Evaluation of the International Health Grants Program (2008–09 to 2012–13) – Management response and action plan

Management Response and Action Plan Evaluation of Health Canada's International Health Grants Program

Centre Name:Office of International Affairs for the Health Portfolio

Date Evaluation Report and MRAP Presented to PHAC Evaluation Committee: July 22, 2013

Report Recommendations

Recommendation as stated in the evaluation report.
Management Response

Identify whether program management agrees, agrees with conditions, or disagrees with the recommendation, and why.
Management Action Plan

Identify what action(s) program management will take to address the recommendation.
Deliverables

Identify key deliverables.
Expected Completion Date

Identify timeline for implementation of each deliverable.
Responsibility

Identify the position(s) / team(s) / division(s) responsible for implementing each deliverable.
Accountability

Identify Senior Executive (ADM level) accountable for the implementation of each deliverable.
Resources

Describe the human and/or financial resources required to address recommendation, including the source of resources (additional vs. existing budget).

1. To maximize Canada’s return on investment, the Office of International Affairs for the Health Portfolio should, in consultation with its federal partners, develop a whole-of-government approach to better clarify Canada’s expectations with respect to its engagement with the PAHO, as well as define the roles and accountabilities of all involved, including the role of the Office of International Affairs for the Health Portfolio, the Public Health Agency of Canada as the current lead organization and Health Canada as the key Health Portfolio counterpart.

Agree
The evaluation’s recommendation to develop a whole of government approach for engaging PAHO aligns with current efforts by the Office of International Affairs to develop a Strategic Engagement Plan outlining Canada’s strategic priorities for engagement with the Pan American Health Organization for the next three years.  This Plan will include Canada’s strategic priorities as well as the proposed activities that will be undertaken.

In developing this approach OIA engaged broadly with OGDs to promote coherency, coordination and complementarity in Canada's relationship with PAHO. Input from these departments was included in the approach where appropriate, aligned with their mandates, roles, and responsibilities. The Plan includes a specific priority to encompass the international development priorities identified by CIDA (approved at the senior management level).

The Plan is being submitted to senior management for discussion and approval, both at the Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada.

1. To help clarify roles and responsibilities, the Plan will also describe the types of engagement activities undertaken by GOC departments and agencies with PAHO.  This includes ways in which the Portfolio collaborates with other government departments including CIDA and DFAIT to facilitate Canada’s participation on PAHO’s governance bodies, and the consultation processes undertaken by the Health Portfolio to facilitate the development of whole of government perspectives to present at these governance meetings.

1. Plan outlining Canada’s strategic engagement priorities with the Pan American Health Organization for the next three years. The Plan will also include a description of the GOC’s engagement with PAHO and the interdepartmental processes undertaken to ensure whole-of-government coordination.

March 31, 2014

DG Office of International Affairs

ADM SPPIAB

Existing financial and FTE resources

2. OIA will also continue to use its existing PAHO Focal Point Working Group process to consult with CIDA, DFAIT and CIHR on the development of Canadian positions for PAHO governance meetings. 2. PAHO Focal Point Working Group meetings to develop Canadian positions for PAHO governance meetings. Ongoing DG Office of International Affairs ADM SPPIAB Existing financial and FTE resources
3. Dr. Carissa Etienne, the new Director of PAHO, will make her first official visit to Canada in October 2013.  The program for this visit is being developed in consultation with and will include meetings with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development in addition to Health Portfolio partners. 3. Visit of Dr. Etienne involving Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada and the Health Portfolio October 2013 DG Office of International Affairs ADM SPPIAB Existing financial and FTE resources

2. To be able to report on the results of its international activities, the Office of International Affairs for the Health Portfolio should develop and implement a performance measurement framework for IHGP that encompasses both the PAHO and project components of the Program.

Agree.

