Section III: Analysis of Programs and Internal Services

Programs

Program Title: Leadership, Expertise and Advice

Description

As the Government of Canada’s centre of expertise on women’s equality issues, SWC helps the government meet its domestic and international obligations and commitments to achieve gender equality. Through its communication and commemoration activities, SWC raises Canadians’ understanding and knowledge of gender equality issues and encourages them to engage in efforts to make advances in this area. SWC also plays a lead role in building the capacity of federal organizations to use GBA+ to develop and implement policies, programs and initiatives that will advance equality between women and men. SWC provides strategic policy analysis and advice on numerous issues aligned with its three priority areas of ending violence against women and girls, supporting the advancement and increased representation of women and girls in leadership and decision-making roles, and improving women’s and girls’ economic security and prosperity. SWC fosters the development of new data and innovative research, explores gaps and emerging issues, and encourages knowledge transfer on ways to address gender inequalities.

Program Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

Results Highlights
  • Significant increase in the level of support for departments and agencies to integrate GBA+.
  • Successful engagement process in preparation for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
  • Renewed engagement with the Provinces and Territories and in international fora.
Strengthening implementation of GBA+

In 2015-16, the Government of Canada renewed its commitment to GBA+ by mandating the Minister of Status of Women to ensure that government policy, legislation, and regulations are sensitive to the different impacts that decisions can have on women and men. As such, SWC reinforced its leadership role, broadening its outreach and building capacity within and beyond the federal public sector.

Furthermore, the Government welcomed the recommendations of the 2015 Fall Report of the Auditor General of Canada, which had pointed out that more efforts were needed to implement a rigorous GBA+ practice across the federal government. The Report also recommended that SWC, the Privy Council Office (PCO) and the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) work with federal departments and agencies to identify barriers to implementing GBA+ and to assess and report on progress.

In response, SWC, in collaboration with PCO and TBS, tabled the Action Plan on Gender Based Analysis (2016-2020) (http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/gba-acs/plan-action-2016-en.html), outlining the measures to be taken to enhance GBA+ application across the federal Government. Key elements of the Action Plan include:

  • Identifying and Addressing Barriers: SWC will work with PCO, TBS, and departments and agencies to address barriers that impede federal organizations from taking gender into consideration in the development, renewal and assessment of policy, legislative, and program initiatives.
  • Building Capacity: SWC will enhance training, develop a suite of GBA+ products, update and create new interactive online resources, and align the content of its GBA+ online course for inclusion in the Canada School of Public Service’s policy training suite.
  • Monitoring and Reporting: SWC will continue to monitor participation in the GBA+ online course and GBA+ application in departments and agencies. Working in collaboration with TBS and PCO, the agency will report on a regular basis on the status of GBA+ implementation across government, based on annual progress reports from departmental deputy heads.

Key results achieved during the reporting year include:

  • A total of 5,437 participants, including 4,800 federal officials representing 59 departments and agencies completed SWC’s online course, Introduction to Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+). Compared to the previous year, the figure represents an exponential growth of 500% in the completion rate of the GBA+ online course. According to SWC’s post training survey, 86% of respondents indicated that their knowledge of GBA+ had increased and that they felt better equipped to apply GBA+ to their work. The survey results exceeded SWC’s performance target of 75%. This is a strong indicator of an increased level of expertise built within the federal government to ensure a sustained practice of GBA+.
Introduction to GBA+ Course: Completion Rate
2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016
Federal officials 389 443 700 4,895
All users 510 528 1,037 5,437

Highlights of GBA+ best practices in the federal public sector during the reporting period are described in the box below.

GBA+ Best Practices
  • In 2015, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) committed to fully operationalize the Women, Peace and Security initiative in order to improve operational excellence, as part of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325, the landmark Resolution on Women, Peace and Security. Following extensive consultations with SWC, CAF committed to integrating GBA+ as a routine and common element of all its activities, policies, education, professional development and other programs.
  • Through the application of GBA+, the Government’s Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I) Strategy proposed to include a specific commitment to encourage “young people to pursue education and choose careers in STEM disciplines”, including “working more closely with educators and industry to address the persistent under-representation of women in these disciplines”.
  • The Human Rights Law Section of the Department of Justice supported the introduction of amendments to the Canadian Human Rights Act and Criminal Code to add “gender identity” or “expression” as prohibited grounds of discrimination, prohibited grounds of hate speech and aggravating factors in sentencing where a crime was motivated by hatred on these grounds. Considerations of gender and diversity informed the initiative, including challenges and opportunities related to the collection of gender and sex-disaggregated data.

