Departmental Evaluation Plan 2023-24 to 2027-28

The schedule for the evaluations is based on requirements of the Financial Administration Act, grant and contribution programs and Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) commitments as well an analysis of all other direct program spending, risks, needs and priorities. This evaluation plan aligns with the requirements of the Government of Canada's Policy on Results and the Departmental Results Framework and was developed in consultation with members of National Research Council's (NRC) Senior Executive Committee.

2022-23 highlights

Evaluations completed

  • Aquatic and Crop Resource Development Research Centre
  • Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP)
  • Innovation Assistance Program
  • Nanotechnology Research Centre

Advisory services

  • Review of the NRC's Retirement Options for Continued Engagement

Evaluations informed decision-making

  • 83% of NRC clients surveyed agreed that evaluations addressed important questions for their program, research centre, branch or IRAP.
  • Post-evaluation feedback showed that evaluation results were used to support strategic or operational changes.
  • Research centres planned to use evaluation results to provide information to their stakeholders and to support program design and business planning.

Leadership in practice

  • Furthering engagement with the external evaluation community: Co-led an interdepartmental hiring process to create a pool of qualified junior evaluators available to all federal departments and agencies. Participated in the 2022 Canadian Evaluation Society (CES) national conference as presenters and attendees.
  • Supporting the development of next generation evaluators: Contributed to the CES Student Case Competition and the CES Student and Emerging Evaluators Network.
  • Adding value to the NRC beyond traditional evaluations: Supported the measurement of NRC outcomes beyond and across the organization by connecting with other initiatives and groups (e.g., speaking to the President's Research Excellence Advisory Committee on measuring scientific excellence; started work on an NRC impact framework).

Maintaining our high standards

  • Delivered evaluation projects in accordance with professional standards and the Directive on Results.
  • NRC clients reported that the approach used by the Office of Audit and Evaluation (OAE) was clearly communicated and documented throughout the evaluation. Evaluators were found to be professional, competent, objective and knowledgeable.
  • 82% of peer reviewers agreed that they would recommend participating in an NRC peer review.

Continuous improvement

  • Updated the evaluation process map to standardize and provide clarity on all steps in an evaluation.
  • Conducted 2 virtual and one in-person peer review committees during the fieldwork phase of 3 evaluations.
  • Hired a consulting firm to conduct the neutral assessment of the NRC-Evaluation function to meet TBS requirements and to provide insight into possible improvements.
  • Invited all members of the evaluation team to attend the Annual Learning Event hosted in Ottawa by the National Chapter of the Canadian Evaluation Society.
  • 100% of evaluators have taken Hermann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI) training, a workshop on emotional intelligence skills and a presentation on Indigenous Perspective in Evaluation.

Priorities and actions for 2023-24

Evaluations in process

  • TRIUMF
  • Collaborative Science, Technology and Innovation Programs (CSTIP)
  • Security and Disruptive Technologies Research Centre
  • Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (not led by the NRC)

Upcoming evaluations

  • Biologics Manufacturing Centre
  • Energy, Mining and Environment Research Centre
  • International Strategy
  • Digital Technologies Research Centre

Meeting Policy on Results requirements

  • Providing input into TBS exercises such as the Capacity Survey on Results and the Management Accountability Framework.
  • Reporting annually on the state of performance measurement for evaluation.

What we do

  • Deliver evaluation projects that support the NRC in achieving its mandate.
  • Provide independent, timely and forward-looking insight to management on research centre and program relevance and performance.
  • Provide support to other areas of the NRC through advisory services.

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 the burden on research centres, branches and IRAP 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 approaches 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 promoting work life-balance, recognition awards, well-being, training and development opportunities.

2023-24 planned resources

Financial resources
Planned financial resources 2023-24 budget
Salaries (including employee benefit plan) $2,400,000
OAE operations and maintenance $100,000
Total evaluation planned spending $2,500,000

Human resources

13.0 evaluation staff and 1.5 Director General Office (full-time equivalents)