ARCHIVED - Formative Evaluation of the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada - Special Education Program - Follow-up Report Status Update as of March 31, 2008

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PROJECT TITLE
EVALUATION OF POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION PROGRAM (200129)
ACTION PLAN APPROVAL DATE: 30/06/2005
PROGRAM
SOCIO-ECONOMIC POLICY AND REGIONAL OPERATIONS (HEADQUARTERS) - EDUCATION
PROJECT RECOMMENDATION
1. The Post-Secondary Education (PSE) Program should be continued and its strategic intent reinforced by renewing the Program's policy and accountability frameworks.
STATUS: Pending Implementation
ACTION PLAN EXPECTED COMPLETION DATE RESPONSE
A PSE review in collaboration with First Nations and Inuit representatives is underway. The review will lead to renewed policy and accountability frameworks. Agreement has been reached that the Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP) and University and College Entrance Preparation (UCEP) components be considered separately from the Indian Studies Support Program (ISSP) component. Key issues that will be addressed as part of the renewal of both program components include:
  • Goals and Objectives of the PSE program (Outcomes, Scope, Other)
  • Roles and Responsibilities (First Nations, Provinces, Regions, Federal)
  • First Nations Priorities (student needs identification, current capacity, actual requirements to meet student needs)
  • Data Collection Monitoring (reporting requirements, tracking systems, performance indicators)
  • PSE Program Resources (funding levels, authorities (spending levels), funding mechanisms)
  • Program Management (allocation methods, delivery standards, planning, research and analysis (policy), communications with stakeholders, training for delivery of education at all levels, compliance)
  • Recognitions of First Nation institutes (ISSP-specific)
01/04/2008 Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2008:


Complete. The PSE Program was renewed in Spring 2008 along with INAC's K-12 education programs under the first phase of reforming First Nations education.

The new RMAF and RBAF for the first phase of reform include information on roles and responsibilities, program logic models, performance indicators, data collection and reporting requirements as well as audit and evaluation frameworks.

A work plan has been prepared to guide the development of options for reforming all aspects of the PSE program, including the development of a new policy framework. Work done to date with AFN on PSE will be incorporated into this review. Completion now expected in 2011/12.
PROJECT RECOMMENDATION
2. Representatives from central and regional levels of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) and from First Nation and Inuit governments across the country need to develop a contemporary policy framework that takes the following factors into account:

2.1 the emergence of a variety of First Nation and Inuit authorities and jurisdictions;

2.2 a collaborative management and accountability arrangement that clearly assigns shared and complementary roles and responsibilities to INAC and First Nations and Inuit, with respect to

  • planning;
  • implementation;
  • monitoring and reporting; and
  • program refocusing as necessary.
2.3 the need for a review of the fundamental scope and objectives of the PSE Program;

2.4 a standard of fairness that Regional Offices and First Nations together uphold and are accountable for achieving; and

2.5 A way in which mutually agreed strategic priorities will be addressed on an exceptional basis.
STATUS: Implemented
A PSE review working group has been established consisting of representatives from INAC, the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), National Association of Indigenous Institutes of Higher Learning (NAIIHL) and the Labrador Inuit Association (LIA). INAC regional representatives will also be taking part in this process. Terms and Conditions have been agreed upon and a dispute resolution mechanism forms part of this. Specific items that will be addressed include:

a) the respective roles, responsibilities and capacity of both INAC and First Nations and Inuit that build upon a common definition of the objectives and scope of the PSE program and a mutually agreed upon means of addressing management and accountability issues such as:
  • identifying data collection requirements and methodologies such as: performance indicators, monitoring/reporting/outputs/results, tracking systems and research/analysis;
  • building a strong management regime and accountability framework for the PSE program through activities such as:
    analysis of program management (allocation methodologies, delivery standards, planning) and management regimes (cost/expenditure analysis, financial reporting and audits, funding levels and funding mechanisms, accountability, capacity and resourcing); compliance; communication and training on the above.
01/04/2008 Complete. In late 2007, the Assembly of First Nations provided a report on options around reforming the PSE program and met with INAC to share its priorities around PSE. These options are being considered as part of a comprehensive review of the Program as noted in Budget 2008.

Complete. The new RMAF and RBAF for the first phase were approved as part of the renewal of INAC's education authorities in Spring 2008. The RMAF/RBAF identify program logic models, performance indicators, data collection and reporting requirements as well as audit and evaluation frameworks.

