About the Evaluation
The Office of Audit and Evaluation of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) undertook an evaluation of the Market Information Program (MIP) to assess program relevance, design, delivery, and effectiveness.
The evaluation assessed the MIP covering a five-year period between 2014–15 and 2018–19, using a variety of methods including: a document review; a literature review; a comparative review; case studies; and interviews with AAFC staff, other federal departments and agencies, and industry and provincial government stakeholders.
What we found
Market Information Program summary
- The MIP is administered in the Sector Development and Analysis Directorate of the Market and Industry Services Branch of AAFC.
- The MIP provides timely data and market information products to internal and external clients that enable improved marketing and investment decisions, research, programming, and policy decisions.
- The MIP is identified as an AAFC Priority Service.
The MIP provides relevant information to AAFC and external stakeholders involved in the agriculture and agri-food sector, which would otherwise not be available. The MIP occupies a distinct niche, and its work does not duplicate the activities of other stakeholders.
Supporting the growth and competitiveness of the agriculture and agri-food sector in Canada is at the core of the mission of AAFC. The MIP directly supports a range of policies and programs that directly contribute to this mission.
Design and delivery
The lack of a formal governance structure for the MIP may negatively impact the long term sustainability, relevance, and effectiveness of the MIP.
The MIP has a solid track record in providing the market information needed by both AAFC and external stakeholders to support sound and strategic decisions. It provides a level of market intelligence that is not available from any other source.
AAFC would benefit from having a more coordinated approach to providing data collection and data analytics services, beyond those of the MIP, to respond to stakeholder needs to ensure long-term sustainability, relevance, and effectiveness of the services AAFC provides.
R1: The Assistant Deputy Minister of the Market and Industry Services Branch should develop a formalized governance structure for the Market Information Program, as part of a department-wide approach to data collection and data analytic services.
R2: The Assistant Deputy Minister of the Strategic Policy Branch should lead on the development and implementation of a department-wide approach to data collection and data analytic services.
R3: The Assistant Deputy Minister of the Public Affairs Branch should lead on the development of a strategy and changes to the AAFC’s digital channels, including its external, website to ensure a user-centric, AAFC-wide approach to making relevant market information data and analysis accessible and useable.
Management has agreed to:
- change its title to “Market Information Service” to better reflect its role;
- implement an enhanced management and governance structure that will foster continued improved service and enhanced business outcomes, and formalize existing internal information sharing practices to support Chief Data Officer’s efforts to implement AAFC's Data Strategy;
- present a short-term option for certain data governance decisions to DGMC for decision, prepare an implementation plan for the Data Strategy, and prepare for the appointment of a Chief Data Officer;
- develop a multi-channel promotional plan to help brand the Market Information Service; and to all stakeholders (internal and external).
- complete web renewal work focused on enhanced client experiences and improved product offerings.