Results-Based Management Lexicon

Notice to the reader

The Policy on Results came into effect on July 1, 2016, and it replaced the Policy on Evaluation and its instruments.

Since 2016, the Centre of Excellence for Evaluation has been replaced by the Results Division.

For more information on evaluations and related topics, please visit the Evaluation section of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat website.

Accountability - (Responsabilisation)
The obligation to demonstrate that responsibility is being taken both for the means used and the results achieved in light of agreed expectations.
Activity - (Activité)
An operation or work process an organization performs, which uses inputs to produce outputs. E.g., Training, research, construction, negotiation and investigation.
Attribution - (Attribution)
the extent to which a reasonable causal connection can be made between a specific outcome and the activities and outputs of a government policy, program or initiative.
Canada's Performance - (Le Rendement du Canada)
A government-wide performance report tabled in the fall of each year by the President of Treasury Board. Canada's Performance provides parliamentarians and Canadians with a whole-of-government perspective from which to view the plans, results and resources reported by individual federal departments and agencies in their spring planning and fall performance reports. Example: Canada's Performance 2003
Departmental Performance Reports (DPR) - (Rapports ministériels sur le rendement - RMR)
Departmental Performance Reports (DPRs), tabled in the fall of each year by the President of Treasury Board on behalf of all federal departments and agencies named in Schedules I, I.1 and II of the Financial Administration Act, are part of the Estimates and Supply process. Their fundamental purpose is to present a report on results and accomplishments as established in the corresponding Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPP) in order to provide Parliamentarians with knowledge and understanding of the government's stewardship of public resources.
Effectiveness - (Efficacité)
The extent to which an organization, policy, program or initiative is meeting its expected results. Related term: Cost Effectiveness - The extent to which an organization, program, policy or initiative is using the most appropriate and efficient means in achieving its expected results relative to alternative design and delivery approaches.
Efficiency - (Efficience)
The relationship between the outputs and results of an organization, policy, program or initiative and the resources used to produce them.
Evaluation - (Évaluation)
a systematic collection and analysis of evidence on the outcomes of programs to make judgments about their relevance, performance and alternative ways to deliver them or to achieve the same results.
Expected Result - (Résultat attendu)
An outcome that a program, policy or initiative is designed to produce.
Governance - (Régie)
The processes and structures through which decision-making authority is exercised. E.g., An effective governance structure ensures individuals or groups of individuals are responsible for setting policy directions, priorities, taking investment decisions, re-allocating resources, and designing programs.
Government of Canada Outcome - (Résultat du gouvernement du Canada)
The long-term and enduring benefits to Canadians that more than one federal department or agency is working to achieve. Example: An Innovative and Knowledge-based Economy
Horizontal Initiative - (Initiative horizontale)
A horizontal initiative is one in which two or more federal organizations, through an approved funding agreement, work toward achieving clearly defined shared outcomes, and which has been designated (e.g. by Cabinet, a central agency, etc.) as a horizontal initiative for managing and reporting purposes.
Horizontal Results-Based Management and Accountability Framework (HRMAF) - (Cadre horizontal de gestion et de responsabilisation axé sur les résultats [CHGRR])
A framework that ensures horizontal initiatives and policy-program domains have adequate governance and accountability structures, are logically designed and have in place the processes and structures necessary to measure and report on performance. E.g., Measures to Combat Organized Crime Initiative RMAF.
Initiative - (Initiative)
A priority outcome articulated by the government of Canada and the means to achieve it. It may involve one or more departments, and one or more programs.
Performance criteria - (Critère de rendement)

A variable used to characterize or determine success of an organization, program, policy or initiative in producing outputs or achieving expected outcomes. E.g., client satisfaction.

Examples of relationships between outcome/outputs, performance criteria and performance measures:

Output/Outcome Performance criteria Performance measures/indicators
Training sessions for clients Quantity # of training sessions held
Reduced production of GHG in a certain industry Stakeholder support Number of stakeholders that have indicated they are interested in participating in GHG reduction programs
  GHG reduction % reduction of GHG from 2004 levels
Input - (Intrant)
The financial and non-financial resources used by organizations to implement policies, programs and initiatives to produce outputs and accomplish outcomes. E.g., Funds, personnel, equipment and supplies.
Logic Model - (Modèle logique)

A depiction of the causal or logical relationships between activities inputs, outputs and the outcomes of a given policy, program or initiative. E.g., Results Chain

Figure 1: Logic Model
Logic model diagram. Text version below:
Figure 1 - Text version

The results chain logic model clearly identifies the linkages from inputs to activities through associated outputs to the sequence of expected outcomes. Inputs and activities are identified to the left of the process as being within the area of control internal to the organization, and outputs are identified as products or services reaching an external group. To the right is the area of influence external to the organization in which immediate, intermediate and final outcomes are identified. This is where external factors are also identified as having influence or effect. Below the model areas of efficiency and effectiveness are also identified with efficiency taking place during the inputs, activities and outputs steps and effectiveness beginning during outputs and continuing through to the final outcome.

