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Evaluation Summary: Status of Women Canada’s Women’s Program 2011–12 to 2015–16

Evaluation Results

Key findings from the evaluation report include:

  • There is continued need for the program in order to address gender inequality;
  • The Women’s Program objectives and expected results align with federal government priorities;
  • There is limited overlap/duplication with other funding programs at the national and provincial/territorial levels to advance gender equality;
  • The Women’s Program is distinguished by its national scope, focus on systemic change and larger, more stable funding opportunities;
  • The Women’s Program successfully increases access to supports and opportunities to women and communities;
  • Funding recipients are advancing equality between women and men. Projects that had multiple components (e.g. that involved women, organizations, communities, service providers) were more apt to lead to sustainable, systemic change.

The report makes three recommendations:

  1. The Women’s Program should continue to fund projects that foster systemic change.
  2. The Women’s Program should increase efforts in knowledge translation and dissemination.
  3. The Women’s Program should enhance capacity across the program to support funding recipients through the project lifecycle to optimize their approach and efforts to achieve sustainable and systemic change.

Status of Women Canada (SWC) concurs with the recommendations and each has been addressed in the Women’s Program Evaluation Management Response and Action Plan.

The progress of the management response and action plan will be reviewed on an annual basis until completion.

About the Women’s Program

The objective of SWC’s Women's Program is to advance equality for women in Canada. Funding is provided to eligible organizations in support of projects at the local, regional and national levels that address the following three priority areas:

  • Ending violence against women and girls
  • Improving women's and girls' economic security and prosperity
  • Encouraging women and girls in leadership and decision-making roles

Over the period of the evaluation, there was an average of $19M in funding annually for grants and contributions, and approximately $3.5M in salary and Operations & Maintenance funding annually, supporting about 35 full-time employees each year.

About the Evaluation

An evaluation of the Women’s Program was completed in 2017, which covered the five year period from 2011–12 through to 2015–16. This evaluation was conducted to inform future programming and to meet the requirements of the Treasury Board Secretariat’s Policy on Results which requires that evaluations be conducted on all ongoing grants and contributions programs that have five-year average actual expenditures of $5M or greater per year.

Goss Gilroy, a consulting firm, was contracted to conduct the evaluation. The evaluation examines the relevance and performance of the Women’s Program, and rests on the following key lines of evidence: a document review, a literature and administrative data review, a file review, key informant interviews, a survey of funding applicants, and case studies.

An evaluation advisory committee comprised of three internal and three external members and chaired by SWC’s Head of Evaluation was formed to review the scope, methodology and final report for the evaluation. The evaluation advisory committee reviewed the final draft evaluation report.

A management response and action plan was developed by SWC to support the implementation of recommendations made by the evaluation.

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