• Within commercially reasonable efforts, any personal information that you share with IFSD is kept physically and electronically secure, with access limited to staff that require it to perform necessary job functions. Information is used only for the purpose it was collected.


First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS)

Monthly Updates

August 2020


First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) Project – Phase 2

Final monthly update - August 2020

IFSD is pleased to provide the ninth and final monthly update to its stakeholders on the progress of the First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) Project – Phase 2.

Download the August 2020 update

  • We hope this update finds you, your families, communities and agencies safe and well.
  • The executive summary of the final report provides a succinct overview of findings and recommendations for alternative funding and performance approaches for FNCFS.
  • IFSD is grateful to the contributing FNCFS agencies and communities for sharing their lived experiences and wise practices as case studies and through the FNCFS survey.  Your insight and contributions have shaped this work. 
  • The full and final report is expected to be shared in the early fall.     

Executive Summary

Introduction
With the endorsement of the National Advisory Committee (NAC), the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy (IFSD) at the University of Ottawa was asked by the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the Caring Society to define a funding approach and performance measurement framework for First Nations child and family services, with funding support from Indigenous Services Canada (ISC).

The purpose of this project is to present stakeholders with a funding structure; a means of developing evidence to understand the well-being of children, families and communities; and a range of scenarios to cost the proposed approach.  There are four parts to this work:

  1. Expenditure analysis and funding impacts: Defining the existing baseline of FNCFS program allocations, expenditures and their impacts, including CHRT-mandated funding.
  2. Performance framework: Defining a measurable future state from which to build a funding approach for thriving children.
  3. Funding approaches: Identifying and analyzing approaches to funding that support improved outcomes for children.
  4. Transition plan: Defining approaches and considerations in moving to a new system of performance and funding focused on thriving children.

Context for change
Supporting the well-being of First Nations children, families, and communities is the principal goal of this work.  The current state is a challenging point of departure, with disparities in poverty, access to potable water flowing from a tap, health outcomes, the effects of intergenerational trauma, food sovereignty, safe and suitable housing, and broadband connectivity.  Well-being is holistic and connected to an individual’s environment and their community.  Fostering well-being means considering the many contextual factors and considerations that shape children, families, and communities. 

An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit, Métis children, youth and families, commits to reconciliation, substantive equality, and the well-being of Indigenous children, youth, and families.  Read through the lens of its preamble, the Act is an opportunity to restructure and resource First Nations child and family services (FNCFS) to deliver better results for children, families and communities with commitment to substantive equality, a culturally informed approach and the best interests of the child. 

There is an opportunity to address the challenges associated to the protection system that the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) found to be discriminatory and underfunded in its rulings.  A child’s contact with the protection system has long-term 

consequences and increases their likelihood of interacting with social services such as the welfare system, the criminal justice system etc. later in life.  These systems are corrective measures, often addressing downstream effects of risks that had the potential for mitigation.  Independently costly to run, these systems are designed as final backstops to social challenges rather than addressing the causes of the causes. The current system invests in reactionary measures rather than proactive ones, that end up being more costly and less effective (see The cost of doing nothing).

This project seeks to reset the structure, funding, and governance of the current FNCFS system to mitigate and address the causes of contact with the protection system. 

Phase 2 approach
This work is developed from the ground-up, with collaboration and insight from FNCFS agencies, First Nations, and experts.  Twelve in-depth case studies, a survey on FNCFS expenditures, three expert roundtables, and supplementary research and analysis from Canada and the United States, form the foundation of this work.    

The existing funding gaps in the FNCFS system were well-defined by the Phase 1 project, Enabling First Nations Children to Thrive.  With the participation of 76% of FNCFS agencies, gaps in funding for prevention, poverty, information technology, and capital were identified. 

This project (Phase 2) builds on the findings from Phase 1.  With the goal of holistic well-being, Phase 2 proposes a performance framework (Measuring to Thrive) and a need-based block funding approach (Table 1).

Block funding approach:
Resources are allocated based on a combination of previous financial data (to fund maintenance and protection) and need (e.g. population size, geography, poverty level, ect.).

Funds are provided for general purposes identified under terms and conditions in a contribution agreement or a statute. Service providers have flexibility to adjust allocations (e.g. operations and capital; protection and prevention).

The capacity to "carry forward" money (ability to move monies forward if not spent, in a current year, like the 10-year grant) and access to emergency funding, as provided, are consistent and additive to a block funding approach.

