Results at a Glance Evaluation of Health Canada’s Health Care Policy Contribution Program (HCPCP) 2013-14 to 2017-18

Introduction

The purpose of this evaluation was to assess the relevance and effectiveness of the Health Care Policy Contribution Program (HCPCP) for the period of 2013-14 to 2017-18. The evaluation was required by the Financial Administration Act (FAA) and the Treasury Board of Canada’s Policy on Results (2016). 

Background

Launched in 2002, the HCPCP is a national program that provides contribution funding to projects that address health care system priorities. 

What the evaluation found

  • HCPCP priorities have evolved over time and there are continuing needs within the health care system related to current priority areas, including palliative care, home care, mental health, and health care system innovation.   
  • Projects were generally effective in producing and disseminating knowledge products. Direct measurement of awareness was limited, but there was other evidence related to stakeholder awareness, including the involvement of some target audiences in knowledge product development, and the subsequent use of some of these products.
  • Some target audiences were using knowledge products stemming from the projects. Use was varied, ranging from the development of frameworks and guidance documents based on knowledge products, to participation in training programs.  
  • Some projects led to improvements in the health care system, ranging from the adoption of professional standards, practices, and policies, to more physicians with rural and remote experience; however, evidence was limited on the impacts of these changes. Several of the projects that were able to demonstrate progress towards longer-term outcomes were continuations of previously funded projects, sometimes with multiple earlier phases.

Areas for consideration

Given that the redesign of the HCPCP is ongoing, this evaluation presents areas for consideration that the program can continue to build upon or take into account as it moves forward, rather than providing recommendations.       

  • At the project level, collaboration with relevant partner organizations and strong project leadership were seen to be the most crucial elements for ultimate project success, along with longer-term contribution agreements, evidence-based planning, and support from Health Canada (e.g., encouraging buy-in from stakeholders and providing project guidance and advice). 
  • At the program level, Health Canada’s role in knowledge translation and strategic direction, including greater use of project performance and progress reports, as well as more program support for innovative projects, were identified as areas for improvement.

About this evaluation

This evaluation was conducted by the Office of Audit and Evaluation between December 2017 and August 2018.  Data collection methods included: focused literature review, document review, internal and external key informant interviews, and case studies.

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