While Contribution Agreement Signatories do find solutions to maximize their resources, some have had to cut back on activities and staff. In addition, funding constraints have meant that Contribution Agreement Signatories are not able to provide competitive salaries to their staff, leading to retention issues that affect their internal capacity. Some of the signatories specifically mentioned that there were projects that they did not attempt because they did not have sufficient resources. Altogether, these factors have an impact on the type of projects that Contribution Agreement Signatories are able to accomplish.

Suggestions made by Contribution Agreement Signatories related to support and resources included:

  • Having HRSDC set a funding envelop for salaries, and let Contribution Agreement Signatories manage that envelop as they require;
  • Having more support for staff benefits;
  • Having longer-term agreements with HRSDC; and
  • Contribution Agreement Signatories networking and working together nationally.

3.3 Data reporting and performance measurement

This section of the report discusses the performance measurement of the Enabling Fund and the data that are collected for this purpose.

3.3.1 Has the Enabling Fund developed an electronic data collection system?

The formative evaluation concluded that a lack of consistent and credible information limited HRSDC's ability to understand the activities, outputs and outcomes that could be attributed to the Enabling Fund. Since the formative evaluation, the program has made changes to its data reporting processes, more specifically in terms of updating the performance measurement framework to reflect a revised logic model. In addition, the reporting tools were modified to record performance measurement indicators in documents appended to the contribution agreements and by the Contribution Agreement Signatories' regular reports. These reporting templates include information on the activities, outputs, and observed outcomes.

The Contribution Agreement Signatories and HRSDC program staff agreed that the implementation of the data collection system improved the ability to monitor and assess activities. However, the system in place in 2010-11 did not feed into a centralized database which would have been more conducive to quantifying outputs and outcomes. While some work has been completed to develop an electronic database, no system has been implemented. Without an HRSDC system in place, about half of the Contribution Agreement Signatories reported using a management reporting system called Garavou. Contribution Agreement Signatories used Garavou for day-to-day management, accessing real-time information as well as storing information on activities. However, the tool was perceived by some as time consuming and unable to showcase the full story of the work being done. Additionally, it is not currently setup to provide the performance information HRSDC requires for monitoring and accountability purposes.Footnote43

3.3.2 Are the data collected by HRSDC managers sufficient to quantify outputs and outcomes at the community level?

Both Contribution Agreement Signatories and program staff recognized that the changes since the formative evaluation have improved the data collection processes. In particular, they felt that the quality of information submitted to HRSDC had improved. For instance many mentioned that the new format did put greater emphasis on outcomes, rather than merely inputs, which improved the ability to quantify outputs and outcomes at the community level. However, the data reporting process does not capture information in a consistent way, limiting the extent to which it can be used to quantify outputs and outcomes at the community and national level. From an evaluation perspective it continues to be difficult to understand the nature of the activity and whether it has taken place to the extent that it was planned.

Several reasons explain why consistent data on outputs and outcomes were not provided:

  • The information collected was limited by the design of the template which limited how activities could be reported and the context that could be provided;
  • The format of the reporting template was perceived as overly complicated, difficult to navigate, and restrictive;
  • The lack of consistency in the types of information provided suggests that Contribution Agreement Signatories did not clearly understand what they needed to enter and in particular the difference between activities, outputs and outcomes; and
  • Poor data quality (e.g., reported financial data on leveraged funds contained addition errors).

Contribution Agreement Signatories recognized the importance of reporting but felt that the current reporting requirements reduced the time available to engage with their communities. Despite changes from monthly to quarterly reporting, the majority of Contribution Agreement Signatories still felt that participating in the Enabling Fund represented a reporting burden compared to other funding mechanisms. For data collection processes to effectively quantify outputs and outcomes at the community level, program staff and Contribution Agreement Signatories will have to work together in supporting the data collection processes associated with the Enabling Fund. Achieving good data recording requires a process that is straightforward and user-friendly for Contribution Agreement Signatories and that is perceived as relevant not just to meeting their reporting obligations but to other aspects of their business activities.

