Gender-Based Analysis Plus

General Information

Governance structures

Effective June 28, 2017, VAC implemented a GBA+ Policy to ensure broad analysis of population groups is included in the development, implementation and evaluation of the department’s research, legislation, policies, programs and services. VAC is in the process of revisiting the Policy to ensure it is up-to-date and fully aligns with the direction of the Government of Canada.

VAC follows and uses Government of Canada guidance on Gender-Based Analysis Plus, for example, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat Expectations for Gender-Based Analysis Plus in Treasury Board Submissions.

GBA+ training is fully integrated into the departmental learning and development resource guide “Map Your Career”, as part of onboarding, functional readiness, and leadership development. The online course “Introduction to GBA+” provides important training for all employees, and VAC has identified key areas where additional training modules will be implemented. GBA+ is included in the orientation training for all new employees. Managers are involved in identifying the level of training required.

A VAC GBA+ Champion has been appointed and is responsible for promoting the implementation of GBA+ across the department. The role of the Champion includes raising awareness, and disseminating tools and best practices to support consistent implementation of GBA+ at Veterans Affairs Canada. An action plan outlining the activities and strategies to raise awareness and disseminate best practices and tools is under development.

Human resources

In terms of resources, a portion of one Assistant Deputy Minister level resource as the departmental GBA+ Champion has been allocated. In addition, commencing in 2018–19 VAC will allocate one FTE to directly support the GBA+ Champion.

Other departmental resources will be devoted to topics that touch on GBA+. For instance, in Human Resources, Workplace Effectiveness and Learning, one FTE is involved in GBA+ in relation to departmental learning initiatives, promotion of GBA+ training events and Positive Space. VAC’s Policy Directorate also continues to carry out GBA+ analysis with respect to policy and program design proposals and modifications.

Planned initiatives

The Policy Directorate conducts GBA+ analysis in the development and revision of policies for Veterans benefits. The Directorate will continue to assess the potential impact of proposed and revised policies and programs on the diverse groups of women and men, taking into account gender and a range of other intersecting identity factors such as sexual orientation, ability, geography, age, and culture/ethnicity. GBA+ analysis is embedded in the policy development cycle (start to finish) for proposals to Government such as those for consideration in Budgets, and in the ongoing review of existing programs and policies.

GBA+ is also important to VAC’s internal Human Resources policies and practices. VAC is expanding its reach with employees through the “Positive Spaces Initiative”. In the Department’s draft Employment Equity and Diversity Plan, an emphasis is being placed on training for GBA+ and Positive Space as required for all employees. The feasibility of a GBA+ landing page to direct employees to online training, tools and other resources will also be considered.

To date, there are 20 trained Positive Space ambassadors within VAC. These ambassadors assist staff in creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone, including members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirit, intersex and other identity (LGBTQ2I+) communities. This network of ambassadors hopes to collaborate with other national networks such as the National Employee Council and the National Employment Equity and Diversity Advisory Council.

VAC will continue to comply with “Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat expectations for Gender-Based Analysis Plus” in all Treasury Board Submissions. This includes identifying GBA+ considerations within the context of policy, program design or implementation, initiatives or services in the development of the Treasury Board submission and Memoranda to Cabinet.

VAC’s Research Division continues to further the Department’s work in the field of GBA+ through various initiatives including: publishing a book chapter on female Veterans and their incomes and labour-market experiences in conjunction with Queen's university; participating in a female dimensions research workshop at Queen's; leading a large scale profile of female and male Veterans in Canada; and examining our data collection (Life After Service Studies, VAC National Client Survey, and other studies) to determine GBA+ requirements and outlining areas of further research.

As indicated above, the recent identification of a departmental GBA+ Champion, in conjunction with a proposed GBA+ landing page, will increase the visibility and awareness of GBA+ issues, and facilitate the sharing of GBA+ information, documents and resources throughout VAC.

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