Formative Evaluation of Canada’s Citizenship Week

Appendix I
Management Response

Key Change Suggestions

(as recommended by evaluation report)
Measures Taken Comments

A.  View Canada’s Citizenship Week as a Contributing Component

CCW is not a stand-alone program. Its objectives are integrally linked to Integration Promotion which itself is directly linked to the Citizenship Program. They all share common objectives pursued on a year round basis. CCW is but one week designated to be of relatively high profile. It, and its parent program, seek to encourage Canadians to focus on the privileges, rights, responsibilities and obligations of citizenship.”

Management Response

We agree with this recommendation.

  • This philosophy has been an integral component of our planning and messaging since the establishment of Canada’s Citizenship Week, and several initiatives are currently under way to strengthen this resolve.
  • Since CCW’s modest beginning in 2000, its messaging and educational products have been more consistently promoted and distributed throughout the year.
  • In 2000, CIC launched the “Canada: We All Belong!” and “Welcome Home” campaigns. Following the events of September 11, the Government of Canada used CIC’s slogan “Canada: We All Belong!” in a national promotional campaign during Canada’s Citizenship Week. The campaign promoted the values of respect, freedom, togetherness and belonging. The campaign consisted of a 30-second public announcement aired on all major Canadian networks, as well as two full pages of advertising in national and ethnic newspapers.
  • In early 2002, special events linked to key national and international dates were identified. Customized speech modules and citizenship ceremonies are currently being prepared in order to facilitate and encourage ceremonies and citizenship-related celebrations throughout the entire year. These include:
    • National Flag Day (February);
    • International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (March);
    • Anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (April);
    • Volunteer Week (April);
    • Celebrate Canada Week (June/July);
    • International Day for Peace (September);
    • Canada’s Citizenship Week (October);
    • Remembrance Day (November); and,
    • Human Rights Day (December).
  • Hundreds of reaffirmation and citizenship ceremonies take place during these key national events across Canada.
  • Following the tabling of a renewed Citizenship Act in 2002, an Interdepartmental Committee on Citizenship Promotion was established to coordinate federal activities and messaging related to citizenship promotion. The Committee will help structure and support the forthcoming new role of Citizenship Commissioners — once the new legislation comes into force. Citizenship Commissioners will play a vital role in promoting the values, roles and responsibilities associated with Canadian citizenship throughout the year.
  • Since 2002, new promotional material and educational resources have been produced and widely distributed throughout the year. These activities complement citizenship ceremonies and promote key Canadian values. They include:
  • Cultivating Peace in the 21st Century. Co-produced with Classroom Connections, Canadian Heritage and the National Film Board, two related educational resources are being developed (one has already been made public and the other is pending shortly) to encourage youth to respect diversity, think globally, value human rights, recognize injustice and respond to conflict with non-violent methods. These resources engage children and youth in the search for a culture of peace in their homes, their schools, their neighborhoods and their global community. This project was initiated to counteract some of the negative reactions to the September 11 tragic events and was largely financed by the Interdepartmental Committee on Public Education and Outreach, led by Canadian Heritage.
    www.cultivatingpeace.ca
  • In collaboration with The Dominion Institute, the Passages to Canada Speakers’ Bureau was launched in March 2003, on the Canadian Learning Television in Toronto. The Speakers Bureau invites immigrant speakers into classrooms and community groups to recount the human dimension of immigration and to impart a sense of the personal challenges connected with leaving one’s country and starting anew in Canada. Youth are encouraged to participate by sharing their stories on a dedicated website. This activity takes place throughout the year.
    www.passagestocanada.com
  • In April 2003, Teach Magazine and CIC launched a new educational resource entitled “My Commitment to Canada.” This activity guide explores the rights and responsibilities associated with active citizenship. Four core Canadian values are discussed: respect, freedom, belonging and peace. Through the focal activity, youth are encouraged to express their own declaration of citizenship and to share it within their local community. This resource was created to fulfill a commitment from the September 2002 Speech from the Throne to “strengthen the bonds of shared citizenship and the partnership between government and Canadians.“
  • Citizenship Week is mainly a grassroots movement celebrated at the community level in schools and local halls.
  • Canada’s Citizenship Week was launched in October of 2000.
  • The total budget of Canada’s Citizenship Week is approximately $300,000 annually.
  • Special educational material is developed each year and distributed to youth groups and schools across Canada. On average, close to 60,000 activity guides are distributed on-demand to youth leaders.
  • On average, between 2250 and 2500 citizenship ceremonies are held each year.
B. Integrate Planning

“There is a need for even more strategic planning and advance co-operation among the four key groups for whom co-operation and shared understandings are needed: Integration Promotion; Headquarters Distribution Centre; Communications; and Regions. This likely requires proactive management at a senior level.”

