Sunshine, Scrutiny, and Spending Review in Canada, Trudeau to Trudeau: From Program Evaluation and Policy to Commitment and Results

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This review surveys experience with evaluation practices in the government of Canada since the mid-1960s, particularly with respect to spending reviews, concluding that there is little reason to expect any direct link from ongoing evaluation practices to cabinet decisions. The renewed commitment to evidence-based decision-making announced by the new Liberal government is unlikely to change this conclusion. The introduction of deliverology as a support function centred in the Privy Council Office shifts attention from policy formation to implementation and program delivery, with important emphasis on innovation and adaptation. But the crucial challenge still rests in achieving greater public access to information and greater inclusiveness in decision processes. For academic leaders in public administration, attention now should shift from terminological and doctrinal disputes to anticipating the important consequences of machine learning and artificial intelligence for education and future professional practice in public policy.

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