The mission of the Evaluation function is to provide evidence-based, credible, neutral and timely information on the ongoing relevance, results, and value of initiatives, policies and programs (herein covered within “initiative”), as well as alternative ways of achieving expected results for the purposes of learning or decision-making.

Defined by the Canadian Evaluation Society as the systematic assessment of the design, implementation or results of on initiative for the purposes of learning or decision making, Evaluation is uniquely positioned to provide both an analytical and an advisory capacity to support initiative management.

Our objective is to assist our clients in delivering:

  • Demonstrated value of their initiative to clients and stakeholders
  • Increased visibility of their initiative and achievements to senior management
  • Enhanced qualitative and quantitative data available to identify and manage potential risks and issues
  • Enhanced accountability through reporting on results
  • Value-added strategic input to inform initiative decision-making and development



Internal Clients and Stakeholders

Internal to CMHC, Evaluation supports CMHC primarily through the provision of timely information for the purposes of learning and decision making. Key internal clients and stakeholders include:

  • Audit Committee
  • Board of Directors
  • Management Committees supporting initiatives
  • Initiative Managers and Team Leads

External Clients and Stakeholders

External to CMHC, Evaluation supports our clients and stakeholders through active collaboration and coordination to deliver information that can inform optimal decision making for all. Key external clients and stakeholders supported by Evaluation may include:

  • Federal Departments and Agencies
  • Crown Corporations
  • Partners in housing inclusive of Provinces, Territories, First Nations, and Municipalities


Evaluation provides our clients and stakeholders with the following services:

Needs Assessment

Determines who needs the initiative, how great the need is, and what can be done to best meet the need. A Needs Assessment can be used to identify audiences that are not currently being adequately served by existing initiatives, and provide recommendations for ways to reduce these gaps.

Formative Evaluation

Examines the process of implementing the initiative to review the extent to which early outcomes are being achieved. A formative evaluation can be conducted continuously, following the full life of the initiative, or as a one-time assessment, typically during the earlier stage of life for the initiative. Results can be used to make adjustments to the initiative during its lifetime.

Summative Evaluation

Investigates the extent to which the initiative is achieving results and delivering on intended outcomes. A summative evaluation can be used not only to make improvement to an initiative at a later stage in its life, but also to inform summative decision making such as whether the initiative should continue as-is, expand, reduce, or be eliminated.

Case Study

Reviews components of an initiative that may be impacted by unpredictable circumstances, or result in unique outcomes. A Case Study is not based on the assumption that the initiative follows a measurable path, and instead treats the components of the initiative as a reaction to a series of events with adaptive strategies and outcomes. This allows for greater latitude in assessing initiative impacts.

Impact Assessment

Identifies the value or benefit of an initiative in relation to its costs. An Impact Assessment may review the cost-effectiveness or cost-benefit of an initiative in relation to alternative options or models. Results may be used to assess the initiative model against best-practices, or options for initiative change, to enable an informed decision as well as to justify initiative relevance. This type of assessment is generally recommended for later stages of an initiative to enable the use of actual outcome data.

Initiative Review

Considers an initiative's operations, processes and systems for the purpose of finding potential efficiencies, cost savings, and opportunities for possible realignment with another level of government and/ or other delivery options. It is needed when there may be a need for cost savings or a concern regarding the initiative's operations or ongoing relevance.


Date Published:: March 31, 2018