Complete. The Budget 2008 commitment allows for new accountability measures to be introduced that will improve the management of financial resources for K-12 and PSE programs. For example, the Department has included an audit clause in agreements with all First Nations.
PROJECT RECOMMENDATION
3.  Once the review and policy framework are completed through a collaborative process, INAC needs to establish funding levels, methodologies and mechanisms to support the policy.
STATUS: Pending Implementation
It is anticipated that, based on the collaborative work outlined in Item 2 (above) and - from INAC's perspective, consultation with key internal stakeholders such as Socio-economic Policy and Regional Operations Sector (SEPRO), Corporate Information Management Directorate (CIMD), and Transfer Payments Directorate (TPD) the working group will be in a position to present recommendations around a renewed policy framework. Once that framework is endorsed, work will proceed on the development of a management and accountability framework that will include funding levels, methodologies and mechanisms to support policy. 01/04/2008 Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2008:


A work plan is under development to guide the development of options for reforming the PSE program, including the development of a policy framework. This work is in its early stages but will lead to advice on funding levels.

Management framework expected to be finalized 2011/12.
PROJECT RECOMMENDATION
4. INAC should, on an urgent basis, establish a process and seek resources to implement the Advisory Committee's recommendations regarding the Data Challenge.
STATUS: Pending Implementation
As per the commitment made in the Public Accounts Committee Action Plan, INAC will roll out an Education indicators tool that includes PSE indicators related to participation and graduation rates, volume and percentage of PSE enrolments by age, and basic student tracing methodology (retention and graduation rates).

As part of the approved umbrella strategy on Education Performance Measurements and Reporting, the Results-based Management Accountability Framework (RMAF) and Risk-based Audit Framework (RBAF) for the program will be reviewed. This will be used as a starting point in jointly developing with First Nations appropriate performance indicators and reporting requirements. The subsequent data infrastructure to support these reporting requirements will be established, based on business requirements within First Nations and INAC.

Internal to INAC, the Education Branch will examine the development of means of communicating on an on-going basis with regions and First Nations. This examination will involve SEPRO, CIMD and TPD to promote clarity, notably on issues around data collection and financial management practices.
01/04/2008 Update/Rationale:

As of 31/03/2008:

No action
.

Complete. The new RMAF and RBAF for the initial phase of reform were approved as apart of the renewal May 20, 2008. The RMAF/RBAF identifies program logic models performance indicators, data collection and reporting requirements as well as audit and evaluation frameworks.
PROJECT RECOMMENDATION
5. INAC needs to provide management and policy support to build and maintain partnership capacity within the Education Branch, Regional Offices and First Nation/Inuit organizations to support effective implementation of collaborative program development and delivery.
STATUS: No Action
The joint INAC/AFN/NAIIHL/LIA PSE review will lead to the development of a renewed policy framework supported by a management and accountability framework which will also address:
  • specific audit recommendations around risk management, transfer payment management as well as management of non-financial program data;
  • specific findings emanating from the November 2004 Auditor General's Report;
  • specific recommendations from this evaluation on data collection and monitoring; as expressed in Item 4 (above).
The joint INAC/AFN/NAIIHL/LIA PSE review will be addressing the issue of a governance structure for the PSSSP and ISSP as a means of reviewing and communicating information to First Nations and INAC on the program on an on-going basis with respect to program authorities, policies, guidelines, practices and results. This governance structure could include a committee that would deal with monitoring and compliance, with representation from SEPRO, TPD, CIMD, First Nations and other internal and external stakeholders, where appropriate. Such a committee could also oversee on-going research to ensure that the two program components continue to support intended outcomes. These proposed approaches will be explored in the course of the review.
01/04/2008 Update/Rationale:
As of 31/03/2008:


No action. Partnership opportunities are continually being explored with the AFN through the annual work planning exercise. The AFN continues to provide advice on performance indicators, program logic, models, financial management, and program design.

Activities deferred to 2011/12.
PROJECT RECOMMENDATION
6. Given the strategic importance of First Nation post-secondary institutions in any Aboriginal education system, it would be advisable to carefully examine ISSP's function and scope in the larger PSE Program, including issues around financial arrangements.
STATUS: No Action
The joint INAC/AFN/NAIIHL/LIA PSE review working group has recommended that the ISSP component of the program be reviewed separately. To that end, a national coordinating team has begun identifying work that needs to be done around the key issues identified in item 1 plus the additional issue around recognition of First Nation-controlled post-secondary institutes. 01/04/2008 Update/Rationale:

Activities deferred to 2011/12.

AES Comment: To follow-up in 2011/12
 
 
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