Departmental Evaluation Plan 2021-22 to 2025-26

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.

2020-21 highlights

Evaluations completed

  • Addressing Air Pollution Initiative (not led by NRC)
  • Aerospace
  • Automotive & Surface Transportation
  • Codes Canada
  • Design & Fabrication Services
  • Genomics Research & Development Initiative
  • Human Health Therapeutics
  • International Affiliations

Evaluations inform decision-making

  • 100% of NRC VPs and DGs surveyed agreed that evaluations address important questions for their program, Research Centre, Branch or IRAP
  • 100% agreed that evaluation findings are useful and can be used as evidence to support strategic or operational changes
  • 100% agreed that recommendations should result in significant improvements to their programs

Leadership in practice

  • Furthering engagement with the external evaluation community: Spearheaded communities of practice across science-based departments and agencies and played an instrumental role in organizing this year's upcoming Evaluation Learning Event. NRC-Evaluation will also participate in the 2021 CES National Conference.
  • Supporting the development of next generation evaluators: Contributed to the Canadian Evaluation Society Student Case Competition, hosted a meet and greet of new student evaluators across federal departments, led a symposium for summer students in NRC's Secretary General Division, and hired our own student evaluator.
  • Adding value to the NRC beyond traditional evaluations: Conducted a rapid review on the efficiency and effectiveness of the technical assessment process used by NRC's Industrial Research Assistance Program's to support other government departments to meet an immediate management need.
  • Supporting the organization during COVID-19: Advised on performance measurement frameworks for new NRC COVID-19 related funding (the Pandemic Response Challenge Program and the Innovation Assistance Program) and identified an approach to ensure that the lessons learned and impacts of NRC's COVID-19 funding are assessed over the next two years.
  • Building on current efforts to include GBA+ in evaluations: Began exploring ways to better incorporate quality of life indicators as well as an indigenous perspective in the design and execution of our evaluation projects.

Maintaining our high standards

  • Delivered evaluation projects in accordance with professional standards and Policy on Results Directive.
  • NRC VPs and DGs unanimously reported that the approach used by OAE was clearly communicated and documented at the outset of the evaluation, and found evaluators to be professional at all times in terms of competence, objectivity and knowledge.

Continuous improvement

  • Standardized the evaluation workflow and tools used in evaluation projects (e.g. evidence matrices).
  • Streamlined our processes in light of new operational requirements and context (e.g. those for Program Reviews and Peer Reviews).
  • Piloted new ideas such as the use of quantitative rubrics to assess research center performance.

Priorities and actions for 2021-22

Evaluations to be completed

  • Aquatic & Crop Resource Development
  • Herzberg Astronomy & Astrophysics
  • Metrology
  • Ocean, Coastal & River Engineering

Evaluations to be launched

  • Industrial Research Assistance Program
  • Innovation Assistance Program
  • Nanotechnology
  • Security & Disruptive Technologies

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, timely and forward looking insight to management on a range of issues, including those having to do with COVID-related funding and activities.

How we do it

  • Maintain organizational awareness and involvement in new and evolving priorities, and identify opportunities to add value.
  • Seek opportunities to continue to reduce burden placed on C/B/Is, for example, through leveraging existing data, enhanced reporting approaches, improved planning and coordination between audit and evaluation as well as use of agile approaches.
  • Review and optimize use of allocated resources and work approach including better scoping of projects, use of data analytics, enhanced reporting approaches and leveraging work done by others (e.g., audit).
  • Maintain an employee centric approach including work life-balance, recognition awards, well-being, training and development opportunities.

2021-22 planned resources

Financial resources

2021-22 Budget
Salaries (including Employee Benefit Plan) $2,254,382
Office of Audit and Evaluation (OAE) Operations and Maintenance (O&M) $71,000
Total (OAE) $2,325,38
Other NRC O&M $300,000
Total Evaluation Plan Spending $2,625,382

* Budget includes one-time salary and O&M funding from IRAP to support the IRAP evaluation

Human resources

14.5 Evaluation Staff + 2.0  Director General Office (FTEs)