Departmental Plan 2020–2021: Supplementary Information Tables: page 2
Gender-Based analysis plus (GBA+) is an analytical tool used to assess how diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people may experience policies, programs and initiatives. The “plus” in GBA+ acknowledges that GBA goes beyond biological (sex) and socio-cultural (gender) differences. We all have multiple identity factors that intersect to make us who we are; GBA+ also considers factors like race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.
Through the GBA+ analytical process, departments across government are able to identify potential impacts of individual proposed measures in policies and programs on diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people. In addition, GBA+ informs the development of mitigation measures for these impacts and this information supports both the policy development and the decision-making processes, where applicable.
At the Department of Finance Canada (the Department), we are trusted to incorporate, as part of our advice to our Ministers, considerations around the gender and diversity impacts of each proposal. The Department is also responsible, in its central agency role, for:
- conducting GBA+ analysis when developing policies and programs under the responsibility of the Ministers of the Department of Finance.
- reviewing and providing advice on GBA+ conducted by other government departments for proposals brought forward for Cabinet consideration (central agency role).
- integrating GBA+ into the development of policy, program and legislative options and related considerations in its advice to the Minister of Finance and Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance.
- delivering on the government’s commitment to ensure that GBA+ is integrated into the federal budget process.
- making information available to the public on the impacts of government decisions in terms of gender and diversity.
These responsibilities support the department’s core responsibility: Economic and Fiscal Policy.
The Department has put in place all elements of a robust GBA+ implementation framework as prescribed by the Department for Women and Gender Equality (formerly Status of Women Canada). These elements include:
- a formal departmental policy statement;
- a GBA+ Responsibility Centre;
- a departmental GBA+ Advisory Committee;
- a GBA+ Champion;
- a departmental GBA+ action plan;
- discussion of GBA+ at senior management committee meetings;
- resources dedicated to the development, delivery and promotion of GBA+ training for employees; and
- tools and resources to assist employees in applying GBA+ to their work.
The departmental GBA+ Champion, a position held by an Assistant Deputy Minister, is responsible for leading, supporting and monitoring the integration of GBA+ into the day-to-day operations of the Department. The GBA+ Champion also serves as a liaison within the broader Government of Canada GBA+ network.
The GBA+ Champion is supported by a departmental GBA+ Advisory Committee. This committee is mandated to support consistency in approaches to GBA+ in policy development and challenge functions, support branch capacity building and encourage continued focus on GBA+ considerations within the Department.
GBA+ Action Plan
The Department’s GBA+ action plan outlines the GBA+ implementation framework and sets out the main activities to be undertaken to ensure that GBA+ is integrated into departmental decision-making processes.
The plan covers the following areas:
- Integration of GBA+: The Department requires that a GBA+ be conducted on all policy options developed for our Ministers’ consideration and that the GBA+ performed by other government departments for Cabinet consideration be reviewed by a GBA+ analyst. A mandatory Finance assessment note must be completed, and summary conclusions must be reported in a dedicated section of all policy option briefing notes to the appropriate Minister.
- Monitoring and reporting: The Department systematically tracks the extent to which GBA+ has been conducted and integrated into the advice to our Ministers, the uptake of training, and the key issues that analysts face when integrating GBA+ into their work. Internal monitoring and tracking tools are:
- Excel spreadsheets (for example, for the integration of GBA+ into policy proposals, as well as training completion rates);
- regular updates to senior management and continuous discussion of issues at the GBA+ Advisory Committee;
- surveys and questionnaires of analysts’ experiences with GBA+ training activities to assess the quality and relevance of training, as well as the challenges and needs, to inform the development of the next year’s GBA+ action plan; and
- reporting on the Department’s implementation of GBA+ through the Annual GBA+ Implementation Survey conducted by the Department for Women and Gender Equality.
- Institutional processes: The Department provides detailed instructions on GBA+ processes, requirements and records management to each branch through its internal network of GBA+ advisors.