3.3.3 Do contribution agreements contain performance indicators and are the indicators related to program objectives?

The 2010-11 Performance Measurement Template included a list of key performance indicators for each element of the Fund's logic model. The Contribution Agreement Signatories chose from the list those indicators that best applied to their organization and activities. These indicators were included in the quarterly reports which were appended to the contribution agreements. Thus, all contribution agreements included at least some performance measurement indicators. Moreover, the performance indicators included in the reports were related to the program objectives.

3.3.4 Does the collection of data on results enable measurement of the program's performance?

Since the formative evaluation, the Enabling Fund has developed and implemented a new performance measurement strategy. Information currently being collected is reported in the Contribution Agreement Signatories' quarterly reports. Contribution Agreement Signatories are asked to report a wide variety of indicators such as the number and type of human resources and community economic development reports, the number and percentage of OLMCs in their jurisdiction with an up-to-date community plan, and the number of individuals at the local level who were better prepared for the labour market. While the performance indicators and data collected by the Enabling Fund provide information related to program objectives, the information does not necessarily enable the measurement of the program's performance.

Effective performance measurement relies on having indicators that are realistic and measurable and contain a clear measure of success. Measuring the activities and the outputs of the Enabling Fund is feasible. Measuring the extent to which these activities and outputs contribute to increased community capacity, human resources development and community economic development is challenging as there are many other factors that contribute to these outcomes.

Determining the appropriate use and interpretation of the data collected is also important for effective performance measurement. In the context of the current suite of indicators, this would mean knowing what quantity and quality is expected. For example, whether having a greater number of plans, partnership events, or reports is better. Currently, the performance indicators do not establish timeframes and targets, and there are no benchmarks or baselines. Furthermore, determining what Contribution Agreement Signatories can reasonably be expected to influence is essential in telling the performance story.

The primary limitation to the performance measurement of the Enabling Fund is that some aspects of the Fund (such as activities and outputs) may be well-measured if data are consistently collected, other aspects (such as outcomes) are more difficult to measure. In fact, many objectives of the Enabling Fund are qualitative and difficult to measure effectively, especially with the quantitative indicators that are currently being captured. The majority of Contribution Agreement Signatories indicated that they felt the current performance indicators failed to capture the full extent of their outcomes. In particular, Contribution Agreement Signatories felt that the indicators did not adequately showcase the success stories that speak to the performance of the Fund.

Other challenges in accurately assessing the performance of the Fund include:

  • Focussing on a short reporting window. Considering the long-term nature of the work that Contribution Agreement Signatories do and the expected timelines to measure impacts, it is likely that some indicators will not be measurable until long after the activity has occurred, thus limiting the ability of data in a quarterly report to assess the outcome of an activity. Additionally, some activities may occur near the end of the contribution agreement period and thus have even less time to realize measurable outcomes;
  • Difficulty in separating the impact of Contribution Agreement Signatories' contributions from that of other stakeholders and economic factors;
  • Identifying a single activity to a single outcome. Often an outcome is the combination of activities that leads to tangible outcomes. Other times an activity can be linked to multiple expected outcomes. The current reporting structure does not allow for this; and
  • Lacking the capacity to measure. Some indicators are difficult to measure accurately and consistently, and take considerable time and expertise to do so. Contribution Agreement Signatories may be unable to devote resources to collecting data on some of the indicators.

As mentioned above, part of the renewal of the data collection processes going forward is to ensure that the system collects indicators that can be used to measure the progress of the Enabling Fund towards its objectives. The findings suggest the need for program performance to be defined specifically in terms of what is measurable. In addition, collecting data that would support performance measurement through a contribution analysis lens would highlight the role the Enabling Fund activities have in improving and supporting OLMC capacity building, human resources and economic development.

