Evaluation competencies

At all levels, it is:

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Head of Evaluation

Evaluation expertise

  • Ensures evaluation credibility, defensibility, and utility including through:
    • utilizing rigorous approaches, designs, methods, data and practices, which include quantitative (for example, stand-alone and linked administrative data and surveys) and qualitative (for example, interviews and focus groups) data collection and analysis techniques (for example, program contribution and attribution analyses, experimentation, impacts, net impacts)
    • providing specific and results-oriented recommendations
    • developing advanced negotiating skills and using them to scope, conduct and report evaluation findings, as well as to articulate recommendations
    • committing to ongoing professional development, including consideration of the Credentialed Evaluator designation administered by the Canadian Evaluation Society
    • engaging key stakeholders to secure their commitment to the delivery of management action plans
    • using advanced communication skills to ensure that internal stakeholders, especially at the Director General level and above, understand the evaluation process and the related roles and responsibilities
    • ensuring wide distribution of findings, in a manner that facilitates their use, based on the final report and supporting studies (where undertaken) of the evaluation
  • Ensures adherence to the Government of Canada Standard on Evaluation in the Directive on Results, including government-wide policy considerations such as gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) and official languages
  • Supports and encourages learning to continually enhance cultural competency among all evaluators when undertaking evaluation projects, where appropriate
  • Ensures that evaluations incorporate and respect, where appropriate, the cultural norms, values and beliefs of individuals and groups that are involved in the evaluation, including Indigenous communities, in all phases of evaluation projects
  • Advises senior managers and other stakeholders about effective performance measurement and its link to evaluation
  • Remains up-to-date on trends and innovations in evaluation and advises the deputy head, senior managers and other stakeholders about these trends and innovations, including about how they can be best used to meet a department’s information needs
  • Relies on expert advice (for example, from a Director of Evaluation) for an in-depth understanding of evaluation if required

Uphold integrity and respect

  • Ensures that the evaluation function is neutral, objective and accountable
  • Supports and ensures the active application of values and ethics and professional standards to evaluation practice
  • Acts as a trusted advisor who gives direct evidence-based advice to senior management and other officials
  • Preserves the integrity of evaluation
  • Is responsive to senior management and client needs, but does not compromise evaluation standards in response to pressure
  • Instills a culture of consultation, transparency, fairness and respect in evaluation

Create vision and strategy

  • Develops and achieves buy-in for an ambitious, compelling vision of evaluation as:
    • a valued and nimble organizational function
    • a pillar, along with performance measurement, of the organization’s results culture
  • Translates program and departmental risks and needs into:
    • departmental evaluation planning that includes strong rationales for evaluation coverage choices
    • a range of evaluation products that are user- and utilization-focused
  • Facilitates the effective and creative use of evaluation to advance results and priorities
  • Supports and encourages reflective evaluation practices
  • Monitors and follows up on the utility of evaluation projects in meeting the needs of clients

Collaborate with partners and stakeholders

  • Collaborates with stakeholders to:
    • solicit and respond to a wide range of inputs on evaluation plans and products without compromising neutrality or objectivity
    • ensure the widespread use of evaluation to improve results and delivery
  • Negotiates creative and innovative solutions to challenges in evaluation planning and products
  • Collaborates with the Head of Performance Measurement and program officials to ensure that departmental needs for performance information are met
  • Collaborates on evaluation and negotiates with other Heads of Evaluation and partners, including at other levels of government, where appropriate
  • Engages with the broader evaluation and performance-measurement communities
  • Ensures that evaluation contractors are engaged and used effectively and appropriately in support of meeting the evaluation needs of the department

Achieve results

  • Ensures a focus on utilization and results in evaluation planning and products
  • Mobilizes and manages evaluation resources to achieve results
  • Assesses the impacts of evaluation work and engages in continual improvement of the function
  • Distills individual evaluations and sets of evaluations into timely and strategic advice and results-oriented recommendations that support senior and program managers in their decision-making and in achieving results

