2011–2012 Departmental Performance Report

Section II – Analysis of Program Activities by Strategic Outcome

Strategic Outcome: Equality for women and their full participation in the economic, social and democratic life of Canada

SWC's Strategic Outcome is achieved through the collective efforts of women and men in the public, private and voluntary sectors. Given its mandate, SWC has a unique role in the realization of this outcome, as highlighted below:

Program Activity 1.1: Strategic policy analysis, planning and development

Program Activity Description

Under this program activity, SWC performs policy analysis, offers expert advice, and develops tools to support federal departments and central agencies in identifying policy priorities and in integrating gender considerations in existing and proposed policies, programs and initiatives. This is done through collaboration with other federal departments, provincial-territorial governments, civil society and key international partners.

This financial resources table summarizes, in millions of dollars, Status of Women Canada's planned spending, total authorities, and actual spending for Program Activity 1.1, Strategic policy analysis, planning and development, during 2011-2012.
2011-2012 Financial Resources ($ millions)
Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual Spending
1.8 1.9 2.0

Planned spending within each program activity included forecasted expenditures funded centrally through Internal Services. This mostly explains the variance between planned spending and actual spending within each program activity.

This human resources table summarizes, in full-time equivalents, Status of Women Canada's planned, actual, and the difference between planned and actual staffing during 2011-2012 for Program Activity 1.1, Strategic policy analysis, planning and development.
Human Resources (full-time equivalent—FTE)
Planned Actual Difference
17 17 0
For Status of Women Canada's Program Activity 1.1, Strategic policy analysis, planning and development, this table highlights the results expected, the indicators used to assess performance, the targets set for the activity, and the performance status at year end.
Program Activity Performance Summary
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Increased policy effectiveness in addressing women's issues and advancing gender equality Number of departments that respond to women's issues effectively through policy/program formulation and implementation 3–5 depart-
ments per year

In 2011-2012, SWC continued to emphasize collaboration with federal partners, building partnerships on common issues. SWC played a lead role, and worked with other federal, provincial and territorial organizations to ensure the availability of information to assess progress on gender equality.

  • With support from 18 federal organizations, SWC coordinated the production of the Statistics Canada publication Women in Canada: A Gender-based Statistical Report, 6th edition.
  • Along with 13 provinces and territories and four federal organizations, SWC is collaborating with Statistics Canada on the production of Measuring Violence Against Women: Statistical Trends, to be released in 2013.

SWC also collaborated with other departments to identify and raise awareness at the federal level of gaps and emerging issues, including with:

  • the Public Health Agency of Canada on the importance of engaging men and boys in preventing violence against women and girls.
  • Justice Canada on exploring the costs to society of violence against women and girls. Representatives from 14 federal organizations and seven provinces and territories participated in a learning exchange on the issue.
Sustainable capacity of federal government departments to apply GBA Percentage of other government departments with increased capacity to incorporate GBA into their policy and program activities 3–5 depart-
ments per year
With the support of SWC, the number of federal organizations with GBA capacity is growing. In 2011-2012, SWC directly supported eight federal organizations with implementation of the Departmental Action Plan on Gender-based Analysis, while over 20 other organizations were supported with expert advice, tools or training.
Increased integration of women's issues in the formulation of policies and programs Number of new and improved policies and programs that respond to women's issues 3–5 policies per year

Through strategic interventions, SWC played a lead role in informing important decisions at domestic and international levels.

  • In collaboration with DFAIT, SWC supported work that led the UN to establish the International Day of the Girl.
  • SWC, in partnership with Canadian Heritage, Justice Canada and DFAIT, raised awareness of international obligations on gender equality.
  • SWC, along with 16 other federal organizations, contributed to the comprehensive federal plan to consolidate efforts to address the trafficking of persons. The organization also engaged with the provinces and territories in sharing information on combating the trafficking of women.
  • SWC secured an Economic Action Plan 2012 commitment to establish an advisory council on women on boards.

Performance Summary and Analysis of Program Activity

Departmental Action Plan on Gender-based Analysis (GBA): strengthen implementation of GBA in the federal administration.

Public institutions are expected to develop inclusive policies, programs and services that respond to the needs of women and men in all their diversity. This obligation, among others, requires sustainable capacity for the application of gender-based analysis (GBA). SWC plays a lead role in guiding and facilitating the implementation of GBA within the federal government. In playing this role, the agency provides targeted support to departments to help them implement the Departmental Action Plan on Gender-based Analysis (Action Plan) that was tabled with the Standing Committee on Public Accounts in 20093.