3.4 Improving operations of the National Committees

The formative evaluation of the Enabling Fund recommended that the program improve the operations of the two national committees. In particular, it recommended that greater effort and resources should be devoted to increasing the strategic content of discussions at the committee meetings as well as adopting a more inclusive approach involving other community partners. The summative evaluation followed up on these recommendations through interviews with HRSDC program staff and the community co-chairs of the national committees, on both the Anglophone and Francophone side, as well as through a review of committee documents such as mandates, meeting minutes, agendas, strategic plans and research reports. This section of the report summarizes the findings from the interviews and document review.

3.4.1 Have the operations of the national committees improved?

Findings suggest that since the formative evaluation there have been several improvements in the operations of the national committees. The findings also indicate that there is room for continued improvement of the operations of these committees in order to further increase their effectiveness.

Formative evaluation recommendation: Increase the strategic content of discussions at the National Committee meetings and place greater emphasis on achieving concrete results, including follow-up.

Since the formative evaluation there has been an improvement in the content discussed at the National Committee meetings as well as more knowledge sharing among members. There has been a shift away from exclusively discussing official language issues towards discussing more strategic issues on human resources and community economic development as well as regional labour market challenges. The Anglophone national committee has drafted a strategic plan and there is movement towards developing a joint strategic plan for both the Anglophone and Francophone National Committees. Moreover, the Anglophone and Francophone National Committees improved their horizontality by conducting a joint meeting in March 2012.

Formative evaluation recommendation: Adopt a more inclusive and participatory approach involving other community partners who reflect regional diversity.

Efforts have been made to make both the Anglophone and Francophone National Committee memberships more inclusive and participatory. The Francophone National Committee board membership was reviewed and changed to be more inclusive and more representative. For example, even though regional RDÉEs are currently not members of the francophone committee, it now contains regional community partners from each P/T and participation at the National Committee meetings has been encouraged. Additionally, federal senior management participation has increased. The federal co-chair for both committees is now an Associate Deputy Minister and there was more senior management (e.g., Director General level) representation at the last joint meeting. Moreover, there has been increased stability among federal representatives allowing them to be more involved in the work.

However, the findings also indicate that there is room for continued improvement of National Committee operations.

While progress has been made, the findings also indicate that there is room for continued improvement of National Committee operations. Changes still can be made to further enhance representation and horizontality at national committee meetings by, e.g., consistently including the regional RDÉEs, members from economic development agencies, subject matter experts and academics from universities. Additionally, information sharing with members and participation by members could be improved as not all members fully understand what they should report on or what their responsibilities include.

4. Conclusion and recommendations

OLMCs consist of many different types of communities and their current situations are as varied as their historical, economic and social realities. Economic trends among OLMCs and minority-language speakers are complex. For instance, while some OLMCs are on par with majority communities in terms of labour force participation and income level, others are struggling to maintain the vitality of their communities in the face of declining populations and the economic challenges of the past decade which have seen the disappearance of some of the traditional industries that provided employment in OLMCs.

The objective of the Enabling Fund is to enhance the development and vitality of OLMCs by strengthening capacity in the areas of human resources development and community economic development and by promoting partnerships on all levels. The Fund works to achieve its objectives by playing the role of facilitator in helping OLMCs to increase and strengthen partnerships, and to gain access to additional sources of funding.

The summative evaluation has demonstrated that the Enabling Fund meets an established need and that it directly responds to HRSDC and federal priorities. The Fund aligns with legal and mandated responsibilities, as well as with commitments to support linguistic duality, develop a skilled, flexible labour force, and focus on community-based solutions when relevant. The assessment of activities and outputs showed that Contribution Agreement Signatories undertake a wide range of activities and deliver outputs that support the Enabling Fund's objectives. The activities and their outputs are aligned with the Enabling Fund's objectives of community level capacity building, community economic development and human resources development.

