With a focus on the use of technology when evaluating programs for Aboriginal people, this article explores the possibility of using visual and oral computer technology to enhance the incorporation of Aboriginal worldviews in program evaluation. The author situates Aboriginal worldviews, including methods of communication and transmission of knowledge, within a unique evaluation framework that also considers Western methods of data collection. Examples of the author’s framework are offered in the context of evaluations of Aboriginal programs. Based on her experiences, the author concludes that it is possible to join the traditional knowledge of Aboriginal people with digital technology in program evaluation.
Canadian policy decision-making has utilized case studies extensively in recent years. Johnston Research Inc. (JRI) has completed more evaluation-related case studies over the past 4 years than in the previous 15 years of our evaluation work. To understand the growing application of case studies, we interviewed clients and contacts from First Nations that had been case study sites for our government clients, to understand what aspects of case study evaluation research had helped them share their opinions and improve their programs, and what aspects had not. We then interviewed our government clients, asking how well case studies served their evaluation purposes and their programs or policy development efforts. JRI conducted and financed this study to help us improve our own approaches for conducting case studies in Aboriginal populations and to share these findings with others. This article presents our interview findings on the value of case studies for Aboriginal evaluation projects and shares some best practices for conducting case studies within, and with, First Nations. Finally, we explore the impact case studies have had on Canadian policy.
This review assessed the level of evidence and effectiveness of peer support services delivered by individuals in recovery to those with serious mental illnesses or co-occurring mental and substance use disorders.
Program evaluation can be used to assess health and education programs, health promotion programs, and social programs among others. Program evaluation can provide valuable insight into program goals, activities and target population, program strengths, areas for program improvement, and the cost-effectiveness of a program. It is an important accountability tool and can be used to justify continued funding for programs or new directions in programming. To obtain maximum benefit from program evaluations and research with Aboriginal peoples and organizations, they must be considered full partners in the project. Many Indigenous scholars have articulated respectful approaches for engaging in such evaluations. This paper will briefly review different types of program evaluation activities and discuss Indigenous approaches and ethical guidelines for engaging in a program evaluation.
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.
The Rupertsland Institute (RLI), established in 2010, was assigned a triple mandate in Métisresearch, education, and training. As part of its training mandate, the RLI assumed
responsibility for the delivery of the Métis Training to Employment (MTE) program. Prior to the
existence of the RLI, the MTE program was previously known as the Métis Labour Market
Development program and was delivered by the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA). Program
operations from the MNA to RLI took place in 2010. The Rupertsland Institute signed the current federal funding agreement on behalf of Metis people and as an affiliate of the MNA.
The Rupertsland Centre for Métis Research (RCMR) was established in 2011 through a
partnership between the Métis Nation of Alberta and the University of Alberta. The purpose of
the RCMR is to serve as an academic research program specifically designed for Métis
The MTE program offers an array of employment services, training opportunities and supports
to help Métis clients overcome barriers to meaningful employment. The MTE program is
federally funded through the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS).
Much of program evaluation is concerned with understanding and improving social programs so that they are ultimately more responsive and more reflective of program participant needs. At the same time, these programs exist and are embedded within specific social, cultural and historical contexts which impact program development, implementation, and eventual outcomes. Evaluations that attempt to address responsiveness to contextual and cultural specificity are often referred to as culturally competent, culturally responsive, inclusive, multicultural, or cross-cultural, among other terms. While there are no agreed upon terminologies, definitions, or even methodologies, what these approaches all share is the recognition that culture and context matter, and that there are no universally agreed upon rules or abstractions that can be applicable in all contexts (Guba & Lincoln, 2005). The recognition of culture and context thus becomes ìan explicit criterion rather than an unspoken expectationî (SenGupta, Hopson, & Thompson-Robinson, 2004, p. 15) in evaluations of this type