Forum on Vulnerable Young Francophones in Minority Communities

10. Forum evaluation

Since this forum was the first event of its kind in Francophone minority communities and it brought together participants who acted together for the first time, the working group prepared a detailed assessment tool. The forum's organization scheduled regional and national discussions. The organizers were trying to determine whether there were significant similarities or differences between the regions and between the community and government participants.

In all, 39 participants completed the evaluation form: 21 representatives from community organizations and 18 officials from government institutions.

10.1. Quantitative evaluation

The quantitative evaluation measured the level of satisfaction among participants regarding the following items:

  • Information received prior to the forum;
  • Informal discussions during the forum;
  • Daniel Sansfaçon's opening remarks;
  • Information messages;
  • The morning sub-group discussions during which participants introduced their organizations and communities;
  • The afternoon sub-group sessions during which participants discussed initiatives that could be implemented;
  • Afternoon plenary session;
  • Information messages presented by the federal institutions;
  • Forum location: meal, room;
  • Facilitation of the day.

A scale of 1 to 5 was used, where 1 = not satisfied and 5 = very satisfied. On a scale of 1 to 5, the median is 3.

10.1.1. Overall evaluation by sub-group, category of participants and overall assessment

Figure 1 shows the results of the overall assessment.

  • The average overall score of all participants for all items was 4.10.
  • The community representatives' level of satisfaction was slightly higher than the government officials' level of satisfaction: 4.16 versus 4.03.
  • The four regional sub-groups' level of satisfaction ranged from 4.08 to 4.22.
  • The national sub-group's level of satisfaction was slightly lower at 3.98.

Figure 1 – Overall Assessment – Quantitative Evaluation – Forum on Vulnerable Young Francophones in Minority Communities

Overall Assessment Graph

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10.1.2. Overall assessment for each item measured

Figure 2 shows the results of the overall assessment for each item evaluated.

  • Besides the facilitation, the most popular items were Daniel Sansfaçon's opening remarks (4.36) and the afternoon plenary session (4.18).
  • The morning discussions which allowed participants to introduce their organizations and regions (4.13) were more popular than the afternoon discussions (3.97), when sub-groups considered collaborative arrangements that could be established.
  • The information received in advance was the item that produced the lowest average (3.55).
  • The average of the other items was greater than 4.0.

Figure 2 – Overview, assessment of each item evaluated

Overall assessment for each item evaluated

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10.1.3. Overall assessment by item evaluated, federal institutions and community organizations

Figure 3 and Figure 4 compare the government and community representatives' results for each item evaluated.

  • The opening remarks were greatly appreciated by both government (4.39) and community representatives (4.33).
  • The information received before the meeting was the least popular item according to both groups – communities (3.33) and governments (3.82).
  • The communities appreciated the plenary session discussions more (4.48) than the government representatives did (3.82).
  • The communities appreciated the information messages slightly more (4.24) than the government representatives did (4.06).
  • The communities appreciated the afternoon discussions on potential collaborative arrangements more (4.19) than the government representatives did (3.71). This was the item that received the lowest rating from the government participants.

Figure 3 – Overall assessment for each item evaluated – federal institutions

Overall assessment for each item evaluated – federal institutions

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Figure 4 – Overall assessment for each item evaluated – community organizations

Overall assessment for each item evaluated – community organizations

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10.1.4. Overall assessment by item evaluated, each regional sub-group and the national sub-group

The next figures show the results for each regional sub-group and the national sub-group. Each sub-group consisted of government and community group representatives.

The significant points of comparison are described below.

In descending order, the overall results are similar. The Ontario and Prairies regions produced the highest ratings.

  • Ontario: 4.22
  • Prairies: 4.20
  • Pacific and Territories and Atlantic: 4.08
  • National: 3.98

The level of appreciation regarding discussions on potential collaborative arrangements varied from one region to another. There was more than a one-point difference between the national sub-group and the Ontario regional sub-group. The Ontario region gave this item the higher rating.

  • Ontario: 4.67
  • Prairies: 4.30
  • Pacific and Territories: 3.80
  • Atlantic: 3.60
  • National: 3.58

Results for the other items are comparable and are either near or above the 4.0 average.

Figure 5 – Assessment of the items evaluated – Pacific and Territories region

Assessment of the items evaluated – Pacific and Territories region

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Figure 6 – Assessment of the items evaluated – Prairies region

Assessment of the items evaluated – Prairies region

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Figure 7 – Assessment of the items evaluated – Ontario region

Assessment of the items evaluated – Ontario region

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Figure 8 – Assessment of the items evaluated – Atlantic region

Assessment of the items evaluated – Atlantic region

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Figure 9 – Assessment of the items evaluated – National sub-group

Assessment of the items evaluated – National sub-group

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10.2. Qualitative assessment of the forum

The following sections summarize the participants' comments in response to the qualitative assessment questions.

10.2.1. To what extent was objective 1 achieved?

Objective 1: Enable federal institutions to better understand the needs of vulnerable young Francophones living in minority communities who are at risk of becoming involved with the justice system.