Emergency funds would be available should a service provider - due to an exceptional increase in service demands (e.g. protection requests, an increase in health-related issues) - be unable to meet the needs of their communities with their pre-defined revenues.

In the proposed approach, risk is managed to empower service providers to act in the best interest of children, families, and communities.

Performance framework
The Measuring to Thrive framework marks a departure from the current state of performance measurement for the FNCFS program.  From four output-based measures focused on protection, to seventy-five indicators that capture the well-being of a child, their family, and their community environment (Figure 1).  Understanding a child’s environment is integral to their well-being.  How can a child be well if their housing is not safe and secure?  If potable water is not readily available?  If the effects of trauma and addictions impact their communities?  Measuring to Thrive connects children, families, and communities to capture a holistic vision of well-being.  Thriving First Nations children need thriving First Nations communities.

The approach in Measuring to Thrive is a manifestation of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s Policy on Results and Guide to Departments on the Management and Reporting of Horizontal Initiatives[1].  By collecting data on the causes of the causes that inform well-being, the measurement framework is a results-based tool to plan, monitor, and assess the performance of policies and programs, against the goal of thriving First Nations children, families, and communities.  The horizontal view adopted in the framework is an expression of the interrelated criteria of wellness.[2]  This type of integrated performance framework could be considered by provinces and unaffiliated First Nations to capture and track well-being in communities.

Funding approach
To deliver on the desired goal expressed in Measuring to Thrive, a funding approach that is informed by need with latitude for service providers to act in the best interests of those they serve is necessary.  A bottom-up funding approach was designed as a block transferred budget with components addressing gaps in need, including prevention, poverty, geography, IT, capital, with supplements for the shift to a results-focused approach (Figure 2).

 

The funding approach is connected to the Measuring to Thrive framework and is intended to provide FNCFS agencies with the resources necessary to deliver the programs and services needed for thriving First Nations children, families, and communities.  The approach is consistent with the Act that commits to fiscal arrangements to support the delivery of FNCFS to secure long-term positive outcomes[1], as well as the efforts on devolved fiscal relations for First Nations. 

Spending implications
Children, families and communities have needs.  Some may need more support than others for various reasons.  Professionals and communities should have the tools, resources, and flexibility with which to employ them to address the causes of the causes of need. The choice of tools should not have adverse fiscal consequences, when accountable decisions are made for the well-being of children, families and communities.

Working to improve well-being means increasing resources to prevention services, while maintaining support for protection services. Over the long-term, we expect the relationship between spending and results to change (Figure 3).  There is well-established research that demonstrates the long-term benefits of early investment in child well-being, including better health, social and cognitive development, and even parental benefits.  This and other research support a business case[2] for significant investment in prevention to mitigate potential negative downstream effects such as incarceration, homelessness, and lost opportunities, which can result in significant financial and social costs.  

For the 2018-19 fiscal year, FNCFS agencies reported total expenditures of approximately $1.7B (through the IFSD survey) which may include supplementary funding from CHRT-mandated payments.  

With 2018-19 FNCFS expenditures as a baseline, the approach adjusts the baseline budget by adding components to reflect the First Nations served, to support the Measuring to Thrive performance framework, grown by  the standard factors of inflation and population (Table 2). 

To model the funding approach, three scenarios are proposed, based on low, medium and high points in the ranges associated to each of the cost factors (Figure 4). 


The proposed funding approach represents an increase in overall system costs between $437M and $1.25B in 2021, depending on the selected scenario, plus capital asset replacement fund investments (Figure 5).

The performance framework and funding approach are directionally consistent with the Act, seek to address CHRT findings, and propose a way forward focused on the well-being of First Nations children, families, and communities.

Challenges
Change is difficult. Transitioning to a bottom-up funding approach and performance framework informed by the lived realities of First Nations children, families and communities will impact existing practices.  It will take great effort to shift the system from one focused on protection to one focused on well-being, which includes child safety.  This transition from a protection-based fee-for-service model to a block funding approach that supports both protection and prevention will require a new system structure, a results-focused performance framework, and related governance practices.

Data availability, access, and collection will take time to develop.  There will be challenges along the way.  Shifting from the current to future state system will require an openness to collaboration, in-course adjustments, unforeseen challenges, data-driven approaches, and learning. 