While the performance indicators and data collected by the Enabling Fund provide information related to program objectives, the information does not necessarily enable the measurement of the program's performance. The summative evaluation thus provides recommendations related to performance measurement, data collection and reporting. Additionally, the summative evaluation found that the mandate, roles and responsibilities of the National Committees were not always clear. Therefore, the final recommendation relates to the purpose of these committees.

Performance measurement

There have been revisions to the Enabling Fund's performance measurement strategy since the formative evaluation. Quantitative indicators were developed and information is collected using established performance indicators in templates and the Contribution Agreement Signatories' quarterly reports. However, it remains difficult to measure the Fund's performance using these indicators. Effective performance measurement relies on having indicators that are realistic and measurable. While measuring the activities and the outputs of the Enabling Fund is feasible, measuring the extent to which these activities and outputs contribute to increased community capacity, human resources development and community economic development is challenging. There are many other factors which contribute to these outcomes and the outcomes are difficult to measure.

Further hampering performance measurement is the fact that the Enabling Fund lacks a clear definition of success. Without a clear picture of what success means to the Enabling Fund, it is difficult to assess whether HRSDC's and the Contribution Agreement Signatories' activities were implemented successfully and whether the Enabling Fund has succeeded in achieving its objectives. Furthermore, to have effective performance measures that collect essential information needed to determine the Program's contribution and overall success, measures need to be specific in terms of establishing timeframes, benchmarks, baseline, and targets.

A performance measurement strategy should be a balance between qualitative and quantitative measures as well as realistic in terms of the number of indicators and the resources needed for Contribution Agreement Signatories to collect the data. Given the complexity and wide range of activities the Contribution Agreement Signatories implement, a flexible set of performance measures would better capture the nature of the work. In the Enabling Fund's case, tailoring the performance reporting could be based on the nature of the activities, the role of the Contribution Agreement Signatories, project timelines, whether OLMC needs are being addressed and whether the associated activities are the most effective to meet those needs as well as determining the success of the initiative. Additional support from an external expert on performance measurement and training for both the program staff and Contribution Agreement Signatories might be required.

Recommendation: It is recommended that the Enabling Fund develops a clear definition of Program success and revises the Program's performance measurement strategy to include success measures with a view to collect essential information focused on performance management.

Data collection and reporting processes

The formative evaluation concluded that a lack of consistent and credible information limited HRSDC's ability to understand the activities, outputs and outcomes that could be attributed to the Enabling Fund. Since the formative evaluation, the Program has made changes to its reporting processes which included developing a reporting tool that was implemented in 2011-12. This tool is currently appended to the contribution agreements with the Contribution Agreement Signatories and includes performance measurement indicators. The results are reported to HRSDC in the quarterly reports. However, the collected information is not compiled into an organized electronic format in which data can be analyzed through a performance lens.

The information collected from the Contribution Agreement Signatories is not always consistently collected or complete in that the tracking of activities, outputs, outcomes and impacts are not fully captured. The different roles the Contribution Agreement Signatories have in implementing activities are also not clearly defined. In addition, it is difficult to fully understand the nature of the activities reported on, as well as to determine whether the activity took place to the extent originally planned. The varying quality of the recorded information limits the potential analysis, monitoring and reporting on outputs, observed outcomes and performance indicators.

The frequency of the data collection and reporting has changed from a monthly to quarterly basis, however the majority of Contribution Agreement Signatories still felt a reporting burden compared to other funding mechanisms. The contribution agreements are currently one year in length and it is often difficult to report on longer term impacts and successes within a one-year reporting cycle. It is especially challenging when projects face delays or are not scheduled to start at the beginning of the year.