- Training: The Department has an established GBA+ learning plan that consists of:
- the Department for Women and Gender Equality’s online Introduction to GBA+ course, mandatory since 2016–17 for all departmental analysts and executives involved in policy development or the challenge function;
- in-house courses and learning activities (for example, Budget GBA+ Boot Camp);
- other GBA+ learning opportunities (for example, events offered by the Canada School of Public Service and information sessions for other government departments and agencies);
- on-the-job coaching on GBA+ for analysts through feedback from the GBA+ focal point and the GBA+ Advisory Committee; and
- the integration of GBA+ into the orientation and on-boarding processes for new employees.
- Tools and data: The Department annually updates internal GBA+ templates and the GBA+ guidance document to provide analysts with robust and efficient tools. Using its review of lessons learned and best practices, the Department also develops new tools as needed.
- Engagement and outreach: The Department actively engages with the Department for Women and Gender Equality and central agencies to strengthen the quality of GBA+ conducted across other government departments and agencies. It also participates in quarterly interdepartmental GBA+ network meetings to share information, guidance and best practices.
- Communications: The Department communicates key GBA+ information internally through the departmental intranet, the GBA+ Advisory Committee, the InfoBulletin, and infoscreen announcements.
GBA+ is supported by internal accountability mechanisms, including regular reporting to senior management on the uptake of mandatory training, the status of GBA+ work, and the implementation of the GBA+ Action Plan.
The Department also reports on its implementation of GBA+ through testimonies, and responses to reports of parliamentary committees, and the Annual GBA+ Implementation Survey conducted by the Department for Women and Gender Equality.
Both GBA+ specialists and subject matter experts from across the department contribute to GBA+:
- One senior analyst serves as the GBA+ focal point and supports the work of the departmental GBA+ Advisory Committee (total of 0.5 full‑time equivalent).
- Resources are also allocated to incorporating GBA+ into budget decision making and to the publication of GBA+ information on all budget measures. These resources are covered under the Department’s core responsibility: Economic and Fiscal Policy.
In 2020-21, the Department of Finance Canada will continue to:
- strengthen all 7 elements of its Action Plan to improve the quality and scope of GBA+;
- strengthen its advice to the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance;
- support medium-term planning work undertaken to advance government and departmental priorities on gender equality.
Key initiatives in 2020-21 will include:
- Continued integration of GBA+ into the decision-making process: the Department will continue to refine and strengthen GBA+ practices and will further develop in-house GBA+ capacity to strengthen the work of the Advisory Committee and provide enhanced advisory services to analysts.
- Continued monitoring and reporting: the Department will continue to review its existing tools and practices and will implement streamlined and more efficient internal monitoring tools to expedite reporting on progress to senior management and to support improved input from other government departments and agencies for the budget process.
- Tools and data: The Department will assess its GBA+ needs after the release of Budget 2020 and will update existing tools and develop new ones to support robust GBA+ capacity. These may include:
- GBA+ case studies and examples;
- a guide on the GBA+ requirements and process for Memoranda to Cabinet and Treasury Board submissions;
- GBA+ frequently asked questions and fact sheets; and
- a database of key data sources
- Training: The Department will conduct a survey of training needs to inform the development of learning opportunities tailored to the work of analysts. The Department will also continue to work with the Department for Women and Gender Equality and the Canada School of Public Service on the delivery of a GBA+ premium course.
In addition, the Department will continue to ensure that:
- all analysts have completed the Department for Women and Gender Equality’s mandatory online Introduction to GBA+ course;
- a GBA+ Budget Boot Camp or workshop is offered in early September;
- on-the-job training is provided through the Departmental focal point and includes training in reviewing, assessing and providing guidance on Cabinet documents such as Memorandum to Cabinet, Treasury Board submissions, and Budget proposals;
- a departmental event is organized for GBA+ Awareness Week;
- GBA+ training outside the Department is promoted.
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