Evaluation of AgriRisk Initiatives - Summary
About the evaluation
- The evaluation reports on the relevance, effectiveness, and efficiency of the AgriRisk Initiatives Program, focusing on results achieved from 2013-14 to 2017-18.
- The evaluation used multiple lines of evidence including document review, case studies, secondary data analysis, surveys, and interviews to assess program activities
- AgriRisk is a Growing Forward 2 program and part of the Business Risk Management suite, alongside programs such as AgriInsurance, AgriStability, and AgriInvest.
- AgriRisk supports the agricultural sector in developing private agricultural risk management products through two streams
- The first stream supports the research and development of new risk management tools.
- The second stream provides financial support to build administrative capacity of organizations to deliver new risk management tools.
What we found
- AgriRisk fulfills a continued need to support the development and implementation of new agricultural risk management tools that address risks affecting producers and are not covered by core Business Risk Management programs.
- AgriRisk aligns with the priorities of the sector by addressing risks that most concern producers.
- Programming aligns with federal priorities and responsibilities such as climate change, underrepresented farmers, and a resilient agricultural sector.
- The Program complements changing federal-provincial-territorial roles in risk management that emphasize industry involvement in managing normal risk through its support for research, development, and implementation of tools.
- AgriRisk is progressing towards achieving its targets related to promoting the Program, including final reports, committing funds for projects and meeting project objectives.
- The Program is increasing industry awareness of new agricultural risk management tools through industry participation and outreach activities in projects.
- The Program made progress towards increasing industry's access to and adoption of new or expanded risk management tools but is hampered by the limited number of Administrative Capacity Building projects that result in new tools.
- AgriRisk made progress in strengthening partnerships between the agricultural and the financial services industries through projects and venues for increased interaction and collaboration such as the AgriRisk Forums.
Design and delivery
- AgriRisk is economical and offers useful non-financial support to recipients.
- While changes in human resources and approval authorities were made, program delivery can reduce inefficiencies in processes as there are still delays in approvals and reimbursements.
The Assistant Deputy Minister, Programs Branch, should expand AgriRisk's promotional efforts to increase awareness of the Program.
Management Response Recommendation 1
Agreed. A strategy for stakeholder engagement will be developed and implemented to promote and increase awareness of the Program within the federal, provincial and territorial governments as well as with stakeholders from the agricultural and financial services industry. The strategy will include specific measures to engage Indigenous groups, and other underrepresented communities, in the agricultural sectors; and other activities, such as the possibility of using a call for proposal process and/or micro funding to promote and increase awareness.
The Assistant Deputy Minister, Programs Branch, should review the requirements of the Administrative Capacity Building stream to increase the access of projects.
Management ResponseRecommendation 2
Agreed. Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, AgriRisk Program Terms and Conditions were revised to broaden the eligible recipients. To increase access to the AgriRisk's Administrative Capacity Building stream, provinces and territories will consistently be engaged through the FPT working group meetings and will continue to play an important role.
The Assistant Deputy Minister, Programs Branch, should incorporate fora that use industry expertise, networks and experience, such as external program advisory councils or involving external expertise in the Program for further industry coordination and engagement.
Management ResponseRecommendation 3
Agreed. Under CAP, the AgriRisk Program Terms and Conditions were revised to engage outside expertise to assist in the assessment of any aspect of a project or applicant. As AgriRisk explores the use of a call for proposal approach, the use of external expertise may be considered for industry engagement as well as for assessments. Criteria can also now be used to establish a priority ranking of eligible projects.
The Assistant Deputy Minister, Programs Branch, should clarify, streamline, and communicate program procedures, guidelines and processes, to reduce the time to approve applications and reimburse claims.
Management ResponseRecommendation 4
Agreed. The Program will undertake a full review of all program documents, including guidelines, application forms and claims, to streamline and simplify the process for both the applicant/recipient and program staff. The Program will adopt best practices, such as incorporating the findings of the Programs Branch LEAN process for claims. The AgriRisk IM/IT investment plan will include enhancements to the Business Risk Management Cost Sharing System to improve the user interface and streamline the processes.
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