Promote innovation and guide change

  • Guides the evaluation function in reflecting, experimenting and applying lessons learned
  • Promotes creative, innovative, bold and needs-driven approaches to sharing evaluation results
  • Guides the deputy head and senior management in using performance information for change and improvement
  • Promotes evaluation as a tool for:
    • assessing departmental experiments and innovation
    • driving change to improve results and delivery
  • Promotes a better understanding, within the organization, of the range of evaluations and their uses
  • Adapts evaluation planning and products while maintaining standards

Mobilize people

  • Actively champions evaluation to motivate executives, managers and staff to be engaged in and benefit from the function
  • Encourages evaluators to pursue high standards, excellence and innovation in their work
  • Creates the conditions for evaluators to feel empowered to:
    • suggest solutions
    • challenge the status quo and assumptions in their work
    • be creative in problem-solving and experimentation
  • Leads by example through continually learning about evaluation and performance measurement
  • Supports the advancement of evaluators’ competencies

Director of Evaluation

Evaluation expertise

  • Advises and supports the Head of Evaluation, evaluators, evaluation teams and evaluands to ensure that evaluations are credible and useful
  • Has evaluation expertise, which includes the following education, training and experience, in addition to what may be deemed relevant on a case-by-case basis:
    • planning for and using rigorous approaches, designs, methods, data and practices, which include quantitative (for example, stand-alone and linked administrative data and surveys) and qualitative (for example, interviews and focus groups) data collection and analysis techniques (for example, program contribution and attribution analyses, experimentation, impacts, net impacts)
    • committing to ongoing professional development, including consideration of the Credentialed Evaluator designation administered by the Canadian Evaluation Society
    • identifying and using data from reliable sources and developing linked data as needed
    • providing timely, evidence-based and defensible findings, conclusions and results-oriented recommendations
    • responding to issues of importance to intended users
    • developing and using intermediate negotiation skills to scope, conduct and report evaluation findings, as well as to articulate recommendations
    • using advanced communication skills to ensure that internal stakeholders, especially at the director level, understand the evaluation process and the related roles and responsibilities
    • clearly communicating reliable interpretations of complex evidence
    • ensuring wide distribution of findings, in a manner that facilitates their use, based on the final report and supporting studies (where undertaken) of the evaluation
  • Appropriately applies the Government of Canada’s Standard on Evaluationin the Directive on Results to evaluation, including the integration of government-wide policy considerations such as GBA+ and official languages
  • Advises and supports the Head of Evaluation, evaluators, evaluation teams and evaluands to ensure that evaluations incorporate and respect, where appropriate, the cultural norms, values and beliefs of individuals and groups involved in the evaluation, including Indigenous communities, in all phases of evaluation projects
  • Advises the Head of Evaluation and other stakeholders about effective performance measurement and its link to evaluation
  • Acts as an authority on current evaluation trends, innovations, methods, practices and standards, and advises the Head of Evaluation and managers about them, including about how they can best be used to meet a department’s information needs
  • Remains up-to-date on trends and innovations in evaluation and uses these trends and innovations to experiment where appropriate
  • Ensures that trends and innovations are shared within evaluation units and with other departments

Uphold integrity and respect

  • Acts to ensure the neutrality, objectivity and accountability of evaluation work
  • Supports and ensures the active application of values and ethics and professional standards to evaluation practice
  • Provides senior management with clear and accurate information and advice about evaluation results in a timely manner
  • Provides the Head of Evaluation and managers with direct advice
  • Preserves the integrity of evaluation while being responsive to senior management and client needs
  • Does not compromise evaluation standards in response to pressure
  • Promotes a culture of consultation, transparency, respect and fairness in evaluation

Create vision and strategy

  • Promotes and implements the Head of Evaluation’s vision for evaluation
  • Supports departmental evaluation planning by:
    • analyzing program and departmental risks and understanding the department’s performance information needs
    • assessing and proposing strong rationales for evaluation coverage choices
    • identifying user- and utilization-focused evaluation products
  • Identifies opportunities for effective and creative use of evaluation to advance results and priorities
  • Engages in, supports and encourages reflective evaluation practices
  • Monitors and follows up on the utility of evaluation projects in meeting the needs of clients

