Departmental Evaluation Plan 2020-21 to 2024-25


The Evaluation Schedule is based on FAA-required evaluations (Grant and Contribution programs and Treasury Board Secretariat commitments), and evaluation of all other direct program spending (timing based on risk, need and priority). This plan aligns with requirements of the Policy on Results and the Departmental Results Framework. It was developed in consultation with members of NRC's Senior Executive Committee and corporate Directors General.

2019-20 highlights

Evaluations completed

  • Aerospace
  • Human Health Therapeutics
  • Medical Devices

Program reviews completed

  • Bio-Based Specialty Chemicals
  • Health Technologies

Leadership in practice

  • Invited guest presenters at two Canada School of Public Service's Evaluation Learning Series events on conducting evaluations strategically
  • Approved for three presentations at the 2021 Canadian Evaluation Society conference
  • Spearheaded communities of practice (e.g., evaluation at science-based departments & agencies)

How NRC uses our products

  • Policy and program design
  • Resource allocation/reallocation
  • Increase awareness and information for stakeholders

Evaluations and program reviews inform decision-making

  • 100% of NRC respondents agreed that recommendations are useful and actionable
  • 100% found that evaluations / program reviews were beneficial to program management
  • New for 2019-20: All evaluations included gender-based analysis of impact

Maintained strong expertise in peer reviews

  • 88% of peer review committee members would recommend participation to a colleague
  • 87% agreed preliminary findings reports provided by NRC-Evaluation played an important role in their assessments

Unwavering support from the Office of Audit and Evaluation team

Peer reviewer

Best practices adopted and promoted

  • Coordinated with ongoing NRC reviews: coordinated evaluations with facility reviews to leverage peer review members and decrease duplication of site visits, and/or minimize burden for research centres by drawing on existing facility reviews
  • Guided and supported program design: conducted and shared meta-analysis of previous program reviews to identify NRC-wide issues for Director Generals to use in the development of new programs, and supported the development of performance measurement frameworks, data collection tools and logic models for the new Collaborative Science, Technology & Innovation Program (CSTIP) 
  • Enhanced reporting: successfully piloted and adapted the use of "Slide Docs" for all evaluation reports, which clearly convey key findings and underlying evidence for the benefit of senior executive and the general public alike
  • Leveraged Research Centre advisory boards: consulted research centre advisory boards to help determine the evaluation scope and identify peer reviewers in an effort to expedite the planning phase
  • Reduced burden of evaluation for Research Centres: streamlined and standardized business processes for data review to reduce burden on research centres and other corporate functions (e.g., BPS, Comms, HR)
  • Developed approach and guidance for GBA+ in evaluations: created approach for consistency across evaluations as well as guidance on what to consider when incorporating GBA+ in an evaluation

Priorities and actions for 2020-21

Evaluations to be completed

  • Automotive and Surface Transportation 
  • Construction
  • Design and Fabrication Services
  • Metrology
  • Retrospective Program Review
  • Horizontal evaluations (Addressing Air Pollution Initiative; Genomics Research and Development Initiative)

To be launched in 2020-21

  • Aquatic and Crop Resource Development
  • International Affiliations
  • Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Nanotechnology
  • Ocean, Coastal and River Engineering

What we do

  • Deliver evaluation projects that support NRC in the achievement of its mandate, in particular, results and sound stewardship (refresh Risk-Based Audit Framework and Departmental Evaluation Plan).
  • Provide independent and timely insight and forward looking to management on a range of issues including new business models, risks and ongoing business operations.
  • Contribute to the positioning and advancement of the evaluation function within the broader federal context.

How we do it

  • Reduce burden placed on C/B/Is, for example, for example through the use of data analytics, limit and leverage existing data, enhanced reporting approaches, improved planning and coordination between audit and evaluation as well as use of agile approaches.
  • Maintain an employee centric approach including work life-balance, recognition awards, well-being, training and development opportunities.
  • Review and optimize OAE organizational structure, allocated resources and work approach including better scoping of projects, use of data analytics, enhanced reporting approaches and joint audit and evaluation projects.

2020-21 planned resources

2020-21 Budget
Salaries (including Employee Benefit Plan) $2M

Office of Audit and Evaluation (OAE) Operations and Maintenance (O&M)

Total (OAE) $2.18M
Other NRC O&M $105K
Other OGD O&M $21.2K
Total Evaluation Plan Spending $2.31M

Evaluation team: 15 employees