Measuring Evaluation Capacity in Ontario Public Health Units

  • Isabelle Bourgeois École nationale d'administration publique
  • Louise Simmons Eastern Ontario Health Unit
  • Nikolas Hotte Eastern Ontario Health Unit
  • Raïmi Osseni École nationale d'administration publique
Keywords: evaluation capacity building, evaluation utilization, public health


This artocle presents a study of organizational capacity to do and use evaluation, conducted in 32 public health units in the province of Ontario. Methods include an organizational and organizational self-assessment using an instrument developed by Bourgeous, Toews, Whynol, and Lamarche (2013) as well as key informant interviews. Overall, our findings point to the fact that evaluation capacity is still developing in Ontario public health units; factors that support evaluation capacity in these organizations include the presence of an organization-wide evaluation policy, the availability of full-time evaluation staff in a supporting role, greater staff involvemnet in evaluation, and a standardized evaluation process. These findings highlight the importance of organizational structure and systems to evaluation utilization and provide potential areas of improvement for organizations wishing to improve their evaluation capacity.

Author Biographies

Isabelle Bourgeois, École nationale d'administration publique

Assistant Professor

École nationale d'administration publique

Louise Simmons, Eastern Ontario Health Unit

Manager, Planning and Evaluation

Eastern Ontario Health Unit

Nikolas Hotte, Eastern Ontario Health Unit

Health Promotion Specialist

Eastern Ontario Health Unit

Raïmi Osseni, École nationale d'administration publique


École nationale d'administration publique