Evaluation in the Provinces and Territories: A Cross-Canada Snapshot and Call to Action

  • Robert E Lahey REL Solutions Inc.
  • Wayne MacDonald Infinity Consulting and Legal Services
  • Krista Brower Independent Evaluation Contractor
  • Kaireen Chaytor Dalhousie University
  • Richard Hurstfield-Meyer Ministry of Environment
  • Johann Jacob Université Laval
  • Frankie Jordan Ministry of Justice (retired)
  • Paul Kishchuk Vector Research
  • Keiko Kuji-Shikatani Ministry of Education
  • Moktar Lamari École nationale d’administration publique
  • Linda E. Lee Proactive Information Services Inc.
  • James C. McDavid University of Victoria
  • Tess Miller University of Prince Edward Island
  • Sahara Morin Department of Finance
  • Kate Woodman Catalyst Research and Development Inc.
Keywords: public sector evaluation, evaluation use, government


Evidence-based decision-making and managing for results are terms often heard from politicians and senior government officials at both federal and provincial levels of government in Canada. But, while there is some level of understanding at the federal level in terms of the role and use of evaluation in measuring results, there is significantly less information readily available about the extent that evaluation is being used at other levels of government. This paper provides a cross-Canada synopsis on the capacity and use of systematic evaluation at the provincial and territorial levels of government. Authors from each of the ten provinces and two of the three territories provide a succinct analysis of the extent that evaluation is being used in their provincial government, as well as a description of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for evaluation. There is a paucity of published information on this subject, but the paper uses research conducted in 2001 as a benchmark to compare the state of affairs for evaluation within provincial/territorial governments. With limited progress over the past two decades, the paper offers an overview of findings and some proposed actions for the way ahead.

Author Biographies

Robert E Lahey, REL Solutions Inc.
President, REL Solutions Inc.
Wayne MacDonald, Infinity Consulting and Legal Services

Wayne MacDonald, Infinity Consulting and Legal Services

Fredericton, New Brunswick

Krista Brower, Independent Evaluation Contractor

Edmonton, Alberta

Kaireen Chaytor, Dalhousie University

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Richard Hurstfield-Meyer, Ministry of Environment

Toronto, Ontario

Johann Jacob, Université Laval

Québec, Québec

Frankie Jordan, Ministry of Justice (retired)

Regina, Saskatchewan

Paul Kishchuk, Vector Research

Whitehorse, Yukon

Keiko Kuji-Shikatani, Ministry of Education

Toronto, Ontario

Moktar Lamari, École nationale d’administration publique

Québec, Québec

Linda E. Lee, Proactive Information Services Inc.

Winnipeg, Manitoba

James C. McDavid, University of Victoria

Victoria, British Columbia

Tess Miller, University of Prince Edward Island

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Sahara Morin, Department of Finance

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Kate Woodman, Catalyst Research and Development Inc.

Kelowna, British Columbia

Practice Note- English