Management Response

We are neutral on this recommendation.

  • We feel that these four groups do co-operate well together, given competing demands for attention along with time and monetary constraints. We will, as always, endeavor to improve internal communications within the parameters of realistic expectations.
  • We believe that the Integration Branch effectively utilizes the numerous communications vehicles available to promote Canada’s Citizenship Week and to foster a better understanding of the goals and objectives of the citizenship promotion program.
  • These activities include regular exchanges through the Citizenship Management Committee (CMC); citizenship judges’ regional meetings and monthly conference calls (as required); regional citizenship and communication specialists conference calls; and, regular e-mails with front-line staff for special speech modules and other communications and promotions products.
  • Regular updates are provided at the senior level (as required and pertinent) to Directors General, Regional Directors General, Assistant Deputy Ministers and the Deputy Minister at the weekly Executive Staff Meeting.
  • Communication and distribution plans are developed and discussed among the key players. All Briefing Notes, Media Lines, Q’s and A’s, and other communications/Ministerial products are shared and vetted through all involved parties.
  • Many teachers are requesting the material several months in advance. The development of educational material is a complex process that requires a significant investment of time by all parties, not only to produce, but also to obtain proper approvals at all stages of production. Given these challenges, we aim to deliver the final product into the hands of teachers and youth leaders at least one month prior to Canada’s Citizenship Week.
  • The key issue with the distribution of the Citizenship Week material centers on the availability of printed material, competing workloads with other departmental priorities during the summer time, available financial resources and the state of readiness of the Client Database. Some of these issues are only partially within the range of our control.

C. Maximize Access to Curriculum Resources

“View the annual Guides as successive editions of collections of youth activities for the classroom and elsewhere. Teachers and youth leaders find the suggestions valuable but need them available on demand in a manner that caters to educators and youth leaders making activity choices under time pressures and at all times of the year. Make it easy to pick and choose activities from the large collection already developed. The ongoing (part-time) services of an education focused, Web literate, librarian could prove very useful in this key requirement.”

Management Response

We agree with this recommendation.

  • We attempt to ensure that all of our products are easily accessible and user friendly, and will continue to make this a priority.
  • In 2003, the previous Citizenship Week activity guides (2000, 2001 and 2002) were converted to HTML and are now available on the CIC website, making it easier to access previous resources. The guides are also available as a PDF file (for download).
  • The 2003 order form has been divided into two sections: one order form for elementary schools and one for middle and high schools. The elementary school form includes the ordering of previous activity guides (2001 and 2002). The middle and high school form includes other material developed for this specific target audience through partnerships (i.e., My Commitment to Canada, Cultivating Peace and the website Citzine).
  • The 2003 edition of the activity guide was written by Classroom Connections, a not-for-profit educational organization, and will include a curriculum analysis (to be posted on CIC’s Web site).
  • A curriculum analysis is included with resources developed through third-party partnerships such as Cultivating Peace and My Commitment to Canada.
  • Integration Branch follows the policies set out by Treasury Board on Common Look and Feel. Staff of the Integration Branch work closely with CIC’s Communications Branch, to ensure compliance with the Government of Canada Internet policies.
  • We aim to ensure that our products are readily available for teachers and youth leaders, and encourage them to pick and choose from the various products available themselves. As most of our products are available in various mediums, it should be sufficiently straightforward for teachers to integrate CIC’s material into their own curriculum by selecting from the larger collection developed. In fact, this is strongly encouraged. Therefore, the addition of a librarian would seem to add little value.
D. Use Symbiotic Relationships

“Co-ordinate with provincial ministries of education and national organizations servicing youth such as Guides and Scouts. Partnerships [are] a valuable route by which to leverage the bringing of citizenship messages to Canadians.”

Management Response

We have reservations with the recommendation.

