Departmental Evaluation Plan 2019-20 to 2023-24

5-year priorities of NRC's Evaluation Group

  • Deliver evaluation projects that support the NRC in the achievement of results, sound stewardship and effective resource management
    • 5-year schedule includes majority of all of the NRC's direct program spending on a 5-year timeframe – only 2 enabling services not covered
  • Provide independent and timely insight, advice and challenge to management on a range of issues including new business models, risks and ongoing business operations
    • Completion of 2 program reviews (Bio-based Specialty Chemicals and Health Technologies)
    • Management of retrospective review of NRC programs
    • Share common themes from program reviews and evaluations
    • Develop approaches to monitoring and evaluating collaboration centres and enabling services
  • Facilitate use in decision making, improve communication of results to NRC executives and other internal stakeholders
    • Build expertise in using Slide Docs for evaluation reports and continuing to improve dissemination (i.e., decks) to NRC's Performance Measurement and Evaluation Committee (PMEC)
    • Implement communication strategy at the function level and project level (e.g., presentations to research centre advisory committees, articles in internal NRC newsletter)
  • Increase efficiency and reduce burden on research centres, branches and IRAP, streamline planning, fieldwork, reporting and quality assurance
    • Review all aspects of evaluation processes with a view to streamlining

About the departmental evaluation plan

  • Schedule based on:
    • FAA-required evaluations: Grant and Contribution programs and Treasury Board Secretariat commitments
    • Evaluation of all other direct program spending (timing based on risk, need and priority)
  • Aligns with requirements of the Policy on Results and the Departmental Results Framework
  • Developed in consultation with members of the NRC's Senior Executive Committee
  • Evaluations consider Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+)

2019-20 planned resources

  2019-20 Budget
Salaries (including Employee Benefit Plan) $1,642,637
Operations and Maintenance (O&M) (from Office of Audit and Evaluation [OAE] Operational Budget) $113,000
Total (OAE) $1,755,637
O&M (from other NRC) $77,807
Total Evaluation Plan Spending $1,833,444

Full Time Equivalent: 13.4 employees


  • Budget figures do not include salary or O&M for peer reviews
  • Staffing complement includes 3 positions currently vacant; to be filled in 2019-20

2018-19 highlights

Evaluations completed

  • Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program
  • Digital Technologies
  • Energy, Mining and Environment

Program reviews completed

  • Bioenergy
  • Energy Storage
  • Environmental Advances in Mining
  • High-efficiency Mining
  • High-performance Buildings
  • Printable Electronics

Use of evaluations and reviews

  • Increased project management skills and practices
  • Improved business approaches and processes

Evaluations and program reviews inform decision making

  • 100% of NRC respondents agreed that evaluation/program review recommendations should result in significant improvements to the program
  • 75% of NRC respondents found that evaluations/program reviews were beneficial to program management
  • 96% of evaluation management action plan items due in 2017-18 were actually implemented – the NRC achieved the highest completion rate out of all large-sized Government of Canada departments (Management Accountability Framework 2018-19 Results Management)

Strong expertise in peer reviews

  • 91% of peer review committee members agreed documentation contained necessary information to answer review questions
  • 91% of peer review committee members would recommend participation to a colleague

"I have chaired many reviews of national laboratories in the US, and I found that this was the best organized that I have encountered in terms of identifying committee participants, providing information before the reviews, and in identifying additional information to be provided during the reviews."

Chair, Program Review

Innovations adopted

  • Peer review committee: continued development of guidelines and expertise in the establishment and use of peer review committees
  • Slide Docs: piloting the use of Slide Docs for evaluation reports
  • Walk your data: developed and used this approach to present and validate program review and evaluation findings and recommendations
  • Laid the ground for an upcoming NRC impact assessment to address policy authority commitment (Re-imagined NRC)
  • Training on GBA+ and risk: led to the development of approaches piloted in evaluations
  • Sharing expertise: multiple outreach within the NRC (peer review, performance measurement) and within the Government of Canada evaluation community (walk your data, follow-up on recommendations, neutral assessment)