Throughout the reporting year, targeted efforts were made to enlist leadership and support, improve communications, clarify expectations and increase accountability for GBA within the federal government. Phase II of the Action Plan implementation was launched in 2011-2012, enabling SWC to broaden its outreach beyond the original departments 4 and to increase the number of federal organizations with the capacity to fulfill the Action Plan expectations. The departments that participated in Phase II submitted to SWC a detailed self-assessment that showed their institutional capacity to apply GBA.

In its role as a knowledge broker, SWC developed or updated tools and materials and organized various forums (e.g. information sessions, workshops, interdepartmental meetings and outreach to research and evaluation communities) to disseminate information, share best practices and lessons learned, improve communication and keep federal organizations up to date on the status of GBA. Also, it continued to chair the meetings of the Interdepartmental Committee on GBA, an important forum to address departmental challenges with regard to GBA. As a result, there are indicators of a growing knowledge among federal institutions about GBA and its application in the public sector.

SWC continued to respond to demand for its support by departments and agencies seeking guidance on integrating GBA. SWC's assistance, both at the institutional level and for key documents, such as Memoranda to Cabinet, was provided to individual organizations through expert advice and a range of other supports. In 2011-2012, SWC offered GBA training to public servants representing 27 federal organizations. In addition, federal employees with responsibility for GBA attended sessions to help prepare for their roles in their respective departments. This ongoing support was crucial in building the capacity of federal institutions to apply GBA to policies, programs and legislative initiatives.

Looking ahead, SWC continued work on a new online GBA course to be delivered through its website starting in 2012–2013, making it available to all federal public servants across Canada and abroad as well as to other stakeholders.

In 2011-2012, SWC seized the opportunity represented by the commitment in the 2010-2011 Report on Plans and Priorities to "explore progressive integration of intersectionality" to better capture the intersection between gender and other aspects of diversity. In 2011, a workshop entitled "The Future of Gender-Based Analysis," which focused on an intersectional approach to GBA, was organized to provide opportunities for learning and exchange of best practices and innovations in GBA application. Attended by 120 participants, the workshop was successful in expanding public servants' understanding of the significance of how gender interacts with other aspects of diversity in the application of GBA. The agency has adopted the use of "GBA+" to highlight the increased emphasis on intersectional analysis in the application of GBA.

Collaboration with and support for federal partners for program and policy development

In 2011-2012, SWC continued to emphasize collaboration with federal partners, building synergy on common issues. Through its presence in the Strategic Partnership Initiative (SPI), for example, SWC continued to work in collaboration with other federal organizations to identify gaps, develop inclusive policies, promote the collection of sex-disaggregated data for the purposes of creating benchmarks and informing target setting, leverage federal investment in addressing women's issues, share information, avoid duplication and maximize the impact of government efforts and investments in advancing the status of women.

In 2011-2012, SWC continued to spearhead the collaborative efforts of 18 federal organizations to leverage financial support to complete the publication of the sixth edition of Women in Canada, a Gender-based Statistical Report5. The publication helps fulfill the Government of Canada's commitment to GBA by ensuring that users, including policy- and decision-makers, have a variety of data and information sources that shed light on the diverse experiences of women and men in Canada.

On the issue of violence against women and girls, SWC played a key role in identifying gaps and emerging areas of consideration among federal partners for program and policy development. In February 2012, in collaboration with Justice Canada experts and the Public Health Agency of Canada, SWC facilitated the exchange of knowledge on the economic costs of violence against women and girls. The discussion emphasized that understanding the costs associated with violence against women as well as identifying cost-effective prevention strategies are key to significantly reducing rates of violence against women and girls.

As well, the agency facilitated dialogue and disseminated knowledge about engaging men and boys in preventing gender-based violence, an approach that is gaining momentum nationally and internationally. Through discussions with provinces and territories, connecting leaders in this area with a range of audiences, and sharing information about promising awareness raising initiatives, SWC has increased understanding about why this approach is critical to reducing violence against women and girls.

SWC also collaborated with a number of federal departments and agencies to address other emerging areas of concern. This includes contributing to the Government of Canada's comprehensive plan to consolidate efforts to address trafficking in persons, and working with the Department of Justice to increase knowledge and understanding about "honour-based" violence and forced marriages. SWC also secured a commitment in Canada's Economic Action Plan 2012 to create an advisory council of leaders from the private and public sectors to promote the participation of women on corporate boards.