For data collection and reporting processes to effectively quantify outputs and outcomes at the community level, HRSDC and Contribution Agreement Signatories will have to work together in developing processes that reduces reporting burden, captures longer-term impacts as well as meets HRSDC accountability and performance management needs. In addition, collecting data that would support performance measurement through a contribution analysis lens would highlight the role the Enabling Fund activities have in improving and supporting OLMC capacity building, human resources and economic development. Achieving good data requires a data collection process that is simple, user-friendly and relevant for Contribution Agreement Signatories. Training in the use of new data collection and reporting processes is essential to ensure consistent and relevant collection of information.

Recommendation: It is recommended that the Enabling Fund improves the data collection and reporting processes by simplifying the reporting template and decreasing the reporting frequency. An electronic template be implemented that collects essential information as per the revised performance measurement strategy and improves reporting consistency to help ensure that the data are being collected and reported on for future analytical work.

National Committee operations

With respect to the operations of the National Committees, there have been several improvements over the last couple of years in the areas of knowledge sharing, expanding the committee membership, as well as a shift of discussions towards focusing on regional challenges, human resources and community economic development. Particularly, the Francophone National Committee board membership was reviewed and changed to be more inclusive and more representative. Findings also identified that Contribution Agreement Signatories work with various other partners, including other federal departments, to leverage funding that will allow for the implementation of a range of activities. Given the horizontal nature of the work, building formal partnerships with other partners, including federal departments, is essential in supporting OLMCs. Focusing on regional activities and identifying the needs of the communities would assist in building strategic plans as well as capture the horizontal nature of the work done. Determining the best forum to help build effective partnerships, collaborate on strategic work and communicate ideas is essential in helping the Fund meet its objectives.

Recommendation: It is recommended that the Enabling Fund clarifies the mandate, role and responsibilities of the National Committees as well as that it assesses whether they are meeting the Fund's needs and objectives.

Appendix A: List of Contribution Agreement Signatories

The following list reflects the organizations that have signed contribution agreements in the context of the Enabling Fund, as well as the national committees.

British Columbia

Société de développement économique de la Colombie-Britannique (SDÉCB)

Alberta

Conseil de développement économique de l'Alberta (CDÉA)

Saskatchewan

Conseil de la coopération de la Saskatchewan (CCS)

Manitoba

Conseil de développement économique des municipalités bilingues du Manitoba (CDÉM)

Ontario

Réseau de développement économique et d'employabilité (RDÉE) de l'Ontario:

  • General Direction
  • Regional Direction, East
  • Regional Direction, North
  • Regional Direction, South

Quebec

Community Economic Development and Employability Corporation (CEDEC)

New Brunswick

Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick (CÉNB)

Nova Scotia

Conseil de développement économique de la Nouvelle-Écosse (CDÉNÉ)

Prince Edward Island

Réseau de développement économique et d'employabilité (RDÉE) de l'Île-du-Prince-Édouard

Newfoundland and Labrador

Réseau de développement économique et d'employabilité (RDÉE) de Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador

Yukon

Association franco-yukonnaise (AFY)

Northwest Territories

Conseil de développement économique des Territoires du Nord-Ouest (CDÉTNO)

Nunavut

Conseil de coopération du Nunavut (CCN)

National

Réseau de développement économique et d'employabilité (RDÉE) Canada

Appendix B: Logic model of the Enabling Fund

Annex B: Logic Model of the Enabling Fund

Textual description of Appendix B

The Enabling Fund's logic model is read from the top of the page, going downward as well as from the left side of the page, going toward the right.

The three broad streams of the logic model are organized from the top to bottom of the page and include:

  1. Community Economic Development and Human Resource Development: Planning for community economic development and developing the local labour market;
  2. National Coordination: Developing collaborative arrangements for community economic development; and
  3. Program Management.

The various components of the logic model are read from left to right and include:

  1. Activities;
  2. Outputs;
  3. Direct Outcomes;
  4. Intermediate Outcomes; and
  5. Ultimate Outcomes.

The far right of the logic model identifies HRSDC's Strategic Outcome.

