Planning and Reporting

Evaluation of the Women's Program

Volume I - Final Report

1.0 Introduction

The Women's Program (WP) is a grants and contributions program that was founded in 1973 in response to a recommendation of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women. Originally administered by the former Department of the Secretary of State, the WP has been housed within Status of Women Canada (SWC) since 1995. Its mandate is "to support action by women's organizations and other partners seeking to advance equality for women by addressing women's economic, social, political and legal situation,"thus contributing to SWC's overall goal of promoting gender equality and the full participation of women in the economic, social, cultural, and political life of Canada.

The WP provides both funding and technical assistance to women's groups and other equality-seeking organizations. Its annual grant and contribution budget is approximately $11 million, which included, from 2000 to 2005, approximately $2 million annually from the federal government's Agenda for Gender Equality (AGE).

1.1 Purpose of the evaluation

In order to fulfil Treasury Board Secretariat reporting requirements for federal grants and contributions programs, SWC engaged PRA Inc. to conduct a summative evaluation of the WP. Its purpose is to examine the design and delivery, impact, cost-effectiveness/alternatives, and relevance of the WP. As this evaluation is being undertaken in the context of a federal government-wide Expenditure Review exercise, it is also designed to address questions of public accountability and alignment with the priorities of Canadians. This report presents the evaluation findings, offers conclusions, and provides recommendations.

1.2 Outline of the report

This report is divided into several sections. Section 2.0 briefly describes the origins of the WP and provides a program profile. Section 3.0 describes the methodology used to carry out the evaluation, while Section 4.0 presents the evaluation findings. Section 5.0 concludes and provides recommendations.

Four appendices follow the main body of the report. Appendix A presents an organizational chart, Appendix B a detailed logic model. Appendix C contains the evaluation framework, and Appendix D the data collection instruments. Interim reports summarizing the results of individual data collection activities are bound separately in Volume II.