These examples demonstrate that increased knowledge of GBA+ translates into increased capacity to use it. This will transfer into more gender and diversity responsive policies, programs and initiatives.

Strategic Policy Advice
Addressing violence against women and girls

As part of the Status of Women Minister’s mandate to support the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), SWC played an important role in laying the foundation for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Concluded during the reporting year, the pre-inquiry engagement process provided an opportunity for the government to hear from survivors, family members, loved ones and front-line service providers, as well as to consult with Indigenous leaders, government officials, scholars and legal experts. In addition to informing the mandate and scope of the forthcoming inquiry, this process culminated in provincial and territorial governments agreeing to participate fully in the inquiry process.

Ensuring that women and girls have access to timely and appropriate forms of shelter is essential to increasing their safety and addressing the violence they are experiencing. In this context, SWC played a key role in supporting the Ministers of Infrastructure and Communities and INAC to deliver the Government’s commitment in this area; an unprecedented investment of $89.9M in Budget 2016 was secured for the enhancement of Canada’s networks of shelters and transition houses, as part of the social infrastructure funding. This investment will support the construction or renovation of over 3,000 shelter spaces to address the serious shortage of accommodation for women and children fleeing violence.

A Sexual Violence Knowledge Exchange Event attended by approximately 150 participants, including leading minds from across the country, raised awareness and understanding of sexual violence in the Canadian context. Discussions at this event will contribute to informing the development of the Federal Strategy against Gender-based Violence and future shared work at the FPT table.

Promoting economic opportunities for women

Women’s economic security and prosperity is a fundamental component of gender equality and a prosperous Canada. As part of its ongoing efforts to support this strategic objective, SWC worked with Global Affairs Canada to provide opportunities for women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and expand into new markets.

In 2015, the Minister of Status of Women led a women’s trade mission to attend the National Conference and Business Fair of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) in Austin, Texas.

She also led the first ever trade mission to the Global Summit of Women in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The forum brought together women leaders in public, private and non-profit sectors to discuss strategies to expand women’s economic opportunities.

Increasing representation of women in leadership and decision-making roles

Throughout 2015-16, SWC engaged with federal departments, non-profit organizations and community partners for discussions on women’s representation in leadership positions. To achieve gender parity in appointment decisions and ultimately in the representation of women in Governor-in-Council (GIC) positions, the agency worked with PCO to develop monitoring and reporting processes to ensure that the government’s senior appointments are merit-based and demonstrate gender parity.

Intergovernmental and international relations

In line with the Government’s agenda to strengthen Canada’s active engagement in multilateral cooperation, including in the field of gender equality, SWC played an important role in re-energizing intergovernmental and international relations.

Given that provincial and territorial governments hold many of the levers to achieve gender equality, collaboration within the Federal/Provincial/Territorial (FPT) Forum is a key mechanism. At the 33rd Annual Meeting of FPT Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women, held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Ministers addressed key priorities, including: ending violence against women and girls, increasing the participation and advancement of women in the skilled trades and technical professions as well as the implementation of GBA+ across all jurisdictions. As part of the discussions, Ministers also examined the outcomes of a Sexual Violence Knowledge Exchange event held in the days preceding the FPT meeting.

Canada demonstrated renewed leadership at the 60th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW), where the Minister of Status of Women led a delegation of over 50 members, representing federal, provincial and territorial governments, as well as civil society. Six side events hosted by SWC brought together government, civil society, academic and youth participants for discussions on gender-based violence, the rights of Indigenous women, and sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Through active engagement, strategic intervention and collaboration with like-minded partners, SWC was able to influence the negotiations of the Agreed Conclusions (the UNCSW outcomes document which provides guidance to UN members on specific issues facing women and girls around the world). Recommendations included a focus on violence against women and girls, specific references to Indigenous women and girls, and language recognizing the important role of civil society in addressing gender inequality.