The Performance Measurement Framework for the IHGP will reflect the dual nature of the program, involving objectives, indicators and outcomes to evaluate the project component, and an additional set to evaluate Canada's Assessed Contribution to PAHO.

The portion of the Framework which applies to PAHO will assess the quality of Canada's engagement with the organization as lead by the Health Portfolio.

The Framework will also articulate common objectives and outcomes that are shared among both components.

1. As part of the development of a Performance Measurement Framework, OIA will undertake the development of an updated Logic Model for the program, including Canada's assessed contributions to PAHO and IARC. This will include reviewing and revising program outputs and outcomes, as appropriate, and developing performance indicators

1. Performance Measurement Framework, including updated logic model, outputs, outcomes and indicators. Based on the outcomes of this work, it may be necessary to further refine the program outcomes and objectives articulated in the program Terms & Conditions.

March 31,2014

DG Office of International Affairs

ADM SPPIAB

Existing financial and FTE resources will be used to support work on the development of the Performance Measurement Framework however, additional resources may be required to establish a system of data collection for the program.

3. The Office of International Affairs for the Health Portfolio, in consultation with the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO), should consider options to address the instability of the funding of projects of the Program to enable more strategic selection of projects

Agree.

The instability within the IHGP is affected by the revised payment schedule for assessed contributions that was communicated to the Agency by Treasury Board Secretariat in April 2013.

This new payment schedule requires payment of assessed contributions to international organizations (which are assessed in either U.S. dollars or Euros, and therefore subject to fluctuations in exchange rates) in the final quarter of the fiscal year.

Movement to a fourth quarter payment schedule creates a degree of uncertainty in terms of knowing how much funding remains to support projects through the IHGP.

1. OCFO advises that fluctuations in exchange rates are not expected to be an intractable issue.  OIA, in consultation with OCFO will examine strategies to manage uncertainty.  A focus will be placed on early anticipatory solicitations for grants (described in detail under Recommendation #4)

1. Consultations / Meetings to determine options.

October 2013

DG Office of International Affairs

ADM SPPIAB

Existing financial and FTE resources

4. For greater efficiency, the Office of International Affairs for the Health Portfolio should review the management and administration of the projects, including its review and project selection process, taking into account the size of the investment and the level of risk of the grants.

Agree.

1. The Office of International Affairs will facilitate an annual consultation with the Portfolio ADM-level Partnership Executive Committee – International Affairs Working Committee (PEC-IAWC) to identify priority global health issues for which grants may be funded under the IHGP project component.  This will be guided by the Portfolio Strategic International Framework currently under development by OIA, as well as the international priorities set by the Agency and Health Canada.  This step will streamline decision-making and ensure policy alignment.

1. Annual discussion of IHGP priorities at PEC-IAWC.

September 2013 for fiscal year 2013-14

June 2014 for fiscal year 2014-15

DG Office of International Affairs

ADM SPPIAB

Existing financial and FTE resources

2. OIA will conduct an anticipatory, directed solicitation to identify expressions of interest for grant funding aligning with identified priorities, including a targeted internal-to-the-Portfolio call to program areas to develop expressions of interest in concert with their stakeholders.  This step will facilitate and expedite the selection of projects, and ensure grants align with program area interests/needs.

2. Call out process for expressions of interest.

October 2013 for fiscal year 2013-14

July  2014 (for fiscal year 2014-15 and onwards)

DG Office of International Affairs

ADM SPPIAB

Existing financial and FTE resources

3. A review committee will be struck to assess the expressions of interest against set criteria including alignment with program objectives, identified priorities and project criteria as articulated in the IHGP Ts and Cs.  Based on the results of this review, processing for approval of the grant recommendations will proceed in line with anticipated residual funding in the late fall/early winter.

3. Streamlined review process. 

November 2013 for fiscal year 2013-14

October 2014 (for fiscal year 2014-15 on onwards)

DG Office of International Affairs

ADM SPPIAB

Existing financial and FTE resources

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