Summative Evaluation Report: ICP Final Report 2010-10-26 - Introduction

Evaluation Report

1.0 Introduction

This report presents the findings, conclusions and recommendations of the National Evaluation of the Infrastructure Canada Program (ICP), conducted in compliance with the Treasury Board Policy on Transfer Payments, the Treasury Board Policy on Evaluation (2001), and commitments made for a mid-term evaluation and summative evaluation when the program was created in 2000.

The TB Policy on Transfer Payments commits the government to ensuring that transfer payments are managed in a manner that respects sound stewardship and the highest level of integrity, transparency, and accountability. The TB Policy on Evaluation defines evaluation as the systematic collection and analysis of evidence on the outcomes of programs to make judgments about their relevance, performance and alternative ways to deliver them or to achieve the same results.

A mid-term evaluation of the ICP was completed in 2005 and addressed program rationale, design and implementation, success and cost-effectiveness. The mid-term evaluation concluded that the total investments in community infrastructure generated by the program exceeded the original goal and that the program had achieved an appropriate balance of federal/provincial priorities. However, owing to the issue of data quality, the report noted the difficulty in assessing the degree to which the program was adequately monitored and immediate outcomes achieved. The report suggested that some improvements could be made in the design, implementation and monitoring of the program. The mid-term evaluation also addressed information needs regarding a possible time extension of the program.

Pursuant to its coordinating role with federal stakeholders, INFC initiated a National Evaluation in 2008-2009 with a view to tabling a final report in 2009-20101. This evaluation is based on an integrated Results-based Management and Accountability Framework (RMAF) and Risk-based framework completed in November 2005. It also assesses the full range of expected outcomes outlined in the Logic Model attached as Annex B of this report. To the extent allowed by the information available, this evaluation addresses core issues outlined in the TB Directive on the Evaluation Function (2009).

The scope of the evaluation is the Infrastructure Canada Program, with a special emphasis on green municipal infrastructure investments such as water and wastewater systems, water management, solid waste management and recycling, as it constitutes the primary focus of the Program. The First Nations component of the ICP has been excluded as it is the subject of a separate evaluation. The National Guide to Sustainable Municipal Infrastructure (InfraGuide) project, funded under the ICP, was also excluded from this evaluation as it was evaluated separately in 2005.

The evaluation considered four primary issue areas: program relevance, success, effectiveness and efficiency, and lessons learned. The progress made with regard to the recommendations contained in the mid-term evaluation was also reviewed where appropriate.

The National Evaluation was conducted by a third party evaluation firm. The final drafting of the report by INFC Evaluation is based on the original evaluation framework, the methodology report and other deliverables submitted by the evaluation firm, and additional inputs generated through the final review process involving federal program partners.

The objective of this evaluation is to contribute to a comprehensive and reliable base of evaluation evidence to support policy and program improvement, expenditure management, decision making and public reporting.

[1] In 2007, the program was extended to March 31, 2011 but the timeline for the final national evaluation remained unchanged.

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