In February 2016, SWC was represented at the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development’s (OECD) peer review of Mexico’s institutional framework on gender equality. The peer review enabled SWC to exercise leadership and partner with the OECD to support the Mexican government in its efforts to strengthen gender equality in Mexico. Canadian best practices on gender equality will be featured in the peer review report.

Raising Awareness

In 2015-16, SWC broadened its outreach to an unprecedented level, using social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube). On International Women’s Day 2016, SWC promoted the theme Women’s Empowerment Leads to Equality, conveying a strong message that women and girls who are empowered are better equipped to fulfill their potential and contribute their best to society. By leveraging social media, SWC generated interest across the nation for an informed dialogue about empowerment and gender equality. The success was felt well beyond Canada, in several other countries as well as among organizations, governments and individuals. http://swc-cfc.gc.ca/commemoration/iwd-jif/index-en.html.

To mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, SWC promoted the Take the Pledge to #EndViolence Campaign. The campaign was embraced widely by diverse partners and stakeholders, demonstrating its appeal and relevance to a broad range of Canadians, including the Prime Minister, Canadians of every walk of life, as well as organizations such as: federal departments and agencies, other levels of government, educational institutions, community and charitable organizations, law enforcement, and Parliament.

Lessons Learned

To deliver on its gender equality commitments, the Government of Canada must be supported by an agency with capacity to inform, advise and support key government initiatives. As the primary federal agency with the mandate to advance the status of women, SWC is in a unique position to play this role. Through Budget 2016, SWC received much needed resources for strategic investment to enhance its capacity in key areas, as highlighted below:

Increasing regional presence:

To ensure that its programming remains relevant and effective, SWC will expand its points of service to broaden its outreach to rural and remote areas, engage with provincial/territorial partners and civil society stakeholders, ensure project success through support and guidance, facilitate connections among organizations working on similar issues, and support federal regional offices with gender advice and expertise.

Evidence-based policy research:

The Government’s ability to develop evidence-based policy is limited due to significant data gaps. Research is also needed to inform government interventions on priority issues, including gender-based violence, the gender wage gap, and women in leadership. Through the creation of a small, dedicated research and evaluation unit, SWC will play an important role in delivering government commitments. This unit will generate and disseminate new knowledge, inform government initiatives, and monitor and report on progress in advancing gender equality in Canada.

Gender-based Analysis Plus:

One of the key ministerial mandate commitments is to ensure the systematic application of GBA+ in federal decisions. As such, new resources will enable SWC to enhance the provision of gender expertise and advice in the development of key government initiatives. This would ensure that all sectors and functional communities in government have access to relevant GBA+ training and support, and the agency will increase its engagement in the review of Cabinet proposals.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2015-2016
Main Estimates
2015-2016
Planned Spending
2015-16
Total Authorities Available for Use
2015-16
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2015-16
Difference (actual minus planned)
2,142,013 2,142,013 2,142,013 1,852,185 (289,828)
Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2015-16
Planned
2015-16
Actual
2015-16
Difference (actual minus planned)
17 17 0
Performance Results
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Through SWC leadership, key stakeholders have access to advice and information to address issues relating to equality between women and men and boys and girls. (Key stakeholders include federal organizations, provinces, territories, civil society and the general public) Number of SWC-led interventions that provide advice and information. 5 A total of six SWC-led interventions provided key stakeholders access to advice and information to address gender equality issues (See Section III for details)
Through the provision of SWC expertise, federal government officials and key stakeholders have increased knowledge of GBA+. (Key stakeholders include representatives from provinces, territories, civil society and the general public) Percentage of respondents that indicate their knowledge of GBA+ has increased following GBA+ training/event 75% 86%
Canadian media reports on contributions made by SWC towards advancing equality for women and girls Percentage of SWC-led initiatives that result in media reports 50% 73%

Program Title: Advancing Equality for Women

Description

SWC provides grant and contribution funding to non-profit and other organizations to support actions which create the conditions of success by addressing barriers to women’s economic security, social well-being, and participation in democratic life. Funded projects apply a variety of strategies with an emphasis on changing the underlying systemic barriers impeding women’s progress and advancement. The agency also facilitates collaboration, networking, and partnerships to facilitate knowledge sharing amongst organizations working to advance equality for women.

