ARCHIVED - Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada Implementation Evaluation Report


Executive Summary

A. Nature of the Federal Initiative

The Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada is the renewed response by the federal government to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The Federal Initiative builds on existing infrastructure to deliver projects and initiatives focused on results and is guided by the following three policy directions:

  • partnership and engagement;
  • integration; and
  • accountability.

The Federal Initiative uses a horizontal management system, in which four partners (Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and Correctional Service of Canada) have contributed to the workplan. The Public Health Agency of Canada is the lead agency and is responsible for coordinating the preparation of reports and evaluations. Program management and direction is provided by the 4 partners who oversee the 11 Responsibility Centres (RC). The RCs are responsible for implementing, managing, and delivering Federal Initiative programs.

B. Evaluation Objectives

This evaluation is a commitment of the Federal Initiative, as specified in the Results-Based Management and Accountability Framework. Results from the evaluation will be used to inform senior management regarding the following:

  • progress to date;
  • need for improvements; and
  • readiness for the summative evaluation.

The objectives set for this evaluation were to assess the following:

  1. relevance of federal involvement in HIV/AIDS issues in Canada;
  2. implementation of planned activities and key outputs of the Federal Initiative from 2004 to 2007 and the transition from the Canadian Strategy on HIV/AIDS;
  3. extent to which the performance measurement and management system of the Federal Initiative has been implemented; and
  4. available evidence of progress towards planned outcomes and whether the Federal Initiative, as designed, is achieving planned outcomes.

C. Major Findings

The analysis of the objectives indicates that the Federal Initiative is in an advanced state of implementation and that key outputs are aligned with outcomes. The staged rollout of funding has created the additional challenge of “doing more with less.” This, in conjunction with the challenges of horizontal management structure, has had a direct impact on the pace of implementation. In response, the following three major recommendations aim to enhance the accountability and reporting systems and strengthen the horizontal management.

D. Recommendations

1. Finalize the Performance Measurement Framework (PMF) and Information Management System (IMS)

The challenges presented by a horizontal management structure impact directly on the Federal Initiative governance structure and decision-making processes.

Current performance reporting for the Federal Initiative is underdeveloped. It is recommended that the participating departments and agencies review the current PMF to align program outputs and outcomes with the logic model; set realistic targets; and identify a concise set of performance measures, particularly key outputs and outcome measures. With this framework in place, data collection and performance monitoring activities will generate the required data.

2. Implement the PMF and IMS

Once the PMF and IMS are revised, it is essential to follow up with the implementation plan to ensure that the measures are in place to respond to monitoring, reporting, and evaluation requirements.

3. Strengthen Horizontal Management

The Federal Initiative Responsibility Centre Committee (RCC) meets many of the criteria of good governance of a horizontal initiative. The RCC successfully manages crosscutting issues and meets reporting commitments. The next step is for Federal Initiative partners to see their roles in terms of the achievement of horizontal objectives, rather than the execution of their separate component and program tasks.

It is recommended that the RCC review its horizontal management function, with a view to strengthening its role in delivering results and managing federal resources.

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