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Formative Evaluation of the National Archival Development Program
Final Report

5.2 Performance measurement

Evaluation question: Is appropriate performance information being collected, captured and used?

The LAC and CCA have established a sound performance measurement plan to collect and capture performance data of the NADP. Some baseline data have been established under Objectives 1 and 2 on which to direct activities/set targets. A fair amount of performance data have been collected in the recipient reporting forms for the last two years, and it is necessary that the CCA and LAC begin to summarize the information already collected to establish complete baseline data for all indicators.

Measuring performance under Objectives 1 and 3 needs to include variables beyond contributions to the National Catalogue to ensure accuracy, as the National Catalogue is currently limited to descriptions at the fonds level. It is therefore important to ensure that arrangement and description data are being submitted by institutions in their final reports. For Objective 2, an important issue is determining whether changes in awareness are attributable to the NADP or other activities. For Objective 4, the plan to collect data on non-NADP related activities is a good approach to measuring changes in capacity. The newness of the program, and in particular of Objectives 2 and 3, present a short time frame in which to measure performance. However, projects addressing Objectives 1, 4, and 5 were being funded long before NADP's inception. In particular, a strong source for baseline data exists for Objective 5 on global preservation assessments. In general, the lack of complete established baseline data for all indicators along with the newness of the program could limit performance measurement in 2011, when the program cycle is concluding.

Based on the findings we submit the following observations.

Evaluation question: Is appropriate performance information being collected, captured and used?

  • A comprehensive performance measurement strategy is in place. However, at this point, work is required to collect, organize, and report on performance of the NADP.
  • Data for a number of indicators have been collected and exists in completed recipient reporting forms. The LAC and CCA should continue to work together to establish the baseline data from the information that has already been collected.
  • Consideration could be given to funding NADP projects under the five objectives that address performance measurement at the local level in order to gain an additional perspective and to familiarize project recipients with performance measurement. A portion of a funded project could be directed toward developing the tools and capacity to measure performance under the project's objective.
  • A more detailed explanation of the rationale for performance measurement within the NADP could be described in the application forms and reporting forms.
  • Given the current circumstances with regard to performance measurement, there is some doubt that sufficient evidence will be available at the end of five years to accurately report on all of the designated performance indicators. Enhanced efforts in performance measurement will strengthen the case for program renewal.

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