Volume 17, 2002 - Spring

Les coûts de la non-évaluation des politiques de l'éducation au Québec

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Pages :
1-23

Based on concrete examples, the authors demonstrate the gap between research and educational policy development in Québec. Educational choices are too often based on ideological fads, even though intellectual, ecc and ethical reasons point to the need for rigorous evidence-based strategies, namely ones that have been scientifically tested and subject to systematic post-implementation evaluations. This article focuses on the wealth and relevance of existing research as a necessity for developing sound educational policy — policy that avoids the pitfalls of demagogy and common sense, and whose outcomes and effects cannot be attributable to chance.

A peer support approach to evaluation: assessing supported employment programs for people with developmental disabilities

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Pages :
25-41

This article describes a peer support approach to evaluating outcomes within supported employment programs for people with developmental disabilities. Based on a model developed with seven agencies, peer support evaluation draws on insights from both internal and external evaluation. Each of the components of peer support evaluation is outlined. A case study of one agency's experience with peer support evaluation is described. The article concludes with several lessons drawn from implementation experience with several agencies, including the importance of training and support.

Evaluation and municipal urban planning: practice and prospects

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Pages :
43-71

Recent concerns with performance measurement, efficiency and effectiveness have sparked a renewed interest in monitoring and evaluation at all levels of government, including municipal government. Much of the literature on evaluation in municipal urban planning focuses on evaluation research methods and techniques. This paper explores the state of evaluation practice, including monitoring, in planning departments in municipalities of regional scale and style in Ontario. Applications of evaluation in planning practice are compared and contrasted with generic evaluation practice. Qualitative research methods were used to identify critical determinants of success (or otherwise) with evaluation in these planning departments.

Paying doctors: impact of a change in remuneration method at a canadian academic health centre

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Pages :
73-96

Almost a century ago, North American medical reformers argued that clinician scholars could be relied on to do their best academic work only if they were freed from reliance on entrepreneurial activity. Since that time Canadian medical schools have become increasingly reliant on medical fees to subsidize their academic mission. At present, clinical earnings no longer appear able to support medical education. This paper describes the early results from an innovation in physician payment at an Ontario academic health centre. Under the new system all faculty abandoned fee-for-service billing and were funded from a global clinical budget. This remuneration change had little impact on clinical service, education or research. However, the system has introduced unprecedented stability and accountability to the funding of medical education.

Evaluation of client satisfaction in a community health centre: selection of a tool

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Pages :
97-117

Community Health Centres (CHCs) have emerged as sites in which services based on a Primary Health Care (PHC) model are delivered. In the evaluation of the newly established Northeast CHC in Edmonton, Alberta, client satisfaction was a significant part of the evaluation component on community participation. A reliable and valid tool was sought to measure the dimensions of client satisfaction appropriate for a CHC that is based on the principles of PHC. Using criteria established to assist the evaluators in choosing an appropriate tool, the Service Satisfaction Scale (Attkisson & Greenfield, 1994; Greenfield & Attkisson, 1989) was selected because it was comprehensive, appropriate and psychometrically acceptable. Refinement on the basis of client and provider input led to a revised client satisfaction tool that is currently being tested. The authors suggest that, congruent with the PHC model, a multimethod approach that incorporates focus groups and individual interviews should be employed in evaluation of client satisfaction to add useful information about client perspectives.

Public training programs in Canada: a meta-evaluation

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Pages :
119-138

Canada has a history of training individuals for the labour market and substantial research has accumulated concerning the effectiveness of training programs. There have been many evaluations of public training programs in Canada, both summative and formative, in the last two decades. What have we learned from these evaluations of training programs? What should we continue to do? What should we try to avoid? This article presents an assessment of the summative evaluations conducted to date in Canada, focussing on three questions: (1) What is an appropriate and feasible methodology for summative evaluation of training programs? (2) Has that methodology been consistently and effectively implemented in Canada during the past two decades? and (3) What are the prospects for future evaluations in Canada?

Evaluation in the context of the Social Union Framework Agreement: a case study of the national child benefit

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Pages :
139-158

The Social Union Framework Agreement (SUFA) and specific programs such as the National Child Benefit (NCB) represent joint government delivery of programming, and present many challenges for evaluators. Aside from attribution (which this paper argues is not really the central issue), the essential problem faced in the evaluation of these federal-provincial-territorial initiatives is that programming is becoming both more complex and heterogeneous. The concepts of joint planning and information sharing demand a high level of cooperation among program sponsors. A test of the rationale and effectiveness for agreements such as SUFA will be whether participating governments support detailed evaluations and performance measurement.