Collaborate with partners and stakeholders

  • Solicits and considers the input of evaluation stakeholders, including program and senior managers, on evaluation plans and products without compromising neutrality or objectivity
  • Negotiates creative and innovative solutions to challenges in evaluation planning and products
  • Counsels program management on using evaluations to enhance performance
  • Cooperates with the Head of Performance Measurement, program officials and others to ensure that performance information needs are met
  • Collaborates and negotiates with partners, including in other departments and at other levels of government, on evaluation, including horizontal evaluation, where appropriate
  • Encourages and engages in collaboration and sharing among evaluators, including evaluators in other departments
  • Effectively oversees the planning for and use of evaluation contractors by the department to ensure that evaluation resources are efficiently allocated

Achieve results

  • Ensures a focus on utilization and results in evaluation planning and products
  • Manages evaluation resources to achieve results
  • Assesses the impacts of evaluation work, integrates lessons learned and advises the Head of Evaluation of continual improvement of the evaluation function
  • Supports the Head of Evaluation in distilling individual evaluations and sets of evaluations into timely and strategic advice and results-oriented recommendations that support senior managers and program managers in their decision-making and in achieving results

Promote innovation and guide change

  • Encourages evaluators to experiment and to derive and apply lessons learned
  • Suggests and carries out creative, innovative, bold and needs-driven approaches to sharing evaluation results
  • Guides program and senior management in using performance information for change and improvement
  • Promotes evaluation as a tool for:
    • assessing departmental experiments and innovation
    • driving change to improve results and delivery
  • Promotes a better understanding, within the organization, of the range of evaluations and their uses
  • Adapts evaluation planning and products while maintaining standards

Mobilize people

  • Sets goals and provides guidance for evaluators to pursue a high standard of excellence in their work
  • Encourages evaluators to suggest solutions or alternatives that challenge the status quo
  • Builds the human resources capacity to support effective evaluation
  • Leads by example through continual learning about evaluation and performance measurement
  • Supports the advancement of evaluators’ competencies

Evaluation specialists

Evaluation expertise

Junior evaluators

  • Provides advice to ensure that evaluations are credible and useful
  • Researches and supports the development of program theory and the identification of stakeholders
  • Supports the identification of evaluation questions that address the purposes of each evaluation
  • Helps determine data requirements and the availability of existing data from ongoing performance measurement, including data gaps that require attention
  • Supports the development of the approach, design and methodology, which include quantitative (for example, stand-alone and linked administrative data and surveys) and qualitative (for example, interviews and focus groups) data collection and analysis techniques (for example, program contribution and attribution analyses, experimentation impacts, net impacts) for evaluations, including strategies for addressing data gaps
  • Commits to ongoing professional development, including consideration of the Credentialed Evaluator designation administered by the Canadian Evaluation Society
  • As appropriate, supports the incorporation of government-wide policy considerations such as GBA+ and official languages, including in evaluation designs, methodologies and reporting
  • Demonstrates an understanding of and sensitivity to the cultural norms, values and beliefs of individuals and groups involved in the evaluation, including Indigenous communities
  • Exhibits an ability to engage in self-reflection by recognizing one’s own biases and beliefs, and supports incorporating cultural norms, values and beliefs meaningfully in evaluation projects, where appropriate
  • Applies data-gathering techniques, instruments and protocols to collect valid, reliable data
  • Analyzes quantitative and qualitative data, supports the identification of gaps in the evidence base for the evaluation, and proposes solutions
  • Supports the identification of evidence-based findings and the development of conclusions
  • Contributes to the development of feasible recommendations that are focused on improving results in a way that flows logically from the findings and conclusions
  • Supports the preparation of clear, concise evaluation reports and presentations
  • Pursues excellence in their work and adheres to the Standard on Evaluation
  • Under the direction of the Head of Evaluation, provides advice on performance measurement (for example, indicators and methodologies) for Performance Information Profiles, including their utility for supporting evaluation 
  • Remains up-to-date on trends and innovations in evaluation
  • Understands and supports creative and innovative evaluation solutions