To support the transition from the current to future state, a First Nations-led secretariat is proposed.  With a dual mandate to support data collection and analysis and operations, the secretariat will be a resource for FNCFS agencies and First Nations.  

Resourcing for substantive equality in outcomes will require investment.  The new funding and performance architectures represent fundamental changes to the way FNCFS is funded, as well as its accounting for results through the Measuring to Thrive framework, and accountability is reoriented to a dual dynamic between ISC and FNCFS agencies and First Nations.   

Recommendations
Pursuant to the findings in this report, the following four recommendations are made:

  1. Adopt a results framework for the well-being of children, families, and communities, such as the Measuring to Thrive framework.
  2. Budget for results with a block funding approach that addresses gaps and is linked to the results framework.
    1. Undertake a full assessment of current capital stock.
  3. Establish a non-political First Nations policy and practice secretariat to support First Nations and FNCFS agencies to transition to First Nations governance.
  4. Establish a group of FNCFS agencies and First Nations willing to be early adopters of the new performance and funding approach to model implementation.

June 2020


First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) Project – Phase 2

June 2020 monthly update

IFSD is pleased to provide the eighth monthly update to its stakeholders on the progress of the First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) Project – Phase 2.

Download the June 2020 update

Principal updates

• We hope this update finds you, your families, communities and agencies safe and well as we collectively deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.  
• IFSD is pleased to share analysis of Indigenous Service Canada (ISC) spending trends.
• IFSD is grateful to the agencies who continue to share their experiences for this work through survey participation and meetings via distance.  IFSD welcomes your feedback throughout this work.
• In spite of the national health and economic circumstances, IFSD is continuing its work with stakeholders on the FNCFS project.
• IFSD looks forward to the sharing of the final report with stakeholders this summer.

IFSD’s mandate
• With the endorsement of the National Advisory Committee (NAC), IFSD was asked by the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the Caring Society, to define a funding approach and implementation plan for First Nations child and family services.
• This project (Phase 2) builds on the findings and recommendations of the Phase 1 report, Enabling First Nations Children to Thrive that was accepted by NAC in February 2019.
• The purpose of this project is to present stakeholders with a funding structure; a means of developing evidence to understand the well-being of children, families and communities; and a range of scenarios to cost the proposed approach.

Project overview
This project will deliver:
1) Overview of ISC’s current spending
2) A framework to understand well-being (Measuring to Thrive)
3) Funding approach architecture
4) Transition plan from the current to proposed future state

• IFSD’s mandate is to provide evidence and analysis for stakeholders, in response to the CHRT’s findings that the current system and funding are discriminatory.  IFSD will present various scenarios and will make recommendations based on the project’s evidence.  It is for stakeholders to determine how the analysis is leveraged.

Current state spending
• ISC provided IFSD with spending information for fiscal years 2014-15 to 2018-19.
• In 2018-19, architecture changes resulted in an increased number of programs.
• The data provided offers a baseline spending portrait. 
• The majority of recipients are First Nations and First Nations and Inuit.
• Current First Nations recipient spending is focused on:
     –Infrastructure capacity and development
     –Education
     –Social development
     –Government and institutions of government

Total ISC spending
• 2018-19 total spending was approximately $10B (an 11.5% increase from 2017-18).
• Note: Prior to 2015, health and related funding resided outside of ISC (hence the approx. 31% increase in overall spending in 2015-16).

Total spending by policy area
• To help to understand spending trends, IFSD developed policy clusters (child and family services programming; context; education; health programs; social programs).
• Most spending has been consistent, with exception to child and family services programming and health programs in the 2018-19 fiscal year.

FNCFS funding
There was a 43% increase in FNCFS funding in fiscal year 2018-19, attributed to CHRT-mandated payments

Funding approaches
• Occurrences of flex funding increased between 2017-18 and 2018-19.
• Fixed funding occurrences remained the most frequent with a slight increase in 2018-19.
• This suggests that most funding uses are pre-determined with limited latitude for recipients.

Get in touch
Helaina Gaspard, Ph.D.
Email: helaina.gaspard@ifsd.ca
Mobile: 1 613 983 8461
Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy (IFSD)
University of Ottawa
www.ifsd.ca/fncfs

May 2020


First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) Project – Phase 2

IFSD is pleased to provide the eighth monthly update to its stakeholders on the progress of the First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) Project – Phase 2.