Continued collaboration and active involvement in domestic and international forums on gender-equality issues

SWC continued to participate actively in the Federal-Provincial-Territorial (F/P/T) forum of Ministers Responsible for Status of Women to identify and implement solutions to violence against women and girls and to explore ways to advance women's representation in non-traditional occupations. Through this forum, and with support from multiple federal departments, SWC has been leading, among other things, the process to update the publication, Measuring Violence against Women: Statistical Trends. To be released in early 2013, the report provides key indicators on the prevalence and severity of violence against women; the various risk factors and impact of violence; and criminal justice and social responses.

On the international scene, the agency worked in close collaboration with Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) to support the Minister for Status of Women's leadership on encouraging the United Nations to proclaim the International Day of the Girl (IDG), to be marked for the first time in October 2012. This proclamation is a significant achievement for the Government of Canada. The IDG will raise awareness of the challenges still facing girls worldwide and will support girls and young women as citizens and powerful voices for change in their families, communities and their nations.

SWC continued to provide expertise relevant to its mandate to support DFAIT and the Canadian International Development Agency in advancing Canada's foreign policy, particularly its international obligations related to gender equality. The agency continued to co-lead with DFAIT preparations for the 56th annual session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the leading international forum for Canada and other states to assess progress towards gender equality.

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Canada's ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (December 10, 2011), Status of Women Canada, in collaboration with the Departments of Justice, Canadian Heritage and DFAIT, hosted a symposium to raise awareness of Canada's obligations under the Convention and its relevance to domestic laws, policies and programs. A panel of representatives from Canadian equality-seeking organizations provided a community perspective on the Convention.

The performance analysis for this program activity shows that SWC is producing results in facilitating the integration of gender-considerations in decision-making processes, in high-level discussions, among different levels of government, in policy and program initiatives and at domestic and international forums. The agency's performance data shows that GBA is indeed at a crossroads in the Canadian federal public service: the number of departments engaged in building GBA capacity has increased, and there is a consistent uptake of the Departmental Action Plan on Gender-based Analysis by departments and agencies, with six more organizations joining the nine that implemented the Action Plan in its first year. As well, there is growing recognition that gender equality is a shared responsibility, with 27 federal departments and agencies sending a total of 125 representatives to attend a SWC-sponsored GBA+ workshop. Further, requests by departments and agencies for SWC's assistance in GBA application are growing while departmental response to and participation in GBA training have increased, with 27 separate organizations sending a total of 126 people to attend training sessions organized by SWC. In addition, individuals with responsibility for promoting GBA from nine federal organizations participated in a series of workshops designed to support them in this function.

There is evidence of success in SWC's efforts to build partnerships, promote collaboration and foster synergy on common issues. Canada's successful leadership in the proclamation of the International Day of the Girl is an indicator of effective collaboration among various stakeholders. The partnership approach has also been instrumental in addressing issues pertaining to equality for women, including ending violence against women and girls, promoting the representation of women in leadership positions and non-traditional occupations, engaging men and boys in preventing gender-based violence and others. As SWC continues to reinforce and broaden this approach, there is a demonstrable level of awareness that gender equality is a shared responsibility of women and men, boys and girls, public institutions and the private and voluntary sectors.

Program Activity 1.2: Women's participation in Canadian society

Program Activity Description

Under this program activity, SWC supports women's full participation by addressing their economic and social situations and their participation in democratic life through financial and other support for projects and strategic partnerships that leverage resources and involve public institutions, non-governmental organizations and others.

This financial resources table summarizes, in millions of dollars, Status of Women Canada's planned spending, total authorities, and actual spending for Program Activity 1.2, Women's participation in Canadian society, during 2011-2012.
2011-2012 Financial Resources ($ millions)
Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual Spending
24.2 24.0 21.6

Planned spending within each program activity included forecasted expenditures funded centrally through Internal Services. This mostly explains the variance between planned spending and actual spending within each program activity.

This human resources table summarizes, in full-time equivalents, Status of Women Canada's planned, actual, and the difference between planned and actual staffing during 2011-2012 for Program Activity 1.2, Women's participation in Canadian society.
2011-2012 Human Resources (full-time equivalent—FTE)
Planned Actual Difference
32 32 0
For Status of Women Canada's Program Activity 1.2, Women's participation in Canadian society, this table highlights the results expected, the indicators used to assess performance, the targets set for the activity, and the performance status at year end.
Program Activity Performance Summary
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Increased participation of women in their communities Proportion of funded projects that demonstrate level of women's participation in their communities 10% of projects

All targets exceeded.