  • Education is a provincial responsibility; this, therefore, presents difficulties in federal-provincial jurisdiction issues.
  • Education is a provincial jurisdiction, and it is problematic for CIC to directly target the numerous departments of education in various provinces and territories.
  • However, it is recognized that if the material is to be used in the classroom, the activities must be relevant to the educational curriculum.
  • Over the last three years, CIC has partnered with several educational organizations to help forge meaningful links with curriculum. These organizations include:
    • Classrooms Connections;
    • Teach Magazine;
    • Girl Guides of Canada;
    • Scouts Canada; and
    • The Dominion Institute.
  • Metropolis (education and citizenship domain).
  • CIC offers its material according to age groups and relevance. These include: primary, middle and high schools, and youth organizations (i.e., Girl Guides and Scouts). Settlement and multicultural organizations are also regular users of the material.
E. Monitor Performance

“Uptake statistics are the basic requirement for performance management of CCW. The database used for advertising the availability of material, for receiving requests and for filling orders should be made capable of providing uptake rates by categories of target populations.”

Management Response

We agree with this recommendation.

  • One of our key short term priorities is to develop a database to facilitate better uptake statistics.

“Beyond uptake statistics, results measurement is needed. Samples of users and non-users should be monitored for use of communications products and for use of didactic materials by teachers and youth leaders. Longitudinal attitude measurement should be maintained. Existing public opinion polls can continue to be searched for relevant existing measurement over time and, if not adequately available, a limited set of questions should be added to an omnibus survey.”

Management Response

We have reservations with this recommendation.

  • Longitudinal surveys are expensive and difficult to conduct, especially with such a broad range of partners and target audiences.
  • A new Distribution Client Database (currently being developed by IMTB) will be implemented in fall 2003. This will enable CIC to keep track of incoming orders and provide basic distribution statistics. This was our original intention, although it was delayed due to competing interests and the lack of existing technical resources. It is hoped that statistics from previous years (2001 and 2002) will also be accessible in order to facilitate the generation of comparative reports.
  • Each year, we have conducted informal focus testing with teachers. On average, between to 10 to 15 teachers assess the activity guide, and their comments are taken into consideration in the final draft.
  • Within the activity guides, a Comment section solicits feedback from teachers and youth leaders by providing specific questions to answer and encourages participation with a free Welcome Home mouse pad. In general, the response rate has been low.
  • In 2003, an evaluation questionnaire is being incorporated in the Activity Guide. The content of the questions inquire as to: usefulness of the resource; popularity of specific activities; relevance to curriculum; educational value; and, appeal to youth. The feedback will be incorporated in the development of the 2004 Guide.
  • Conducting a longitudinal study would likely be very difficult and prohibitively expensive. We feel that the best method of feedback will continue to be the comments provided by those who use the resources. We will strive to encourage as much feedback from our consumers as possible, and will continue to consult with education experts and teachers themselves in the development of our products.
  • Thus far, all requests have been collected and entered into a database in the Distribution Centre at CIC. Unfortunately, no comprehensive reports (such as number of requests, type and quantity of products, language, province of origin, etc.) could be generated from this database
  • In 2001, CIC contracted a distribution firm (under a standing offer) to mail-out and distribute the material associated with Canada’s Citizenship Week. The contract included the provision of uptake statistics and these statistics were provided within two months following Citizenship Week. The approximate cost was $75K.
  • The evaluation report stresses that CIC should conduct opinion polls and longitudinal attitude surveys. In principle, we agree that it would be ideal to assess the overall impact of Canada’s Citizenship Week on the attitude of Canadians, as public opinion research is an important tool in gauging target audience attitudes. It would seem, though, that there are a number of extremely complex research and methodological challenges inherent in evaluating a broad social marketing campaign such as Canada’s Citizenship Week, which incorporates multiple partners, and, as discussed earlier, has a scope extending far beyond one week or one particular target audience.
  • The fact that there are other private and educational partners, as well as other government departments, promoting the same fundamental values would render it extremely difficult to extrapolate the effects of one campaign from another, even if the sample was only limited to educators, and this would only be exacerbated if the sample consisted of the Canadian public at large.

F. Management Response to Evaluation as a whole

 
  • This evaluation brings into focus the need to review and identify the best strategies for the effective and efficient promotion of citizenship issues across government and for CIC’s contribution to this objective. It is recommended that a future evaluation be undertaken to study this question and make recommendations for the best use of funds within CIC, taking into consideration other activities of the Government of Canada that promote related themes.
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