Download the May 2020 update

Principal updates

• We hope this update finds you, your families, communities and agencies safe and well as we collectively deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.  
• IFSD is pleased to share an overview of the funding approach architecture, to support the well-being of those they serve, however that may be best achieved.
• IFSD is grateful to the agencies who continue to share their experiences for this work through survey participation and meetings via distance.  IFSD welcomes your feedback throughout this work.
• In spite of the national health and economic circumstances, IFSD is continuing its work with stakeholders on the FNCFS project.

Are you an agency that hasn’t yet participated in the questionnaire?
Connect with IFSD or download the questionnaire

IFSD’s mandate
• With the endorsement of the National Advisory Committee (NAC), IFSD was asked by the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the Caring Society, to define a funding approach and implementation plan for First Nations child and family services.
• This project (Phase 2) builds on the findings and recommendations of the Phase 1 report, Enabling First Nations Children to Thrive that was accepted by NAC in February 2019.
• The purpose of this project is to present stakeholders with a funding structure; a means of developing evidence to understand the well-being of children, families and communities; and a range of scenarios to cost the proposed approach.

Project overview
This project will deliver:
1) Overview of ISC’s current spending
2) A framework to understand well-being (Measuring to Thrive)
3) Funding approach architecture
4) Transition plan from the current to proposed future state

IFSD’s mandate is to provide evidence and analysis for stakeholders, in response to the CHRT’s findings that the current system and funding are discriminatory.  IFSD will present various scenarios and will make recommendations based on the project’s evidence.  It is for stakeholders to determine how the analysis is leveraged.

Funding for outcomes
• The pre-amble of An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families commits the federal government to “to engaging with Indigenous peoples and provincial governments to support a comprehensive reform of child and family services that are provided in relation to Indigenous children”.
• The proposed funding approach responds to the requirement in the Act to determine fiscal arrangements that address long-term positive outcomes, substantive equality, and needs. Designed and built from the bottom-up, this funding approach captures a critical mix of resources and structures for thriving First Nation children, families, and communities, as expressed by those working on the ground. 

Phase 1: identifying gaps and charting a course forward
• Phase 1 analysis identified and costed gaps in agency budgets. 
• Phase 2 builds on this analysis by adjusting funding approaches by relevant factors: poverty; geography; prevention; IT; capital.

Measuring to thrive
• The vision in Measuring to Thrive is expressed through three interrelated elements: the well-being of communities, families and children.


• The intent of Measuring to Thrive, is to provide FNCFS agencies with a portrait of the people they serve and the context in which they operate to support enhanced decision-making and eventually, to better inform funding approaches.
• The Measuring to Thrive framework will help to pinpoint challenge areas for agencies, and offer an evidence-focused means of readjusting their plans and priorities.
• This framework will help to define two-way accountability between the federal government as funder and the agency as service provider.

The business case for performance

Funding foundations
• Children, families and communities have needs.  Some may need more support than others for various reasons.
• Professionals and communities should have the tools and resources necessary to address the causes of the causes of need.
• The choice of tools should not have averse fiscal consequences, when accountable decisions are made for the well-being of children, families and communities.

Such an approach is consistent with the principles in An Act of respecting First nations, inuit and Métis children: substantive equality, the best interests of the child, culturally-informed approach.

• The proposed funding approach would guarantee a baseline amount of funding for service providers.
• This funding floor would be set based on 2018-19 budgets with top-ups for funding gaps. 
• Transferred as a block, service providers would be required to work within defined revenue parameters, allocating resources to best meet the needs of their communities. 
• As service providers, agencies would bear the risk of ensuring funding is well allocated to achieve desired results.
• They would also benefit from being able to run their organizations to support the well-being of those they serve, however that may be best achieved.

Funding approach architecture

Quantifying factors

Macro perspective
• The proposed funding approach would address existing funding gaps, increasing budgets for at least, the next five years (or until context changes).
• Working to improve well-being means redirecting resources to prevention and well-being services (rather than protection); it does not mean reducing need for child and family services. Over the long-term, we expect the relationship between spending and results to change.

Good governance: First Nations led secretariat
• The secretariat will be designed as a First Nations-led dual-mandate organization. 
• As the trusted third-party among stakeholders, the secretariat would be a neutral expert organization governed by a board of directors. 
• The secretariat would be a centre for best practices, operational support and results-funding allocation.   
• With two main branches of activity: 1) data/evidence and 2) operations and programming, the secretariat will serve as a centre of excellence for FNCFS agencies in Canada.