Management Resources and Results Structure (MRRS) - (Structure de gestion des ressources et des résultats [SGRR])
A comprehensive framework that consists of an organization's inventory of activities, resources, results, performance measurement and governance information. Activities and results are depicted in their logical relationship to each other and to the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute. The MRRS is developed from a Program Alignment Architecture (PAA).
Outcome - (Résultat)

An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Outcomes are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization's influence. Outcomes are usually further qualified as immediate, intermediate, or ultimate (final), expected, direct, etc.

Three types of outcomes related to the logic model are defined as:

Immediate Outcome - (Résultat immédiat)
an outcome that is directly attributable to a policy, program or initiative's outputs. In terms of time frame and level, these are short-term outcomes and are often at the level of an increase in awareness of a target population.
Intermediate Outcome - (Résultat intermédiaire)
an outcome that is expected to logically occur once one or more immediate outcomes have been achieved. In terms of time frame and level, these are medium-term outcomes and are often at the change of behaviour level among a target population.
Final Outcome - (Résultat final)
the highest-level outcome that can be reasonably attributed to a policy, program or initiative in causal manner, and is the consequence of one or more intermediate outcomes having been achieved. These outcomes usually represent the raison d'être of a policy, program or initiative. They are long-term outcomes that represent a change of state of a target population. Ultimate outcomes of individual programs, policies or initiatives contribute to the higher-level departmental Strategic Outcomes.
Output - (Extrant)
Direct products or services stemming from the activities of an organization, policy, program or initiative, and usually within the control of the organization itself. E.g., pamphlet, research study, water treatment plant and training session
Performance - (Rendement)
What a government did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the government intended to achieve and how well lessons learned have been identified.
Performance Indicator
see Performance measure
Performance measure - (Mesures de rendement)
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results. Quantitative performance measures are composed of a number and a unit. The number provides the magnitude (how much) and the unit gives the number its meaning (what). E.g., number of written complaints received.
Performance Measurement - (Mesure du rendement)
The process and systems of selection, development and on-going use of performance measures to guide decision-making.
Performance Monitoring - (Suivi du rendement)
The ongoing, systematic process of collecting, analyzing and using performance information to assess and report on an organization's progress in meeting expected results and, if necessary, make adjustments to ensure these results are achieved.
Performance Reporting - (Production de rapports sur le rendement)
The process of communicating evidence-based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision-making, accountability and transparency.
Policy - (Politique)
Government legislation, regulation, official guidelines or operating principles that influence behaviour towards a stated outcome. Example: Canada Health Act.
Plans - (Plans)
The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.
Priorities (for RPP) - (Priorités [RPP])
Plans or projects that an organization has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. They represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired Strategic Outcome(s).
Program - (Programme)
A group of related activities that are designed and managed to meet a specific public need and often treated as a budgetary unit.
Program Alignment Architecture (PAA) - (Architecture d'alignement des programmes [AAP])
An inventory of all the programs undertaken by a department or agency. The programs are depicted in their logical relationship to each other and to the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute. The PAA is the initial document for the establishment of a Management Resource and Results Structure (MRRS).
Program Alignment Architecture, Horizontal - (Architecture d'alignement des programmes, horizontal)
An inventory of all programs and initiatives in a horizontal policy-program domain and their relationship to outcomes.
Reach - (Portée)
The target that a given program or organization is intended to influence, including individuals and organizations, clients, partners, and other stakeholders (see Target Group).
Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPP) - (Rapports sur les plans et les priorités - RPP)
As part of the Main Estimates, the RPPs provide information on departmental plans and expected performance over a three-year period. These reports are tabled in Parliament each spring, after resource allocation deliberations. They include information on the department or agency's mission or mandate, strategic outcomes, strategies, plans and performance targets.
Results are the same as outcomes. See outcome definition.
Result Chain
See Logic model.
Results for Canadians - (Des résultats pour les Canadiens et les Canadiennes)
Describes the management framework for the federal government of Canada. Published in early 2000, this key document outlines the four management commitments for the federal government: citizen focus, public service values, results and responsible spending.
Results-based Management - (Gestion axée sur les résultats)
A comprehensive, lifecycle approach to management that integrates strategy, people, resources, processes and measurements to improve decision-making and drive change. The approach focuses on getting the right design early in a process, foussing on outcomes, implementing performance measurement, learning and changing, and reporting performance.
Results-based Management and Accountability Framework (RMAF) - (Cadre de gestion et de responsabilisation axé sur les résultats - CGRR)
A document which outlines the rationale, theory, resources and governance and accountability structures of a program policy or initiative and sets out a plan to measure, monitor and report on results throughout the lifecycle of the policy, program or initiative. RMAFs are intended to assist departments in achieving the expected results of their policy, program or initiative.
Strategic Outcome - (Résultat stratégique)
A long-term and enduring benefit to Canadians that stems from a department or agency's mandate, vision and efforts. It represents what a department or agency wants to do for Canadians and should be a clear measurable outcome that is within the department or agency's sphere of influence.
Target - (Cible)
A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative and are appropriate for both outputs and outcomes. E.g., 70% of Canadian households will own their own home in 2006.
Target Group (Target Population) - (Groupe Cible)
The set of individuals that an activity is intended to influence.
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