5. Conclusions

Evaluation findings indicate that there is a continued environmental, societal and economic need for initiatives to assist Canadians in adapting to climate change and the risks and opportunities it creates. The Adaptation Theme of the former CAA aligns with federal priorities related to protecting Canadians, promoting economic growth and development and addresses the sustainability of natural resources and the North. Activities being undertaken as part of the Adaptation Theme are consistent with federal roles and responsibilities. The federal government is viewed as being well positioned to provide leadership and information and to facilitate collaboration on climate change adaptation.

The Adaptation Theme program elements use a variety of program delivery mechanisms to work towards achieving intended outcomes. They are generally considered to be appropriate for meeting intended outcomes, given funding and timeline restrictions. Although program elements generally produce products and activities perceived to be of high quality and useful to external stakeholders, some reported difficulty finding products and that activities have not been well advertised. A particularly strong dimension of program delivery was identified to be the program elements’ engagement of stakeholders. Some key informants suggested there is room to further engage new or existing stakeholder groups in the work being undertaken by the program elements.

Program element governance was reported to be clear and effective. At the Adaptation Theme-level, three committees exist to collectively manage and coordinate the delivery of the Theme activities federally and across jurisdictions. Although some coordination and communication among the program elements is occurring, findings suggest there is an opportunity to increase information sharing and collaboration among the program elements within the Adaptation Theme, as well as among federal and non-federal program partners.

Findings suggest that program resources are being used efficiently. Effective practices in reducing program delivery costs include leveraging networks to promote activities and share information, leveraging funds from partners and using information technologies to assist with communication, collaboration and outreach. Coordinated horizontal financial reporting occurs for the Adaptation Theme; however, the report only provides details for new funding. Due to limitations in the financial information available from some federal partners, it was not possible to present a comprehensive picture of the total budget and expenditures for Adaptation Theme activities.

Program staff and senior managers indicated that performance data is used for reporting and provided examples of its use in decision making. A number of issues were observed, however, indicating that there is inadequate data collected to support the Theme-level PMF. A lack of data on the effects of activities at a community or population level was noted and key informants identified opportunities for improvement related to increased data collection and analysis.

Overall, program elements are making progress towards achieving the Adaptation Theme’s immediate outcomes. For example, identification and awareness of relevant adaptation measures among targeted communities and sectors is increasing, as is collaboration on climate change adaptation. The evaluation also found evidence suggesting progress is being made towards achieving intermediate and final outcomes.  However, progress is still in the early stages, given the longer-term nature of these outcomes, and it is too early to conclude on the Theme’s progress towards achieving its final outcome of reducing vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.

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