The big picture
• Funding structure (how money moves) + performance (evidence for decision-making) + governance (operational support and accountability)

This might not be easy...
• Change is challenging
• Shifting from the current to future state system will require an openness to:
–Collaboration
–In-course adjustments
–Unforeseen challenges
–Data-driven approaches
​​​–Teaching and learning

Get in touch
Helaina Gaspard, Ph.D.
Email: helaina.gaspard@ifsd.ca
Mobile: 1 613 983 8461
Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy (IFSD)
University of Ottawa
www.ifsd.ca/fncfs


April 2020

Download the PDF

First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) Project – Phase 2

IFSD is pleased to provide the eighth monthly update to its stakeholders on the progress of the First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) Project – Phase 2.

Principal updates

• We hope this update finds you, your families, communities and agencies safe and well as we collectively deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.  
• This month’s update is focused on COVID-19 emergency funding and considerations in the allocation, flow and speed of funding.
• IFSD is grateful to the agencies who continue to share their experiences for this work through survey participation and meetings via distance.  IFSD welcomes your feedback throughout this work.
• Inspite of the national health and economic circumstances, IFSD is continuing its work with stakeholders on the FNCFS project.

Are you an agency that hasn’t yet participated in the questionnaire?
Connect with IFSD or download the questionnaire

Emergency funding for COVID-19: Responses and support to Indigenous Peoples

SUMMARY 
The pandemic has sent economies into recession and is stressing health systems and the people they serve.  In response, the Government of Canada has introduced a variety of interim measures to ease the immediate financial pain caused by the pandemic.  

While all economic sectors and people have been in some way affected by the pandemic, vulnerable populations or populations with pre-existing social and economic challenges may be more severely burdened.  Indigenous Peoples, and especially, First Nations living on-reserve with overcrowded housing, limited access to social and health services, and higher incidences of child and family services interventions, are at greater risk of ramifications. 

Recognizing the particular challenges, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) announced $305 million for the Indigenous Community Services Fund on March 26, 2020.  This funding is to be distributed across groups of Indigenous Peoples, with 65% of the funding attributed to First Nations.  

When considering three parameters for assessing resource allocation and distribution (allocation, flow and speed), the announced funding falls short.  While funding will flow principally to First Nations communities, there is no definition of targeted people or services.  Without a plan, the impact of emergency funding may be limited. 

Precedents exist to better allocate and distribute funding in crisis situations.  Four broad approaches to distributing emergency funding can be defined, each with its own trade-offs in allocation, flow and speed.  These approaches have clear targets and intentions, e.g. immediate financial relief allocated directly to a recipient, or long-term disaster mitigation planning.  To address needs in an emergency and to build resiliency for the next unexpected situation, funding targets, approaches and amounts will differ.  

There are models of planned and targeted emergency response.  Consider for instance, Dakota Ojibway Child and Family Services (DOCFS), based in Manitoba.  The organization has a well-developed business continuity plan that can be actioned in one half-day.  From staff roles to connections with other branches of the Tribal Council, DOCFS works to fulfill the emergency needs of the people they serve from the procurement and delivery of food to personal items.  

Emergency funding is a tool that should have clearly defined purposes to reach those in need in moments of crisis.  Allocating funding is one step, getting it to work is another. 

Introduction

The pandemic has sent economies into recession and is stressing health systems and the people they serve.  In response, the Government of Canada has introduced a variety of interim measures to ease the immediate financial pain caused by the pandemic.  

While all economic sectors and people have been in some way affected by the pandemic, vulnerable populations or populations with pre-existing social and economic challenges may be more severely burdened.  Indigenous Peoples, and especially, First Nations living on-reserve with overcrowded housing, limited access to social and health services, and higher incidences of child and family services interventions, are at greater risk of ramifications. 

Recognizing the particular challenges, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) announced $305 million for the Indigenous Community Services Fund on March 26, 2020.  This funding is to be distributed across groups of Indigenous Peoples, with 65% of the funding attributed to First Nations.  In mid-April, nearly $307 million was announced for Aboriginal businesses, largely made available through Indigenous financial institutions through short-term interest free loans, and non-repayable contributions.   