Intermediate evaluators

  • Provides advice to ensure that evaluations are credible and useful
  • Generates or validates program theory and linkages to the Departmental Results Framework and other programs and identifies stakeholders
  • Proposes evaluation issues and questions that address the purposes of each evaluation
  • Determines or verifies data requirements; analyzes available performance measurement data and judges its quality, reliability and validity to support an evaluation; identifies data gaps that require attention
  • Proposes evaluation approach, design and methodology, including quantitative (for example, stand-alone and linked administrative data, surveys) and qualitative (for example, interviews, focus groups) data collection and analysis techniques (for example, program contribution and attribution analyses, impacts, net impacts) that correspond with evaluation purpose, risk, available performance information and evaluation resources, including strategies for addressing data gaps
  • As appropriate, incorporates government-wide policy considerations, such as GBA+ and official languages, including in evaluation designs, methodologies and reporting
  • Demonstrates an understanding of and sensitivity to the cultural norms, values and beliefs of individuals and groups involved in the evaluation, including Indigenous communities, and incorporates them meaningfully, where appropriate, in all phases of evaluation by carrying out self-reflection and recognizing one’s own biases and beliefs; practises respectful engagement with individuals and groups to develop an understanding of the context of the evaluation; determines appropriate evaluation methodologies that provide opportunities for culturally appropriate data collection, voluntary participation, and meeting the norms of privacy and confidentiality; recognizes the value of other cultural beliefs when carrying out the analysis and interpretation of data; and prepares evaluation products that recognize and respect diversity
  • Designs data collection instruments and protocols, implements or monitors their implementation, and judges the validity and reliability of the collected data
  • Analyzes and interprets quantitative or qualitative data, identifies gaps in the evidence base, assesses the adequacy of the evidence base and addresses any gaps as appropriate
  • Identifies evidence-based findings, including assessing the attribution to or contribution of the evaluand, and formulates sound conclusions that are valid in relation to the evaluation’s purpose
  • Proposes feasible recommendations that are focused on improving results in a way that flows logically from the findings and conclusions
  • Prepares clear, concise evaluation reports and presentations that respond to user needs
  • Pursues excellence in their work and adheres to the Standard on Evaluation
  • Commits to ongoing professional development, including consideration of the Credentialed Evaluator designation administered by the Canadian Evaluation Society. 
  • Under the direction of the Head of Evaluation, provides advice on performance measurement (for example, indicators and methodologies) for Performance Information Profiles, including their usefulness for supporting evaluation; in doing so, seeks to engage with new programs at the design stage and with existing programs as far in advance as possible to minimize gaps in performance data
  • Remains up-to-date on trends and innovations in evaluation
  • Proposes creative and innovative evaluation solutions

