The Voluntary Sector Initiative Process Evaluation
Final Evaluation Report
The Voluntary Sector
Initiative Process Evaluation: Final Report is part of
the ongoing learning process of the VSI. It was commissioned in
the spirit of the VSI itself as a joint undertaking by the Government
of Canada and the voluntary sector. This report is an evaluation
of the process of the VSI. Its purpose is to assess how the VSI
worked and how well it worked up to the end of the two year Joint
Table phase that ended in October 2002. The evaluation considers
all of the components of the VSI except the program known as Sectoral
Involvement in Departmental Policy Development (SIDPD) which has
been evaluated separately.
In examining the process, the evaluation focuses on assessing
the conduct of the VSI from the perspective of those who were
directly involved because they had some responsibility for carrying
out work on behalf of the Initiative. While not strictly a self-evaluation,
the insights of participants are valuable because they have first
hand knowledge of what was effective and what was not. In addition,
because they are senior public servants and voluntary sector leaders,
many of whom had previous experience in working collaboratively,
they are well placed to provide critical judgments and make constructive
suggestions for improvements.
Four key evaluation questions are addressed:
How effective were the structures, policies and operations of
the VSI in helping the Initiative achieve its objectives?
What were the success factors and what were the barriers to effective
collaboration and horizontal management?
What could have been done differently and more effectively, and
what were the realistic, practical alternatives?
What are the lessons learned for future, sustainable collaboration
between the Government of Canada and the voluntary sector and
for horizontal management within each?
The process evaluation found the VSI objectives were met; the
relationship between the government and the sector had improved
and all participants regarded the VSI as a worthwhile endeavour.