To provide a rough comparative basis on which to understand the funding, per capita calculations suggest that First Nations on-reserve receive approximately $645 per person, Inuit receive approximately $700, with Métis and Urban Indigenous Peoples receiving substantively less on a per capita basis:

Most of the total funding (approximately $290 million or 92%) is being allocated on a regional basis.  Since funding for urban Indigenous services is proposal-based (approximately 5% of total funding), there is no defined regional association (until the funding is allocated).

On a per capita basis, North West Territories receive the highest per capita funding amounts and Ontario receives the lowest.

At the time of writing, ISC had not released information on if and when allocated resources have flowed to participants.  For the funding allocated by proposal, the deadline for proposals was April 13, 2020.

Beyond the dollar amounts, there are three principal considerations on resources:

1)    The way in which funding is allocated (i.e. who gets what)
2)    The way in which funding flows (i.e. how money moves to recipients)
3)    The speed with which funding is distributed (i.e. when it flows to recipients)

Allocation

ISC defines population, remoteness and need as three parameters for distributing funding to First Nations.  ISC can be credited with identifying relevant factors for funding.  The problem, however, is that the definition of the factors and their application are unclear.  Without understanding how population, remoteness and need are being used to determine allocations, they have little meaning.

Flow

On the matter of funding flows, ISC defined different means of moving money based on recipient group.  For instance, First Nations dollars will flow directly to communities, whereas funding for Inuit will flow based on an allocation determined by ITK and regional Inuit land claims organizations.  In the case of Métis and Urban Indigenous funding, eligible parties can apply for funding. 

There is a helpful distinction to be made between emergency response funding to ease the immediate shock/pain of a pandemic, versus the longer-term funding that is meant to support development in communities.

In the current circumstances, it may be helpful to ensure funding flows to recipients as quickly and as efficiently as possible to ensure their basic needs are being met, especially in challenging circumstances.

Speed

The speed with which funding reaches recipients is closely connected to how it flows.  ISC has defined different means through which Indigenous Peoples will receive support: directly through their First Nation, through a land-based organization, or by applying for funding. 

The most efficient funding receipt will likely be among First Nations.  It can be expected that funding will move with relative ease to First Nations (as mechanisms and agreements already exist), and that the band council structures in place should generally be able to put funding into practice.  The slowest funding by contrast, may be funding allocated through the call for proposals for those providing services to Indigenous Peoples in urban centres or off-reserve.

Re-thinking emergency funding

There are four principal models that emerge when considering approaches to delivering emergency funding across jurisdictions: application-based temporary assistance; direct transfers to persons; medium- to long-term grants; and third-party managed funding.

There are considerations for each of these funding approaches, that may be suitable to responding to different types of crises or particular moments over the course of a crisis and its recovery. 

Next steps

  1. Model funding approaches and develop explanatory notes for funding components.
  2. Analyze initial expenditure data from ISC.
  3. Analyze data shared by FNCFS agencies and build case study profiles.
  4. Build research on transition and resource considerations.

Contact information

IFSD is pleased to respond to requests for further information or to provide individual briefings on the project and its project. For questions about the project or to participate, please contact:

Dr. Helaina Gaspard, Director, Governance and Institutions Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy (IFSD) at the University of Ottawa 
helaina.gaspard@ifsd.ca
1 (613) 983-8461

March 2020


IFSD is pleased to provide the sixth monthly update to its stakeholders on the progress of the First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) Project – Phase 2.

Download the March 2020 update


Principal Updates
  • We hope this update finds you, your families, communities and agencies safe and well as we collectively deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • IFSD is pleased to share the updated measurement approach shaped by agency leadership and experts.
  • In consultation with AFN, IFSD has concluded a data sharing agreement with Indigenous Services Canada and received an initial data set from ISC, and is continuing to work with the team tasked with delivery of the data to complete the request consistent with the project’s requirements.
  • IFSD welcomes your feedback throughout this work.
  • Inspite of the national health and economic circumstances, IFSD will continue its work with stakeholders on the FNCFS project, though will transition to online and telephone modes in order to maintain social distance.

Are you an agency that hasn’t yet participated in the questionnaire?

Connect with IFSD or download the questionnaire


Measuring to Thrive

Overview

Agency leadership and experts convened for a roundtable on February 21, 2020 in Ottawa at the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy (IFSD), to refine a measurement framework based on the work of First Nations child and family services (FNCFS) agency leadership in 2018.

