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Summative Evaluation of the National Archival Development Program

5.2 Performance

The NADP has achieved significant immediate results at the project level under each of the NADP objectives; however, a lack of clear performance targets at the program level makes it difficult to measure these results.

Projects funded under Objective 1 made some contributions to the national catalogue. Although the number of institutions participating in the national catalogue remained stable, there has been a modest increase in the amount of material contributed by participating organizations due mainly to an aging national technical infrastructure or a lack thereof throughout the archival community. User experiences with the national catalogue have also improved over the life of the program, although satisfaction rates among users remain low overall. Participation in provincial/territorial-level databases has increased substantially. Technical issues continue to limit the extent to which material can be transferred from these databases to the national catalogue.

Under Objective 2, considering the modest investment, there has been some increase in awareness about archives and archival activities among the general population, though the general level of awareness remains quite low. Promotional activities continue to focus on promoting individual collections as opposed to the activities of the community as a whole. Additional efforts and resources to engage the non-traditional groups are needed to further increase public awareness.

By nature of its focus, few institutions applied for funding under Objective 3; however, some progress was made in increasing the amount material in the national catalogue related to Aboriginal and under-represented ethnocultural groups. Communities and institutions representing these groups were likely to lack the capacity to apply for and implement program funding, making it difficult for them to increase their level of representation.

Projects under Objective 4 developed a range of developmental tools and delivered a range of training and advisory services. These services, which covered a range of topics relevant to archival activities, were generally well-received. A number of strategic tools were developed, and were widely used. While initial results are positive, it is difficult to measure the success of projects under Objective 4, as outcomes will not likely be apparent for at least a few years.

Projects funded under Objective 5 achieved success in conducting risk assessments, identifying preservation risks, and developing short- and longer-term preservation strategies. Projects successfully rehoused, conserved, and reformatted a large quantity of materials in varying formats. Changing formats of information are presenting new preservation challenges, which will require collaboration to address in future.

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