The President and the Past President of the CES sent the letter below to the editor of the Actualité magazine following the publication of an article on deliverology. This letter was an opportunity to remind the editor that program evaluation has provided program performance information to the Government of Canada for four decades.
Ms Carole Beaulieu
The December 15th, 2016, edition of L'Actualité included an article by Alec Castonguay on "the Barber recipe". The article described the work of the Privy Council Office's Results and Implementation Unit which is overseeing the implementation of deliverology principles.
Unfortunately, the article cites an "advisor to Justin Trudeau" saying that "this is a major change, especially for the public service, which must move from performance evaluation to the evaluation of results". This statement ignores four decades of work and analyses by evaluators in the Government of Canada, and by the private sector and university evaluation specialists which support them.
The Treasury Board of Canada's first policy on program evaluation dates back to 1979. That policy was adjusted a few times since then and is reflected in the new federal Policy on Results (2016). The federal government produces approximately 125 evaluation studies annually which deal with the relevance, efficiency, and effectiveness of public programs. These are all easily available on public Departmental websites – usually only two clicks away from the home page.
Judging program results in a rigorous, credible, and replicable manner, recognizing strengths as much as weaknesses, is a complex task which is taken on by professional evaluators. The Canadian Evaluation Society is proud to represent evaluators and to stand for the professional and ethical practice of evaluation of public programs.
Harry Cummings, President
Benoît Gauthier, Past President
Canadian Evaluation Society