Executive Summary

This Report is a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) for the national evaluation of the Public Health Agency of Canada component1 of the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program (referred to as the CPNP). The objectives of this PIA are to determine if there are privacy risks associated with the CPNP, and if so, to provide recommendations on the mitigation or elimination of the risks.

The CPNP is a national funding program delivered through the regional offices of the Public Health Agency of Canada. Regional offices provide long-term funding to sponsoring groups to develop or enhance services that address the needs of pregnant women living in conditions of risk. The CPNP is managed jointly by the Public Health Agency of Canada and the provincial/territorial governments through provincially based Joint Management Committees. The scope of this PIA Report is the national evaluation of the Public Health Agency of Canada component of the CPNP.

A framework for the data collection process of the CPNP was finalized and implemented in 1996. Data collection instruments include a nationally standardized set of mandatory questions and are used in CPNP projects across Canada. The two data collection surveys that have been applied since 2001 to collect participant data are the Welcome Card and Individual Client Questionnaire 2 (ICQ2). The Welcome Card is a survey tool that assists in generating participant counts as well as providing a general socio-demographic profile of all CPNP entrants. The ICQ2 is used to collect information on a sample of participants and includes a more detailed demographic and health related profile, use of CPNP services and pregnancy outcomes.

This PIA Report identified a number of privacy risks that can be eliminated or mitigated following the recommendations in the PIA Report. The general recommendations are:

  • Obtaining the consent of the participant if survey forms are to be used for purposes other than program evaluation;
  • Improving Public Health Agency of Canada control of the survey forms in the custody of CPNP projects;
  • Updating procedures and practices related to information exchange with third parties, CPNP headquarters and regional offices concerning privacy.

1 An Aboriginal component of the CPNP is administered by the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada.

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