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The Voluntary Sector Initiative Process Evaluation
Final Evaluation Report

The Voluntary Sector Initiative Process Evaluation: Final Report is part of the ongoing learning process of the VSI. It was commissioned in the spirit of the VSI itself as a joint undertaking by the Government of Canada and the voluntary sector. This report is an evaluation of the process of the VSI. Its purpose is to assess how the VSI worked and how well it worked up to the end of the two year Joint Table phase that ended in October 2002. The evaluation considers all of the components of the VSI except the program known as Sectoral Involvement in Departmental Policy Development (SIDPD) which has been evaluated separately.

In examining the process, the evaluation focuses on assessing the conduct of the VSI from the perspective of those who were directly involved because they had some responsibility for carrying out work on behalf of the Initiative. While not strictly a self-evaluation, the insights of participants are valuable because they have first hand knowledge of what was effective and what was not. In addition, because they are senior public servants and voluntary sector leaders, many of whom had previous experience in working collaboratively, they are well placed to provide critical judgments and make constructive suggestions for improvements.

Four key evaluation questions are addressed:

How effective were the structures, policies and operations of the VSI in helping the Initiative achieve its objectives?
What were the success factors and what were the barriers to effective collaboration and horizontal management?
What could have been done differently and more effectively, and what were the realistic, practical alternatives?
What are the lessons learned for future, sustainable collaboration between the Government of Canada and the voluntary sector and for horizontal management within each?

The process evaluation found the VSI objectives were met; the relationship between the government and the sector had improved and all participants regarded the VSI as a worthwhile endeavour.

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Last Updated: 2006-12-05