Ten government representatives answered this question. Eight indicated that the objective had been achieved and two indicated that it had not been fully achieved.

  • I believe that the objectives were largely met. Congratulations!
  • Identified the needs of organizations (funds) and the situation of Francophone populations in Canada that are at risk and which differ greatly from one region to another.
  • All were achieved up to a certain extent considering that this was the first forum. I would have liked to have known more about the challenges and needs of communities ... perhaps what I wanted was actually a confirmation.
  • The federal institutions could have taken less of our time and given the agencies more opportunities to express their views.
  • Very good overall. For the second forum, we would need more community, provincial (government) and federal (government) representatives.
  • Not quite.
  • 2 out of 5.

Twelve community representatives answered this question.

Seven respondents believed that this objective was achieved.

  • Yes – 5 answers.
  • I believe that may have been done.
  • By reporting on and sharing local realities.

Five respondents were unsure.

  • Not sure.
  • The organizations here do not represent youths. We would need to hear it from them.
  • More or less: many government representatives, few delegates from the field.
  • Perhaps not fully achieved because we would need to question the young people who would make their needs known.
  • I am not sure that this has been achieved. Some key players who work with young people were absent.

10.2.2. To what extent was objective 2 achieved?

Objective 2: Enable representatives of community groups to better understand the mandates and programs of federal institutions in this area.

Nine community representatives answered this question.

Six respondents felt that this objective was achieved.

  • I am satisfied.
  • Presentations by officials from federal institutions (information messages).
  • Excellent, it shows us what they are doing.
  • Good.
  • This needs to be followed up by mail or e-mail.
  • Successful, although it would be good to know all the existing programs.
  • Yes.

Two people were not sure.

  • Partly
  • This could have been explained and done better

Ten government representatives answered this question.

Nine people felt that this objective was achieved.

  • Yes – 4 answers.
  • I believe that the objectives were largely met. Congratulations!
  • Yes, but very few mandates, programs meet their needs.
  • All were achieved up to a certain extent considering that this was the first forum. I would have liked to have known more about the challenges and needs of communities ... perhaps what I wanted was actually a confirmation.
  • Useful information messages and face-to-face contact: essential component.
  • Good, except for additional federal government representatives to give a true picture of federal initiatives.

One person said no.

10.2.3. To what extent was objective 3 achieved?

Objective 3: Give representatives from federal institutions and community group the opportunity to discuss potential collaborations and initiatives that could be implemented to reach these clients.

Eleven community participants answered this question.

  • Yes – 2 answers.
  • I am satisfied, but there is still work to be done.
  • Satisfied.
  • Plenary session debate.
  • Excellent, it was very easy to think of projects once we knew what this or that group was doing and what was needed.
  • Very good.
  • The best collaborative arrangements are discussed in private or with government officials from the regions involved.
  • The plenary session was an excellent means to discuss opportunities for collaboration.
  • Good, but requires further investigation.

One participant was not sure.

In our group, this was partially achieved.

Eleven government participants answered this question. The 11 respondents felt that this objective was achieved.

  • Yes – 4 answers
  • I believe that the objectives were largely met. Congratulations!
  • Yes, but few funds available, so there is a need.
  • All were achieved up to a certain extent considering that this was the first forum. I would have liked to have known more about the challenges and needs of communities ... perhaps what I wanted was actually a confirmation.
  • 3 out of 5.
  • Observed groundwork for collaboration being laid at my table.
  • Very good.
  • Excellent.

10.2.4. What was most appreciated

Twenty of the 21 community participants who completed the evaluation form answered this question.

  • This forum will enable federal institutions to better understand the needs of vulnerable young Francophones living in minority communities who are at risk of becoming involved with the justice system.
  • The format, discussions, the discussion with the decision-makers, simplicity. The facilitation was very good, the findings and the location.
  • Discussion by region with some key stakeholders to encourage the development of projects.
  • Networking and information from the programs.
  • Discussion during the plenary session.
  • Discussions on projects, programs. Federal institutions and community groups were able to talk and discuss.
  • Information sharing between the community and government sectors.
  • Excellent forum. Room for discussion and sharing. The officials were good listeners. There is much to do but together we will succeed. Need for open communication between the groups and the federal institutions.
  • The choice of participants, the reports (community projects).
  • Compliance with the time limits.
  • Sharing of ideas and information.
  • Presence of federal institutions.
  • Frank discussions. Participants' open-mindedness.
  • Networking.
  • Federal institutions and community organizations getting together to understand the real issues in the field, and not only government ideas.
  • Sharing information with people and institutions.
  • The ability to share and thus learn more about the federal departments, even the existing community organization programs.
  • Discussion with the sub-group and the involvement of federal officials who showed great interest in learning about resources and finding out how they can become more involved in the community.
  • Finding out about another target client group.
  • Diversity of stakeholders: federal government, communities.

Sixteen of the 18 government participants who completed the evaluation form answered this question.