A summative evaluation of this program activity reported that:

  • 90% of the funded projects had increased awareness among women for identifying and/or removing barriers to their participation in their communities.
  • 60% of projects met objectives in terms of increased partnerships. Almost all funded applicants reported that they will continue to work with project partners and 60% are already doing so.
  • 80% of the projects contributed to increased participation of women in their communities to "a great extent." See summative evaluation report at: (http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/trans/account-resp/pr/sewp-espf/sewp-espf-eng.html).
Increased awareness among women for identifying and/or removing barriers to their participation in their communities Proportion of funded projects that demonstrate raised awareness or knowledge acquisition among women for identifying and/or removing barriers to their participation in their communities
Increased partnerships with other federal departments, levels of government, non-governmental organizations and the private sector Proportion of funded projects involving partners addressing women's issues through joint projects

Performance Summary and Analysis of Program Activity

In 2011-2012, SWC provided funding and other supports for projects at the local, regional and national levels designed to address barriers to women's full participation in Canadian society. Of the 328 projects, 64 were completed, 164 were ongoing and 100 were new projects. Total funding expended for these projects during the reporting year was $18,285,051.

The projects were diverse in nature and scope, targeted different population groups, addressed a multitude of issues and applied varied strategies. SWC continued to support projects that incorporate and promote the use of gender-based analysis and strategies that acknowledge the intersectionality of issues affecting women. All projects contributed to one or more of the SWC priority areas: improving women's economic security and prosperity; ending violence against women and girls; and encouraging women and girls in leadership and decision-making roles.

Community Action: SWC supports projects that work to increase and strengthen access to a range of opportunities, information, resources and services, tools, etc. that facilitate women's participation in Canadian society. The performance analysis for this program activity shows that these strategies and supports are yielding concrete results in leveraging partnerships, raising awareness, and increasing and strengthening women's participation in their communities.

The results of the summative evaluation of the WP that was completed in 2011-2012 demonstrated that the investments made through the WP are making a real difference by responding to the needs of women and girls in Canada. Key findings indicate that the Program, with its focus on gender equality, is still relevant and demand for the Program over the last five years has been high. The WP increased women's participation in their communities and has been successful in stimulating partnerships, and funding from partners, with many of the projects demonstrating sustainability. However, the evaluation also identified areas to be addressed that would increase the Program's reach and sustainable impact. For example, there are opportunities for greater knowledge building and sharing.

Collaboration: Through the WP, SWC facilitates collaboration, networking and partnerships to promote equality and the advancement of women in Canada. Relevant stakeholders for funded projects may include women's and community organizations, public institutions and the private sector. This collaborative approach will ensure that issues affecting women are widely recognized and addressed, increasing a sense of ownership within communities.

Through this Program, SWC facilitates networking; develops partnerships where needed to address horizontal issues impacting women and girls; shares knowledge; and assists organizations working to advance women's equality to gain access to expertise, resources and tools. For example, key stakeholders such as law enforcement representatives, service providers, community organizations and foundations, and academics were brought together to discuss the issues related to human trafficking in Ontario and across Canada, and to share information and help build partnerships. The meeting was a response to a number of requests from organizations seeking funding for projects to address human trafficking in Ontario. As well, SWC continued to support last year's innovative Blueprint Projects by establishing networks of various currently funded organizations to test promising and innovative models in order to share information, establish connections and promote learning.

By investing strategically, supporting partnerships and facilitating networks, SWC works to help create conditions for success for women in Canada. SWC continued to strengthen the Program's networks and to work horizontally where possible on issues affecting women. The Program uses a departmental assessment committee, which includes members from other relevant federal departments, to provide input on proposed projects and identify potential partnerships. The WP also participates and contributes to the assessment committees of other federal programs, horizontal initiatives, and various interdepartmental working groups, such as the Human Trafficking Taskforce. These networks allow for greater flexibility in responding to emerging issues, in supporting the coherence of government action in addressing women's issues, and in increasing the potential for the reach and sustainability of projects.

Enhancing Program Management and Accountability: SWC continued to work on streamlining practices and providing greater program flexibility. SWC launched two targeted calls for proposals in 2011-2012:

  • Women Living in Rural and Remote Communities and Small Urban Centres. This call had two streams:
    • Community planning to reduce violence against women and girls in rural communities and small urban centres in Canada; and
    • Community planning for women's economic security in rural and remote communities in Canada
  • Engaging Young People to Prevent Violence against Women on Post-Secondary Campuses

These calls leverage community resources by involving other stakeholders in the development of a community plan to address issues in the targeted communities. Each funded project includes work with key stakeholders to develop a community plan and to implement one of the plan's priority components. Through these calls, SWC continued to respond to government priorities and invested strategically in areas where there was potential to achieve concrete and direct results.

