Assessing the Quality of Aboriginal Program Evaluations

Evaluations have gained in popularity in Canada since the 1990s, but statistical data indicate that the resources allocated to this management tool have not increased accordingly, despite the increased demand. During the same period, regardless of signify cant efforts to optimize governance, the Canadian federal governmentís management of issues related to Aboriginal peoples presents some weaknesses. Because evaluation may directly affect the administration of public programs, this study proposes a meta-evaluation of First Nations program evaluations. To do so, we replicate a methodology previously used by the Treasury Board Secretariat in 2004 to complete a vast study assessing the quality of evaluation in Canada. This article, based on the systematic analysis of a nonprobability sampling of more than 20 program evaluation reports, has applied the TBSís meta-evaluation techniques to the Aboriginal context. The results show that the evaluation of Aboriginal programs is of good, and even excellent, quality and suggest that the TBSís evaluation policy has had a definitive impact on evaluation quality.