Management Response and Action Plan

Project Title: Evaluation of the National Anti-Drug Strategy
 Responsibility Centre: Youth Justice and Strategic Initiatives Section
Conclusions Recommendations Management Response Action Plan Responsible Manager (Title) Planned Implementation Date
When asked about the strengths of the Strategy, departmental representatives commonly identified the effective governance structure and committed leadership. More specifically, the governance structure of the Strategy is effective in facilitating communication, collaboration and cooperation among partners. Representatives highlighted the importance of regular communication internally among partners and having both program-level and DG/ADM-level committees to ensure the Strategy remains a priority within the participating departments. Departmental representatives have noted that the strong leadership and commitment of senior staff from Justice Canada (particularly in fostering relationships among partner departments and buy-in from key ADMs) greatly contributed to the success of the Strategy. While the governance of the Strategy was recognized as a strength, there have been several changes to the structures since 2007 with the creation of formal and informal sub-groups. Some un-funded partners identified at the outset of the Strategy have not been participating in any of the meetings; there have been other, un-funded federal partners included in some committees. 1. It is recommended that the Policy and Performance Working Group, in collaboration with the other working groups and sub-groups, undertake a review of the governance structure. The review should include the membership and terms of reference for each committee, as well as the roles and responsibilities of each partner and the lead of each action plan. Accepted.

* Justice Canada will support the Policy and Performance Working Group in reviewing the governance structure, including terms of reference and membership of each committee and working group, and articulating the roles and responsibilities of each NADS member department and each action plan lead.
*At a 2012 meeting of the Policy and Performance Working Group, Justice Canada will lead a review of the governance structure, including terms of reference and membership, and articulating the roles and responsibilities of NADS members and each action plan lead department. It is noted that the perspectives of non-NADS federal partners, e.g., PHAC and AANDC, HRSDC (Homelessness Partnering Secretariat) continue to be welcome as part of the Policy and Performance Working Group. Justice Canada will also continue to reach out to federal partners who work on drug-related issues, e.g., Transport (Road Users section) and Heritage (International Antidoping section) to ensure their knowledge contributes to the efforts of the NADS. Director General and General Counsel, Youth Justice and Strategic Initiatives Section, Department of Justice The review will be completed by March 31, 2013
While the Strategy has been successful in developing knowledge by supporting innovative pilot projects, undertaking research, and identifying best practices or lessons learned, it is important to recognize that the eventual impact of those projects is dependent on the ability to transfer that knowledge to other parties and for their capacity to act on it. With respect to the former, both departmental representatives and stakeholders identified challenges in disseminating knowledge, best practices and research findings to potential users. Most dissemination activities were targeted to funding recipients of individual components, rather than potential users more broadly. With respect to the latter, there is concern that funding constraints at the provincial and territorial level may mean, for example, that some successful pilot projects will not continue once federal funding ends. 2. It is recommended that the Prevention and Treatment Working Group develop a mechanism for disseminating knowledge developed through the prevention and treatment components of the Strategy. Accepted

*NADS partners will continue to devise ways to improve knowledge exchange about prevention and treatment interventions.

Actions to implement this recommendation will include:

* Creating an inventory of current knowledge exchange activities across NADS partners.

* Identifying successful best practices for exchanging knowledge, including among FPT governments.

* Developing a NADS-wide knowledge-exchange strategy and implementing it.

Director General and General Counsel, Youth Justice and Strategic Initiatives Section, Department of Justice

And

Director General, Programs Directorate, Strategic Policy Branch, Health Canada

Inventory and knowledge-exchange strategy in place by March 31, 2013.
Interviewees as well as case study and focus group participants commented on the significant progress made in terms of developing partnerships, fostering collaboration, and facilitating information-sharing among many different partners and stakeholders. Strong relationships were developed within departments, between federal departments, with other levels of government, with other stakeholders, and internationally. However, concerns were raised in the interviews and focus groups about how demand and supply reduction are working in silos resulting in a disconnect in the Strategy. Departmental representatives suggested that ad hoc meetings, conferences and workshops focused on specific issues could be an effective vehicle to improve the coordination of supply and demand reduction activities and improve collaboration and communication across the three action plans, particularly with respect to emerging issues. 3. It is recommended that the Policy and Performance Working Group, in collaboration with the Prevention and Treatment Working Group and the Enforcement Working Group, identify opportunities to improve the communication across the three action plans. Accepted.

*The Policy and Performance Working Group, the Prevention and Treatment Working Group and the Enforcement Working Group will all identify opportunities to improve communication across the three action plans.

*At each of their 2012 meetings, the Policy and Performance Working Group, Prevention and Treatment Working Group and Enforcement Working Group will consider improving communications.

*Regular meetings will be held among representatives of Justice Canada, Health Canada and Public Safety to share information across action plans.

*A GCpedia site will be developed by Justice Canada to allow further sharing among NADS partners across the action plans.

*Other low-cost, ad hoc measures will be taken to share information, e.g., webinars.

Director General and General Counsel, Youth Justice and Strategic Initiatives Section, Department of Justice

And

Director General, Programs Directorate, Strategic Policy Branch, Health Canada

And

Director General, Law Enforcement and Border Strategies, Public Safety Canada

Initial measures by March 31, 2013.
Throughout the implementation of the Strategy, departmental representatives have regularly measured performance and this information was used extensively in this evaluation. However, a number of challenges were identified with the existing performance measurement system. These include difficulties in aggregating impacts given the broad range of activities undertaken, attributing particular outcomes directly to the activities and outputs of the Strategy, and defining performance measures that fairly reflect the target outcomes of the programming. Component-specific evaluations will assess the progress made, and identify lessons learned, best practices, and opportunities to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of future activities and outputs. 4. It is recommended that the Policy and Performance Working Group and Subcommittee on Evaluation and Reporting build on the lessons learned during the first five years by reviewing and revising performance indicators and data sources. The review should simplify and prioritize the indicators and outcomes for each component, and ensure they are relevant, measurable, and attributable to the activities and outcomes of the component. Accepted.

*The Policy and Performance Working Group and the Subcommittee on Evaluation and Reporting recognize the importance of performance data and will review the performance indicators as part of the overall exercise to update the framework.
*In 2012-13 the Subcommittee on Evaluation and Reporting, under direction from the Policy and Performance Working Group, will develop a Performance Measurement Strategy. This exercise will provide an opportunity for NADS partners to review and revise the performance indicators to ensure they are relevant, measurable and attributable to the activities and outcomes of the Strategy components. Given the maturity of the Strategy, effort will be made to shift the focus from reporting on activities to outcomes, which will better support the next evaluation. Furthermore, during this process partners can review the timing of component-specific evaluations to ensure, where possible, that they are completed in time to support the next evaluation of the Strategy.

Director General and General Counsel, Youth Justice and Strategic Initiatives Section, Department of Justice

And

Chair of the Subcommittee on Evaluation and Reporting, Evaluation Division, Department of Justice

Performance Measurement Strategy in place by March 31, 2013
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