Federal Victims Strategy, Mid-term Evaluation



The federal Victims of Crime Initiative (VCI) was launched in March 2000. It was renewed in 2005 with a second mandate (2005-2010) with $25M in funding spread over five years. The 2006 federal budget committed an additional $7.6M per year for five years (2006-2011).  In 2007, the Department of Justice used this additional funding to expand the VCI and create the Federal Victims Strategy (FVS).

In order to fulfil a central agency requirement to report on progress of the former VCI and the implementation of the FVS, a mid-term evaluation was conducted. The focus of the evaluation is on the activities undertaken in 2005/2006 and 2006/2007 with a view to providing information that will assist the Policy Centre for Victim Issues (PCVI) in strengthening the design and delivery of the FVS for the balance of its mandate.

1.1. Evaluation Objectives and Issues

The mid-term evaluation focuses on the achievement of short-term outcomes and the design of the FVS. The evaluation did not look at intermediate or long-term outcomes, as it is still too early to assess fully the impacts and effects of the FVS. The summative evaluation will examine the success (from the perspective of intermediate and long-term results), relevance and cost-effectiveness of the FVS.

The evaluation used the questions and issues identified in the 2007 Results-based Management and Accountability Framework (RMAF). More specifically, the evaluation assessed the appropriateness of the program design to support the achievement of FVS objectives; reviewed the structure and management of the PCVI; and examined the outputs generated and short-term outcomes achieved under the following key activity areas:

1.2. Methodology

The evaluation was conducted by the Department of Justice Evaluation Division using in-house resources.  The methodology consisted of: a file and document review including a data extraction from the Department’s Grants and Contributions Information Management System (GCIMS); a survey of 14 non-governmental member organizations from across the country that make up the Victims of Crime Advisory Committee; 28 key informant interviews with provincial, territorial and federal officials; and a survey of 18 successful and unsuccessful applicants to the Victims Fund.

The evaluation framework guided all aspects of the methodology to ensure that relevant information was applied to each research question and issue.  A description of each of the data collection methods appears below.

1.2.1. File and Document Review

A number of reports, program documentation, databases and select files were reviewed including:

1.2.2. Victims of Crime Advisory Committee Survey

A questionnaire was sent to all 14 members of the Victims of Crime Advisory Committee.  The Committee, which is comprised of representatives from victim service providers, advocates and non-government organizations (NGOs), was established to identify concerns, develop options and strategies, share information and develop capacity to respond to victim needs. The survey obtained this stakeholder group’s feedback on the design and impacts of the FVS. Three members completed and returned a survey to the Evaluation Division.

1.2.3.  Key Informant Interviews

FPT government key informant interviews were conducted as part of the evaluation. The interviews obtained feedback on the design and impacts of the FVS. Twenty-eight key informants participated in interviews between June and August 2007 and reflect the following government stakeholders:

1.2.4. Survey of Victims Fund Applicants

A questionnaire was sent to all applicants[1] (37) of the Victims Fund between April 1, 2005 and March 31, 2007, including those who were approved and denied funding. The questionnaire was not sent to recipients of financial assistance, as each recipient is sent a similar questionnaire when they receive their final payment[2].  The purpose of the questionnaire was to examine from the applicant's perspective: how effective the Department is in communicating the objectives of the Fund, whether it is efficient in administering the Fund, how useful the Fund is, how well it works, and how it might be improved.  In total, 18 applicants responded to the Victims Fund Survey.

1.2.5   Additional Lines of Evidence

The mid-term evaluation also includes the results of sub-studies that were conducted by the Evaluation Division over the course of the two years under consideration. These sub-studies include:

1.3. Organization of the Report

This report contains four sections including the present introduction (Section 1).  Section 2 describes the FVS, including objectives of the FVS, and program resources.  Section 3 presents the evaluation findings. Section 4 provides conclusions and presents the recommendations and management response.