Program Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

Results Highlights
  • Highly innovative projects to address sexual violence on campus, with evidence of institutional changes to respond to this issue in post-secondary institutions.
  • Innovative mechanisms implemented to foster increased networking and sharing of knowledge and promising practices among funded organizations, and new solutions to facilitate evaluation and reporting on results.
Strategic investments

In 2015-16, the agency provided a total of $18,285,000 to support some 300 projects at the local, regional and national levels. SWC continued to invest strategically in areas where there was a clear potential for making a difference in the lives of women and girls in Canada. Funded projects worked to find and implement concrete solutions to the systemic barriers women face, focusing on creating levers, leveraging partnerships as well as acting to transform institutions and systems impeding women’s progress and advancement.

Addressing violence against women and girls:

In 2015-16, SWC funded projects that aimed to reduce gender-based violence, for example through a Call for Proposals to address the unique safety issues and risks, “encompassing physical safety as well as security provisons, social dynamics and institutional policies and programs” (METRAC), faced by young women on post-secondary campuses.

Campus violence projects

Representing a total investment of $4 million over 28 months, the 21 campus violence projects reached some 30 post-secondary institutions across Canada, leading, in some cases, to systemic changes in how post-secondary institutions respond to sexual violence. Project results included:

  • increased/strengthened physical safety measures;
  • policy/procedures reform;
  • increased ownership among stakeholders working to address violence against women and girls; and
  • service improvements.

These projects engaged a broad range of on and off-campus stakeholders that included community agencies (e.g. women’s organizations, service providers, student associations, college/university department staff and faculty, and the student body, etc.) who were familiar with the issue and keen to help address it. For example, one project developed a Campus Community Action Plan to address sexual violence consisting of three main components: prevention and awareness; training and education; and a coordinated response to disclosures. Through key partnerships and collaboration with campus stakeholders, a Campus Sexual Assault Response Team (CSART) was formed and a Sexual Assault Advocate position was created to respond to disclosures of sexual assault and support students who come forward.

The call launched by SWC was instrumental in bringing visibility to campus violence, creating momentum for change and future action, and resulting in: increased/strengthened physical safety measures, policy/procedures reform, and service improvements, with evidence of some post-secondary institutional reform. In some cases, work is ongoing.

Promoting economic opportunities for women

SWC also funded a cluster of 27 projects for a total investment of more than $7 million to address women’s economic security and prosperity in rural and remote communities in Canada. This Call for Proposals provided the opportunity for communities to address the unique economic and systemic challenges (e.g. transportation, childcare, systemic gender inclusivity) faced by women living in rural and remote communities.

Projects supported women and community partners to work together to develop and implement community plans to promote women’s economic security and prosperity in the local area. They engaged a range of partners including: community based organizations and leaders, local, regional and provincial governments, planning and economic development agencies, financial and educational institutions, local businesses, and business associations. For example, one project worked with key stakeholders to create the required culturally-based supports and resources needed to enhance economic security for Indigenous women. As a result of this project, the Community Business Development Corporation created a 3-year strategic plan that includes components designed to address the needs of Indigenous women, demonstrating a better understanding of the factors that impact Indigenous women’s ability to achieve economic security and ways to address them.

Together these projects resulted in enhanced collective capacity at the community level: stronger community-based relationships, greater understanding of the specific challenges facing women in their communities, and the development of adapted community-based solutions.

Increasing the representation of women in leadership and decision-making roles

In 2015-16, SWC launched a Call for Proposals for projects that increase women’s participation in the democratic and public life of Canada. This Call is part of a series designed to ensure women’s voices are represented in the public life of Canada. The Call aligned with the 100th anniversary of the vote for women to commemorate and strengthen the engagement of women in community, civic and political activities.

The Call was innovative in that organizations were required to come together as co-applicants, not simply partners, to identify and overcome systemic barriers that lead to women’s under-representation in Canada’s democratic and public life. It was designed to engage a range of relevant stakeholders, including new audiences, to help create inclusive contexts that foster women’s active participation and leadership in the democratic and public life of the country. The Call also included a companion stream to address the specific needs of Indigenous women.