Senior evaluators

  • Proposes or verifies evaluation purposes, determines evaluation issues and questions that address the purposes of each evaluation, and ensures that evaluations are credible and useful
  • Generates and/or validates program theory, identification of stakeholders and linkages to the Departmental Results Framework and/or other programs, including those in other government departments
  • Advises the Director and the Head of Evaluation on the adequacy, quality, reliability and validity of available performance measurement data to support evaluations, and on data gaps that require attention
  • Proposes and/or verifies the evaluation approach, design and methodology, including quantitative (for example, stand-alone and linked administrative data, surveys) and qualitative (for example, interviews, focus groups) data collection and analysis techniques (for example, program contribution/attribution analyses, experimentation, impacts, net impacts) that correspond with evaluation purpose, risk, available performance information and evaluation resources. including strategies for addressing data gaps
  • As appropriate, incorporates or verifies the incorporation of government-wide policy considerations, such as GBA+ and official languages, in evaluation designs, methodologies and reporting
  • Demonstrates an understanding of and sensitivity to the cultural norms, values and beliefs of individuals and groups involved in the evaluation, including Indigenous communities, and incorporates them meaningfully, where appropriate, in all phases of evaluation by carrying out self-reflection and recognizing one’s own biases and beliefs; practises respectful engagement with individuals and groups to develop an understanding of the context of the evaluation; determines appropriate evaluation methodologies that provide opportunities for culturally appropriate data collection, voluntary participation, and meeting the norms of privacy and confidentiality; recognizes the value of other cultural beliefs when carrying out the analysis and interpretation of data; and prepares evaluation products that recognize and respect diversity
  • Ensures the quality and integrity of data collection instruments and protocols, the validity and reliability of collected data, and the resolution of data collection problems
  • Ensures the adequacy of the evidence base and the accuracy of data interpretation
  • Identifies or validates evidence-based findings and conclusions that are valid to the evaluation purpose, including their attribution to or the contribution of the evaluand, and draws linkages between the evaluand and organizational and government-wide objectives and priorities
  • Ensures that evaluations include feasible recommendations that are focused on improving results in a way that flows logically from the findings and conclusions
  • Ensures that evaluation reports and presentations are defensible, clear, concise and timely, and that the reports and presentations address users’ needs
  • Pursues excellence in their work and adheres to the Standard on Evaluation
  • Leads by example and motivates evaluators and teams to pursue excellence in their work, adhere to the evaluation standards, and not to compromise standards in response to pressure
  • Under the direction of the Head of Evaluation, provides advice on performance measurement (for example, indicators and methodologies) in the Departmental Results Framework and Performance Information Profiles, including their utility for supporting evaluation; in doing so, seeks to engage with new programs at the design stage and with existing programs as far in advance as possible to minimize gaps in performance data
  • Has an ongoing commitment to professional development, including consideration of the Credentialed Evaluator designation administered by the Canadian Evaluation Society
  • Remains up-to-date on trends and innovations in evaluation, and promotes sharing of trends and innovations within evaluation units
  • Identifies and carries out creative and innovative evaluation solutions and practices

Demonstrating integrity and respect

Junior evaluator

  • Maintains neutrality and objectivity when conducting evaluations and reporting evaluation findings
  • Identifies and works to address values and ethics issues in evaluations, and communicates these issues to their manager
  • Demonstrates confidence, composure and integrity when providing advice
  • Responds to difficult situations with honesty and tact
  • Contributes to a climate of transparency, respect and fairness within the evaluation unit and among evaluation stakeholders through open and honest communication

Intermediate evaluator

  • Maintains neutrality and objectivity when conducting evaluations and reporting evaluation findings
  • Identifies and works to address values and ethics issues in evaluations, and communicates these issues to their manager
  • Demonstrates confidence, composure and integrity when providing advice
  • Responds to difficult situations with honesty and tact
  • Contributes to a climate of transparency, respect and fairness within the evaluation unit and among evaluation stakeholders through open and honest communication

Senior evaluator

  • Maintains neutrality and objectivity when conducting evaluations and reporting evaluation findings
  • Identifies and works to address values and ethics issues in evaluations, and communicates these issues to their manager
  • Demonstrates confidence, composure and integrity when providing advice and when presenting evaluation results
  • Responds to difficult situations with honesty and tact, and supports evaluation team members in doing the same
  • Contributes to a climate of transparency, respect and fairness, within the evaluation unit and among evaluation stakeholders, by modelling and encouraging open and honest communication

Thinking things through

Junior evaluator

  • Understands the organization’s Departmental Results Framework, program inventory and priorities, and applies this knowledge to evaluation work
  • Supports departmental evaluation planning by contributing to the analysis of program risks and performance-information needs
  • Accurately assesses evaluation challenges and identifies potential solutions
  • Considers issues, data and context from diverse perspectives to help identify trends and patterns in performance
  • Understands the roles and responsibilities for generating and using performance measurement and evaluation in the department, including its sources and how to access them
  • Accepts and provides constructive feedback, and engages in self-reflection to learn from successes and failures in evaluation
  • Identifies changing conditions and emerging challenges that may require adaptation in evaluation strategies
  • Integrates lessons learned into evaluation work