The activities, outputs, direct outcomes, and intermediate outcomes of each stream are described below, followed by how they support the Enabling Fund's ultimate outcomes and HRSDC's strategic outcome.

The first stream, Community Economic Development and Human Resource Development, is supported through the following four activities:

  • Recipients support and engage official language minority communities to plan, implement and sustain community economic development and human resource development;
  • Recipients engage partners in community economic development and human resource development of official language minority communities;
  • Recipients support official language minority communities to access appropriate funds and programs (federal, non-federal, other) to suit their particular community economic development and human resource development context; and
  • Recipients monitor and report on official language minority community economic development and human resource development.

These activities are expected to produce the following four outputs:

  • Official language minority community economic development and human resource development profiles, plans and priorities;
  • Community economic development and human resource development planning and implementation of events with official language minority communities;
  • Community economic development and human resource development partnerships; and
  • Reports and publications.

The four direct outcomes associated with the community economic development and human resource development activities and outputs are:

  • Increased capacity of official language minority communities to plan, implement and sustain community economic development and human resource development;
  • Increased official language minority community partner/stakeholder awareness of funds and programs (federal, non-federal, other) to suit their particular community economic development and human resource development context;
  • Community economic development and human resource development partnerships are created and enhanced; and
  • Leveraged funds and programs support official language minority community economic development and human resource development.

The direct outcomes are linked to two intermediate outcomes, which are:

  • Official language minority communities plan, implement and sustain relevant and effective community economic development and human resource development; and
  • Canadians, including the under-represented groups and vulnerable workers, can acquire skills to find and maintain productive employment.

The second stream, National Coordination, is supported through the following four activities:

  • Secretariat of National Committees convenes information sharing forums related to community economic development and human resource development;
  • Secretariat of National Committees identifies issues of strategic importance to community economic development and human resource development;
  • Secretariat of National Committees coordinates joint strategic plans; and
  • Secretariat of National Committees engages partners at all levels in support of issues and initiatives related to community economic development and human resource development of official language minority communities.

These activities are expected to produce the following three outputs:

  • Meetings of the National Committees;
  • Information, advice, documents and reports; and
  • Joint strategic plans of the National Committees.

The three direct outcomes associated with the national coordination activities and outputs are:

  • National Committees' reports address community economic development and human resource development issues of official language minority communities;
  • National Committees members and partners are aware of community economic development and human resource development issues, realities and needs of official language minority communities, and of relevant HRSDC and Government of Canada programs; and
  • Increased National Committee member and partner engagement around community economic development and human resource development issues, realities and needs of official language minority communities.

The direct outcomes are linked with one intermediate outcome, which is:

  • Increased coordination of Government of Canada policy and programs to the issues, realities and needs of official language minority communities.

The third and final stream, Program Management, is supported by the following two activities:

  • Develop, fund, manage, deliver and monitor the Enabling Fund for official language minority communities; and
  • Review, report and promote the Enabling Fund for official language minority communities.

These activities are expected to produce the following four outputs:

  • Contribution Agreements;
  • Monitoring and results reports;
  • Data, knowledge and research; and
  • Program and policy advice.

The two direct outcomes associated with the activities and outputs presented above are:

  • HRSDC and recipients deliver accountable program management; and
  • Data and knowledge on official language minority communities are managed and shared.

The direct outcomes are linked with one intermediate outcome, which is:

  • Program probity is ensured.

All three streams are expected to contribute to the Enabling Fund's four ultimate outcomes, which are:

  • Official language minority communities live and work in vibrant communities in the language of their choice;
  • Workers are self-reliant and adaptable to labour market change;
  • Employers can meet their labour force needs; and
  • HRSDC provides quality programs and services to citizens.

These three streams work together in supporting HRSDC's strategic outcome of "A skilled, adaptable and inclusive labour force and efficient labour market."

Appendix C: Bibliography

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Canada. Department of Finance. Jobs Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Economic Action Plan 2012. Ottawa: Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2012.

