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Summary of the Overarching Commemoration Evaluation

Overarching Commemoration Evaluation
Audit and Evaluation Division – Veterans Affairs Canada
March 2018

Evaluation Results

1. Planning/Funding

  • VAC must develop a long-term plan for all initiatives falling under its core responsibility of Commemoration.
  • To ensure that planning and implementation of commemorative initiatives is not impacted by the timing and stability of funding, stable long-term funding must be established.
  • VAC should complete a comprehensive cost analysis of maintenance and preservation requirements associated with the 14 overseas memorial sites.
  • Fluctuations in the foreign exchange rate pose a challenge to European Operations as increases in the value of the Euro result in higher than expected operating and maintenance costs.

2. Commemorative Integrity

  • Formalized processes are required in support of ongoing commemorative integrity assessments for VAC’s national historic sites, including the Canadian National Vimy Memorial and the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial.

3. Alignment

  • The Commemoration Division should work in collaboration with the Communications Division to clarify roles and services in support of VAC’s commemorative initiatives.
  • Improved communication channels should be explored between the VAC’s Commemoration Division and Service Delivery Branch.
  • Enhanced collaboration between commemoration program responsibility areas is effective in achieving outcomes and should be continued into the future.

4. Management/Organizational Structure

  • The evaluation identified that VAC should develop an approach to enhance the awareness and understanding of commemoration programs and activities across all branches/divisions within the department.

5. Opportunities/Best Practices

  • VAC has effective social media approaches that are identified as a best practice.
Recommendation Management Response and Action Plan
1. It is recommended that the Director General, Commemoration, develop a long-term strategic plan for all initiatives falling under the core responsibility of Commemoration and pursue stable long-term funding to allow for efficient planning and implementation. The Director General, Commemoration, will develop costed strategic plans to guide regular commemorative activities over ten-year periods (starting with the 2019-20/2028-29 period). To ensure that these plans can be implemented, long-term budget confirmations will be sought. Should new projects require resourcing, the Director General, Commemoration, will build a case for additional resources through the Department’s annual Integrated Business Plan process.
2. It is recommended that the Director General, Commemoration, conduct a comprehensive cost analysis of operations, maintenance and preservation requirements associated with the 14 overseas memorial sites and identify medium- to long-term investments that may be required. Expert advice will be sought to develop detailed costings for actions required to appropriately operate, maintain and preserve the 14 overseas sites for future generations.
3. It is recommended that the Director General, Commemoration, take measures to ensure the ongoing commemorative integrity of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial and the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial in France. The draft commemorative integrity statement for the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial will be completed and approved. An approach, including criteria and timeframes, will be developed and implemented regarding the assessment of the two National Historic Sites in France based on the approved commemorative integrity statements (Canadian National Vimy Memorial commemorative integrity statement already approved).
Program Description
VAC Core Responsibility #2
Commemoration: pays tribute to the sacrifices and achievements of those who served in Canada’s military efforts.

VAC’s commemorative responsibility is delivered through the Canada Remembers Program and the Funeral and Burial Program. These programs were recently assessed through two evaluations: the Evaluation of Commemorative Benefits and Services; and the Evaluation of Public Recognition and Awareness. This overarching evaluation assesses Commemoration from a strategic perspective, providing information on the linkages between programs, and capturing items that the previous individual evaluations were not able to fully assess and report on.

About the Evaluation

Scope and Methodology:

  • The evaluation was conducted in accordance with the directive and standards specified in Treasury Board of Canada’s 2016 Policy on Results.
  • The evaluation covered the time frame from April 1, 2012 to September 30, 2017, and was conducted between September 2017 and December 2017.
  • Multiple lines of evidence were used.

Constraints and Limitations:

  • The evaluation team did not speak directly with Canadians. Where available, the evaluation team used existing public opinion research.
Evaluation Report
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