Intermediate evaluator

  • Understands the organization’s Departmental Results Framework, program inventory, priorities and broader environment, including linkages to stakeholders outside of their department, and applies this knowledge to evaluation work
  • Supports departmental evaluation planning by analyzing program risks and assessing performance information needs
  • Accurately assesses evaluation challenges and identifies solutions for addressing challenges
  • Insightfully considers issues, data, and context from diverse perspectives to identify trends and patterns in, and explanations for, performance
  • Understands the roles and responsibilities for generating and using performance measurement and evaluation in the department – including its sources, how to access them and their quality – and applies this knowledge to evaluation work
  • Accepts and provides constructive feedback, engages in self-reflection, and participates in reflection as a team to learn from successes and failures in evaluation
  • Proposes adaptations in evaluation strategies in response to changing conditions and emerging challenges
  • Integrates lessons learned into evaluation work

Senior evaluator

  • Understands the organization’s Departmental Results Framework, program inventory, priorities and broader environment, including linkages to stakeholders outside of their department, and applies this knowledge to evaluation work
  • Supports departmental evaluation planning by:
    • analyzing program and departmental risks and assessing performance information needs
    • proposing rationales for evaluation coverage choices
  • Accurately assesses evaluation challenges, and identifies and implements solutions
  • Experiments with innovative solutions to evaluation challenges, and shares the solutions with the evaluation community
  • Insightfully makes and assesses observations on issues, data and context from all relevant perspectives to identify trends and patterns in, and explanations for, performance
  • Understands the roles and responsibilities for generating and using performance measurement and evaluation in the department, including its sources, how to access it and its quality, and applies this knowledge to evaluation work; advises evaluation teams in this regard
  • Accepts and provides constructive feedback, engages in self-reflection, and participates in reflection as a team to learn from successes and failures in evaluation
  • Adapts evaluation strategies in response to changing conditions and emerging challenges, including managing expectations and reactions to change by stakeholders
  • Monitors and follows up on the usefulness of evaluation projects in meeting the needs of clients, and integrates lessons learned into the work of evaluation teams

Working effectively with others

Junior evaluator

  • Is responsive to input from evaluation stakeholders without compromising neutrality or objectivity
  • Collaborates with the evaluation team to identify potential improvements to performance measurement, including to support evaluations
  • Participates in effective two-way communication with evaluation team members
  • Collaborates and shares knowledge with others on the evaluation team
  • Collaborates effectively with evaluation contractors engaged by the department

Intermediate evaluator

  • Solicits and is responsive to input from evaluation stakeholders without compromising neutrality or objectivity
  • Collaborates within evaluation teams and with programs officials to identify needed improvements to performance measurement, including to support evaluations
  • Facilitates effective two-way communication with evaluation team members and stakeholders
  • Collaborates and shares evaluation expertise and knowledge within the evaluation team, and with partners and stakeholders
  • Communicates clearly and collaborates effectively with evaluation contractors engaged by the department

Senior evaluator

  • Solicits and is responsive to input from evaluation stakeholders, including senior and program managers, on evaluations without compromising neutrality or objectivity
  • Collaborates with evaluation teams, program management and others to identify needed improvements to performance measurement, including to support evaluations
  • Facilitates effective two-way communication between evaluation team members and stakeholders
  • Maintains collaborative working relationships with partners and stakeholders in other federal departments to support horizontal evaluation activities
  • Promotes collaboration and sharing of evaluation expertise and knowledge within the evaluation team and with partners and stakeholders
  • Effectively plans for and manages the work of evaluation contractors engaged by the department

Showing initiative and being action-oriented

Junior evaluator

  • Organizes own work to complete evaluation tasks on time, and seeks help when needed
  • Actively pursues continual improvement in their evaluation competencies

Intermediate evaluator   

  • Tracks the progress of evaluation projects, and plans contingencies to ensure that tasks are achieved on time
  • Actively pursues continual improvement in their evaluation competencies

Senior evaluator

  • Oversees evaluation projects according to the plans, monitors the quality of the work and addresses issues where required
  • Actively pursues continual improvement in their evaluation competencies and mentors junior staff
  • Supports evaluators’ professional development, and informs them of opportunities to advance their competencies when supervising them
  • Measures the impacts of evaluation and advises the Head or Director of Evaluation about them
  • Supports the Head or Director of Evaluation by integrating the knowledge generated by evaluation activities into strategic advice for senior management
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