Canada. House of Commons. After the Roadmap: Toward Better Programs and Service Delivery. Report of the Standing Committee on Official Languages. Ottawa: House of Commons, 2012.

Canada. Human Resources and Skills Development. Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Act, S.C. 2005, c. 34. (Current to March 6, 2012; last amended on December 15, 2011).

Canada. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. Report on Plans and Priorities: 2008/09 Estimates. Ottawa: HRSDC: 2009.

Canada. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. Formative Evaluation of the Enabling Fund for Official Language Minority Communities and the Related Governance Structure. Ottawa: HRSDC: January 2010.

Canada. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. Enabling Fund for Official Language Minority Communities (OLMC): Applicants' Guide 2010-11. Ottawa. HRSDC: 2010.

Canada. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. Departmental Performance Report (2010-11). Ottawa. HRSDC: 2011.

Canada. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. Enabling Fund for Official Language Minority Communities. Ottawa. HRSDC: 2011.

Canada. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. Report on Plans and Priorities, 2010-2011 Estimates. Ottawa. HRSDC: 2011.

Canada. Department of Human Resources and Skills Development. Summative Evaluation of the Enabling Fund for Official Language Minority Communities Evaluability Assessment. Ottawa. HRSDC: 2011.

Canada. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Report on Plans and Priorities, 2011-2012 Estimates. Ottawa. HRSDC: 2012.

Canada. Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. Annual Report 2010-2011: From leadership, action, results. Ottawa. Public Works and Government Services Canada: 2011.

Canada. Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. A Sharper View: Evaluating the Vitality of Official Language Communities by Marc L. Johnson and Paule Doucet. Ottawa: OCOL: 2006.

Canada. Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. Vitality Indicators for Official Language Minority Communities 1: Francophones in Urban Settings. Ottawa. OCOL: 2007.

Canada. Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. Vitality Indicators for Official Language Minority Communities 2: Three English-Speaking Communities in Québec. Ottawa. OCOL: 2008.

Canada. Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. Vitality Indicators for Official Language Minority Communities 3: Three Francophone Communities in Western Canada. Ottawa. OCOL: 2010.

Canada. Official Languages Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. 31 (4th Supp.). (Current to March 6, 2012; last amended on July 2, 2008).

Canada. Parliament of Canada. Speeches from the Throne, Ottawa. March 3, 2010.

Canada. Parliament of Canada. Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages, Issue 4. Ottawa. May 3, 2010.

Canada. Parliament of Canada. Speeches from the Throne. Ottawa. June 3, 2011.

Canada. Parliament of Canada. 41st Parliament, 1st Session, Standing Committee on Official Languages, Evidence. Ottawa: February 28, 2012.

Canada. Parliament of Canada. 41st Parliament, 1st Session, Standing Committee on Official Languages, Evidence. Ottawa. April 26, 2012.

Canada. Privy Council Office. The Next Act: New Momentum for Canada's Linguistic Duality: The Action Plan for Official Languages. Ottawa. PCO: 2003.

Canada. Canadian Heritage. Roadmap for Linguistic Duality 2008-2013: Acting for the Future. Ottawa. CH:2008.

Canada. Statistics Canada.2011 Census of Population. Ottawa. Statistics Canada catalogue no. 98-314-XCB2011044: 2012.

Canada. Statistics Canada. The Situation of Official-Language Minorities in the Labour Market. Ottawa. Statistics Canada catalogue no. 89-651-X2012001: 2012.

Canada. Statistics Canada. Minorities Speak Up: Results of the Survey of the Vitality of Official Language Minorities. Ottawa. Statistics Canada: 2007.

Canada. Treasury Board of Canada. Directive on the Evaluation Function. Ottawa. TBS: Accessed September 2012.

Le Réseau de développement économique et d'employabilité. Profils socio-économiques. Canada.RDÉE Canada: Accessed June 2012.

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