  • Each group had the opportunity to properly express their opinions and ideas. I saw that people were passionate about finding solutions or programs to better serve their community.
  • Meet with representatives of community organizations.
  • Multisectoral representation at the forum.
  • Fascinating subjects specifically involving young people.
  • Small group discussions. Meeting with stakeholders and people in the field but also federal colleagues.
  • The opportunity to share ideas. Our needs and problems are similar.
  • The painstaking preparation, expert facilitation (a facilitator who was familiar with the participants proved to be a wise decision).
  • Meeting with people who are active in the community. The forum format provides a good means of communication between the various players.
  • I enjoyed talking with the others, having a thorough understanding of the programs and reviewing them.
  • Diversity of stakeholders.
  • The opportunity to find out about different realities in the various regions.
  • The opportunity to meet people who work in communities feeling the impact of national policies and programs.
  • Everybody's willingness to improve the status of programs in minority communities.
  • Learning more about the communities.
  • Discussion with community organizations.
  • Meeting sincere, committed people.

10.2.5. Suggestions for improving the next forum.

Fifteen community participants answered this question.

  • Do not make generalizations; consider all the initiatives suggested in all groups.
  • Invite the key players involved. Have windows in the workroom.
  • Add the following players: CIC, education departments, school boards, cities.
  • Not applicable.
  • Provide an opportunity for everyone to share the best practices in their regions. Involve the community sector in planning this forum.
  • More people, more young people, more stakeholders and more federal institutions.
  • Add a reception for networking. Invite stakeholders from the health sector, school boards, universities, etc.
  • Include student representatives.
  • Already mentioned at the plenary session.
  • More time. Two days minimum.
  • Invite more federal agencies: CIC, Correctional Service, Health Canada.
  • Hold a forum attended by representatives of school boards, students, young people with experience in minority communities and those who have been involved with the justice system.
  • Invite people from the education sector and also young people from 16 to 25 years of age. Information they provide would help determine the proper course of action.
  • Invite young people, more time on potential collaborative arrangements and good initiatives.
  • In sub-groups, it would have been easier to achieve the three desired objectives if we had had one facilitator per table. At times the discussion did not focus on the objectives although it was in line with the forum's objective.

Sixteen government participants answered this question.

  • Bigger room in order to allow discussions. The tables were so close together that it became difficult to hear. You could hear the noise from all the other tables. Room air-conditioning and ventilation: very problematic.
  • Not applicable.
  • Add immigration (CIC), Correctional Service, school boards, etc.
  • Good forum overall. We will need to include balanced representation from the provinces and territories and other key partners in the next stages.
  • Have youth representatives.
  • More participants from community organizations.
  • We need to share more information on practical activities from community organizations. Make the forum a place for sharing information, because some programs could be implemented elsewhere on a "turn-key" basis.
  • Begin by presenting an accurate statistical picture of the status of Francophone minorities across the country. I would have liked to hear more details on the federation of Franco-Acadians and their direct involvement in all provinces.
  • Hold meetings to really get to know the various communities, meetings between federal institutions and specific community groups for more thorough discussions.
  • It would be nice to know more about groups in other communities. I think that Ontario was underrepresented, specifically Northern and Western Ontario. I would have liked to have heard from Aboriginal groups, not as Francophones, but as minority groups that lack resources.
  • Consider involving organizations that are able to work together effectively. I doubt that today's participants from the few departments, groups, clients that they represent are able to set goals for themselves and achieve them.
  • Involve young people.
  • I would rather have learned much more about the communities. We might have developed more specific potential solutions more quickly. I don't think that communities know that much more about federal institutions and vice versa. The groups representing the Francophonie affected the dynamics, which would otherwise have been more creative. Having representatives from community groups would have led to recommendations.
  • Have a clear, specific agenda to establish a national strategy. Establish a mission, an action plan.
  • Invite the Correctional Service of Canada. Ban Blackberrys during discussions.
  • Concrete follow-up measures. Action, not just words. Inform us about concrete follow-up measures.

10.2.6. Other comments

Eight community representatives added closing comments.

  • Bravo and special mention!
  • Thank you for the initiative.
  • Thank you
  • The need to boost prevention through a community development approach.
  • Thank you for the initiative. Let's do it again.
  • The facilitator was very inclusive and diplomatic. Thank you
  • Very interesting forum, provided the opportunity to socialize, learn many things. Excellent!
  • Very helpful overall and thank you for allowing the communities to play a significant role.

Six government representatives added closing comments.

  • There must be follow-up measures and an action plan after this forum.
  • There are too many anecdotal situations and not enough substance; we need players who understand the jurisdiction of federal institutions versus the jurisdictions for which the other levels of government are responsible.
  • Kudos to the facilitator for being familiar with the subject matter and the excellent animation.
  • More fertile.
  • I am not sure that we maximized the time for hearing about the needs, i.e. letting the people who work in community organizations have their say. In some groups, national policy people (type A) monopolized the discussions. If people from community organizations were a little shy they did not get enough airtime. Kind of a waste that way. We didn't learn from them. Too bad! Other representatives in some groups that were not at risk but rather groups that worked within a language problem.
  • It was a great initiative. Thank you and bravo.
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