The original vision had four components to well-being: safety, child, family and community well-being.

 

Building from this commonly held vision for thriving First Nations children, families and communities, the roundtable helped to translate this vision into a future focused measurement framework: Measuring to Thrive (see Appendix 1 for the full framework).

The intent of Measuring to Thrive, is to provide FNCFS agencies with a portrait of the people they serve and the context in which they operate to support enhanced decision-making and eventually, to better inform funding approaches.  This framework is a tool to promote better understanding of community in order to ensure an agency has the resources required to meet the needs of the people it serves.  Measuring to Thrive is a vision to promote better results; it is not about measuring an agency’s individual performance. 

What we heard
  1. Context matters: The experiences and needs of individual agencies and their communities differ, e.g. urban, rural, remote, etc.  The measurement framework must abstract to a common collective vision of well-being.
  2. Culture is key: Culture, language and land are crucial elements of belonging.  Opportunities for children and families to connect with their community are important.  The measurement framework must be read through the lens of individual cultural practices, traditions and languages.
  3. Safety is an element of well-being: Safety is not an independent goal of FNCFS, it is an important element of overall child well-being.  Safety must be a measure within child well-being.
  4. Measuring what matters: FNCFS agencies recognize the value of collecting and using their own meaningful data for improved decision-making and funding approaches.  Measuring what matters will take time and will require a period of testing and adjustment to refine the approach.
  5. Capacity requirements: Agencies require internal capacity and support to leverage data collection and analysis that reflects them.  A third-party independent and trusted custodian of the data should be established to support this need, along with resources internal to agencies.

The vision in Measuring to Thrive is expressed through three interrelated elements: the well-being of communities, families and children.  Measuring to Thrive is meant to be read in the spirit of holistic well-being.  As such, it is meant to be informed by the unique cultural practices, traditions and Indigenous languages integral to thriving First Nations and their communities. 

The vision in Measuring to Thrive is meant to be universal.  No matter where you reside, there can be agreement on the highest order elements that indicate thriving communities, families and children.  While Measuring to Thrive is an expression of well-being among FNCFS agencies, individual agencies will deliver their mandates in the best interests of the communities they serve.  This means that remote, rural, urban, large and small agencies may have differing needs and approaches to their practice, but may find unity in the pursuit of well-being for thriving children, families and communities. 

Ideally, the Measuring to Thrive framework receives strong and broad-based support and is used in part or in full as a common tool for data development and tracking among federally funded FNCFS agencies.  As proposed and agreed during the roundtable, it would be imperative for FNCFS agencies and for their communities to have any data collected through this framework transferred to a neutral, reliable and trusted third-party who would be a custodian of the data.  This data would belong to FNCFS agencies and their communities.  An institution such as the First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC) could be leveraged or an agency similar in style to the University of Chicago’s Chapin Hall, could be established in Canada at a university to securely house, analyze and support FNCFS agencies in the collection and application of their data. Over time, as increased amounts of data are collected and analyzed, the data’s predictive value would improve making it a helpful planning tool. 

In the current state of FNCFS, there is a lack of alignment between social policy and financial resources.  Social policy research and FNCFS agencies have repeatedly emphasized the importance of prevention-focused approaches to care that empower children, families and communities, rather than focusing on apprehension.  Approaches taken by FNCFS agencies in pursuit of the well-being of their communities are numerous.  There are however, established gaps in their regular funding in areas such as prevention, capital and information technology.  The most significant gap however, was characterized through poverty in the 2018 report Enabling First Nations Children to Thrive.  Poverty was used euphemistically to capture the challenging contexts in which many FNCFS agencies operate.  Such challenges include limited housing and housing in need of major repairs, access to potable water from the tap, access to broadband, etc. 

FNCFS agencies do not operate in a vacuum but are influenced by the realities of the communities they serve.  Ensuring that financial resources are aligned to the realities of their circumstances is necessary to support the well-being of communities.  Achieving alignment between policy and resources requires people, processes and data to deliver operations and promote accountability.

As active organizations in a network of services in their communities, FNCFS agency activities are ideally focused on investing in people and collaborating to support – paraphrasing an Inuit proverb – the development of capable human beings.  Inter-relationality is paramount, as individuals are wholly well with a sense of community.