Knowledge Brokering

The Agency recognizes that for changes achieved through projects funded in communities to be sustainable and to have broader transformative impacts beyond individual projects, it has a key role to play to facilitate knowledge sharing, access to expertise, tools and resources, and networking. In 2015-16, SWC continued to create opportunities for dialogue and exchange by developing a Client Mobilization Platform that links funded recipients and other partners with one another and with SWC. The Platform enables real time sharing of knowledge and expertise to strengthen practices, and facilitates the sharing of tools to avoid duplication. The Agency recognizes that for changes achieved through projects funded in communities to be sustainable and to have broader transformative impacts beyond individual projects, it has a key role to play to facilitate knowledge sharing, access to expertise, tools and resources, and networking. In 2015-16, SWC continued to create opportunities for dialogue and exchange by developing a Client Mobilization Platform that links funded recipients and other partners with one another and with SWC. The Platform enables real time sharing of knowledge and expertise to strengthen practices, and facilitates the sharing of tools to avoid duplication.

InterAction. Share, Connect and Exchange
Client Mobilization Interactive Platform

In 2015-16, SWC developed an online interactive client engagement platform named InterAction. It was developed to facilicate communication between SWC and its clients, and in particular to foster genuine dialogue with and between stakeholders, inclucding funded organisations. It seeks to encourage the real-time sharing of experiences and knowledge, and provide enhanced access to tools and resources. InterAction builds on previous SWC work, promoting networking amongst stakeholders that share a common goal, thereby creating communities of practice to hel advance gender equality.

Other performance results include:

  • Eight learning events, reaching well over 250 participants, including representatives from federal, provincial and territorial governments, community-based organizations, and academics;
  • A newly created community of practice on cyberviolence held two meetings;
  • The publishing of six chapters of Women in Canada, a one of a kind source of gender-disaggregated data that supports the use of GBA+ to ensure that government initiatives are evidence-based and responsive to the needs of women and men, in all their diversity. Women in Canada also represents one of the most widely-accessed Statistics Canada publications, providing an important source of data on gender equality issues, including on women and girls of diverse backgrounds.

These initiatives contribute to building systems of support, dialogue and action among key stakeholders, breaking down silos, developing common understanding of issues and challenges, and promoting focused actions that together have greater impact on advancing the equality for women in all facets of life.

Modernizing programs and services for Canadians
Innovative Tool to Measure Results

In 2016, SAMETRICA was contracted to use its software tool that measures the social impacts of programs to develop a social impact measurement framework for projects funded under the 2015 call for proposal theme ‘Working in Partnership to End Violence against Women and Girls’.

A total of 15 organizations agreed to participate in the pilot and they are in the process of being trained on the software tool. SAMETRICA created a framework of common outcomes and indicators across all 15 projects. Data will be collected on how stakeholders are collaborating to implement integrated strategies to address systemic barriers and gaps that disproportionately impact women and girls. Project data captured in SAMETRICA will be analyzed to understand the collective impact of the projects and how the results align with the Women’s Program’s outcomes.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2015-2016
Main Estimates
2015-2016
Planned Spending
2015-2016
Total Authorities Available for Use
2015-2016
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2015-16
Difference (actual minus planned)
23,155,089 23,155,089 24,032,689 22,459,620 (695,469)
Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2015-2016
Planned
2015-2016
Actual
2015-2016
Difference (actual minus planned)
36 38 2
Performance Results
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Women and communities have access to supports to address issues relating to equality between women and men Percentage of projects that generate supports (e.g. resources, tools) 70% 90%
Communities and stakeholders have access to opportunities to advance equality between women and men Percentage of projects that facilitate opportunities (e.g. partnerships, networks, strategies) 70% 85%

Internal Services

Description

Internal services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. Internal services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization, and not those provided to a specific program. The groups of activities are Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Services; Materiel Services; and Acquisition Services.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2015-2016
Main Estimates
2015-2016
Planned Spending
2015–16 Total Authorities Available for Use 2015-2016
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2015-2016
Difference (actual minus planned)
4,245,975 4,245,975 4,977,706 5,230,596 984,621
Human Resources (FTEs)
2015-2016
Planned
2015-2016
Actual
2015-2016
Difference (actual minus planned)
43 44 1
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