Evaluation of the AgriMarketing Program Stream C: Market Development – Summary
About the Evaluation
- The evaluation reports on the relevance, performance, design and delivery of the AgriMarketing Program Stream C: Market Development (hereafter referred to as Market Development or the Program), focusing on results achieved from April 2013 to March 2017.
- The evaluation used multiple lines of evidence to assess the outputs and outcomes of the Program, including document and file review, survey, and interviews.
- Market Development is a five year (2013-2014 to 2017-2018) Growing Forward 2 program with the objective of building and promoting Canada's domestic and export markets.
- There are two program components: Generic component, which provides funding support to not-for-profit organizations; and SMEs component, which provides funding support to small and medium-sized enterprises.
- Total federal investment in Market Development is $114-million over five years through Grants and Contributions agreements.
What we found
- Market Development supports the agricultural and agri-food sector in developing and maintaining domestic and international markets, which positions the sector to meet future domestic and export demands.
- Market Development supports Canadian not-for-profit industry organizations and SMEs to promote and market their products in a highly competitive environment.
- Market Development does not duplicate existing market development programs directed at addressing the needs of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector.
- Market Development supports the Government's commitment to grow SMEs and promote trade in emerging markets, as well as Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's commitment to improve economic opportunities for Canadians and improve access to key markets.
- Market Development is on track to achieve its expected results and recipient outputs are consistently surpassing expected results.
- Market Development is supporting recipient sectors to maintain the visibility of Canadian sectors/products in targeted markets, is largely supporting recipient sectors to maintain or seize market opportunities, contributing to their trade competitiveness in targeted markets, and is on track to improving industry ability to access and respond to market opportunities and demands, enabling the sector to compete domestically and internationally.
- The SME experiment with data linkage provided positive results and demonstrated the potential to further enhance performance data by more effectively measuring program outcomes.
Design and Delivery
- Some performance data and information is being aggregated into a database, but the quality and timeliness of that data limits its value for program performance management and decision-making.
- The Program improved and streamlined some decision-making processes and guidance documents; however, more work is needed to streamline remaining processes and develop tools to enable online access and performance reporting.
- Over the duration of the Program, Market Development has improved, and is now meeting service standards.
The Assistant Deputy Minister, Programs Branch, should improve the cohesiveness of performance data and work with the Information Systems Branch towards implementing a system for managing and reporting on applications, projects, and performance information.
Management Response Recommendation 1
Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, performance measures and indicators for the various eligible activities have been standardized across the program. These performance indicators are collected through the Project Application Form and will be automatically transferred to a database and included in the final version of the Work Plan. Program Branch is collaborating with the Information Systems Branch to finalize the implementation of this database.
In addition to enabling the collection and reporting of performance indicators, this database will enable reporting based on variables such as activities, markets, etc., as the results against the targets are entered when the performance reports are submitted by the program recipient.
The Assistant Deputy Minister, Programs Branch, working with the Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy Branch, should make collaboration on data linkage for SMEs a regular part of the Program’s performance measurement.
Management Response Recommendation 2
Officials from Program Branch will engage with the Research and Analysis Directorate officials, in the Strategic Policy Branch, to determine how data linkage for SMEs can be expanded and automated. Program Branch officials will integrate this information into the regular SME Program performance reports.
This will be a long-term target to allow the collection of SME program data through the new and improved application form as well as information collected through the database currently under development.
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