The summative evaluation found that the Program's design and delivery mechanisms were appropriate, and that the Program had made adaptive changes to improve delivery. SWC also improved the management and strengthened accountability of the Program through efforts to streamline its administration with more efficient and structured management strategies. For example, SWC undertook a review to identify opportunities to increase and strengthen the WP's service standards. The SWC approach was recognized as a promising practice by the Grants and Contributions Reform Committee's sub-working group on Service Standards. SWC is currently customizing and implementing a Grants and Contributions system, which is being adapted from the system used by Public Safety Canada. SWC is also working to finalize the Program's client engagement strategy. This process included consulting with internal stakeholders as well as recipients to ensure relevance and effectiveness.

During 2011-2012, SWC began work on implementing the recommendations from the summative evaluation and preparing to renew the Terms and Conditions for the Women's Program.

Lessons Learned

The key conclusion of the summative evaluation was that investments made through the WP are making a real difference and responding to the needs of women and girls in Canada. Key findings indicate that the Program is still relevant and demand for the Program over the last five years has been high. Other findings include:

  • The program's priority areas: ending violence against women and girls; improving women's economic security and prosperity; and encouraging women and girls in leadership and decision making roles, are well-aligned with national data. These priorities are also consistent with those of other jurisdictions and governments elsewhere in the world.
  • A significant number of women benefitted from each of the over 400 projects funded during the evaluation period.
  • The program was considered to be effective and efficient, with a very reasonable administrative efficiency ratio.

The summative evaluation made a total of five recommendations in two areas: program performance; design and delivery, including Program reach and sustainable impact (http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/trans/account-resp/pr/sewp-espf/sewp-espf-eng.html). SWC accepted the evaluation's recommendations and a Management Response was prepared to detail the work necessary to address them. For example, steps to further enhance the efficiency of the Program are in progress and the evaluation identified areas to be addressed to increase the Program's reach and impact. The Management Response is accessible electronically at http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/trans/account-resp/pr/sewp-espf/mr-eng.html.

Program Activity 1.3: Internal Services

Program Activity Description

Internal Services includes groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of the organization. These groups are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Strategic Planning and Reporting Services; Audit and Evaluation Services; Cabinet/Parliamentary Affairs Services; Real Property Services; Materiel Services; Acquisition Services; Services to the Minister for Status of Women; and Travel and Other Administrative Services.

This financial resources table summarizes, in millions of dollars, Status of Women Canada's planned spending, total authorities, and actual spending for Program Activity 1.3, Internal Services, during 2011-2012.
2011-2012 Financial Resources ($ millions)
Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual Spending
3.4 4.9 5.8

Planned spending within each program activity included forecasted expenditures funded centrally through Internal Services. This mostly explains the variance between planned spending and actual spending within each program activity.

This human resources table summarizes, in full-time equivalents, Status of Women Canada's planned, actual, and the difference between planned and actual staffing during 2011-2012 for Program Activity 1.3, Internal Services.
2011-2012 Human Resources (full-time equivalent—FTE)
Planned Actual Difference
45 45 0

Performance Summary and Analysis of Program Activity

In 2011-2012, SWC undertook to address areas for improvement identified through the Management Accountability Framework (MAF) assessment, including requirements under the Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Acts. SWC has improved its capacity to meet its legislative requirements under ATIPActs. For example, through training, advice and enhanced systems, SWC has markedly improved its ATIP processes and the response times for ATIP requests: the number of carried-over requests was reduced by 90%, processing steps by 50% and paper consumption by 80%.

Lessons Learned

In 2011-2012, SWC participated in the first wave of the Core Control Audits performed by the Office of the Comptroller General (OCG), covering the period April 1, 2010, to March 31, 2011. The objective of this audit was to ensure that core controls over financial management within SWC are effective and comply with relevant legislation, policies and directives.

The audit results were very satisfactory and SWC received positive feedback from the OCG's Departmental Audit Committee on its achievements, particularly in light of its size. Management accepted the audit findings and developed a plan to address the detailed recommendations. The Management Action Plan is available online at http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/trans/account-resp/pr/cca-vmc/index-eng.html