In the Measuring to Thrive framework, community is a network of belonging and support; family is a collection of people who may have blood relations that support each other almost every day; child is a young person on a journey to adulthood.

In an ideal state, a funding approach for FNCFS would have a guaranteed baseline of required operating resources, supplemented by funding to mediate contextual factors based on the needs of individual agencies.

Circumstantial effects, such as geography and poverty, can be mediated with expenditure.  A common vision for thriving children, families and communities sits above the operational elements and can be a common pursuit of agencies in their service journey. 

Applying the framework

On a quarterly basis, data on the child and family well-being indicators would be collected, while community well-being data would be collected annually for the Measuring to Thrive framework (see Appendix 1).  Data will come from various sources, including case files from the agency, as well as external publicly accessible data, e.g. Regional Health Survey, Statistics Canada, etc.  Any data to complete the framework will not identify individuals.  Measuring to Thrive is designed to collect information in aggregate to protect the privacy of individuals. 

As the agency completes the framework, the data would be accessed by the third-party custodian responsible for scrubbing and analyzing the data.  On a quarterly basis, researchers from the third-party would meet with agency leadership to discuss the analysis and potential applications on the ground. 

Transitioning to a data collection and monitoring system that supports FNCFS agencies is not expected to be seamless.  There will be a period of transition where testing and further refinement will be essential.  It is expected that in order to get to the best possible version of Measuring to Thrive, revisions through use will be necessary.  Testing the framework is the only way to ensure it reliably reflects the realities of FNCFS agencies and their communities.

“We have been researched to death.  We now have to research ourselves back to life.”

FNCFS agencies have an opportunity to leverage the information (data); heart (stories); and resource needs (funding) of their communities to support them.  There are three parts to the Measuring to Thrive framework:

  1. Support improved decision-making by collecting relevant data aligned to a common vision;
  2. Ensure data is good quality and connected to the realities and stories on the ground;
  3. Ensure agencies have the capacity and support required to collect and analyze the data.

Taken together, the parts of the Measuring to Thrive framework can encourage a culture of accomplishment within FNCFS agencies wherein measurement is a tool to promote holistic well-being, supported through requisite resources.


Appendix 1 – Measuring to Thrive framework


Next steps
  1. Host virtual meeting on funding approaches in April 2020 with FNCFS agency leadership and experts.
  2. Analyze initial expenditure data from ISC.
  3. Analyze data shared by FNCFS agencies and build case study profiles.
  4. Model funding approaches.
  5. Build research on transition and resource considerations.

Contact information

IFSD is pleased to respond to requests for further information or to provide individual briefings on the project and its project. For questions about the project or to participate, please contact:

Dr. Helaina Gaspard, Director, Governance and Institutions
Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy
helaina.gaspard@ifsd.ca
1 (613) 983-8461

First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) Project – Phase 2

IFSD is pleased to provide the eighth monthly update to its stakeholders on the progress of the First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) Project – Phase 2.

Principal updates

• We hope this update finds you, your families, communities and agencies safe and well as we collectively deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.  
• This month’s update is focused on COVID-19 emergency funding and considerations in the allocation, flow and speed of funding.
• IFSD is grateful to the agencies who continue to share their experiences for this work through survey participation and meetings via distance.  IFSD welcomes your feedback throughout this work.
• Inspite of the national health and economic circumstances, IFSD is continuing its work with stakeholders on the FNCFS project.

Are you an agency that hasn’t yet participated in the questionnaire?
Connect with IFSD or download the questionnaire

Emergency funding for COVID-19: Responses and support to Indigenous Peoples

SUMMARY 
The pandemic has sent economies into recession and is stressing health systems and the people they serve.  In response, the Government of Canada has introduced a variety of interim measures to ease the immediate financial pain caused by the pandemic.  

While all economic sectors and people have been in some way affected by the pandemic, vulnerable populations or populations with pre-existing social and economic challenges may be more severely burdened.  Indigenous Peoples, and especially, First Nations living on-reserve with overcrowded housing, limited access to social and health services, and higher incidences of child and family services interventions, are at greater risk of ramifications. 

Recognizing the particular challenges, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) announced $305 million for the Indigenous Community Services Fund on March 26, 2020.  This funding is to be distributed across groups of Indigenous Peoples, with 65% of the funding attributed to First Nations.  

When considering three parameters for assessing resource allocation and distribution (allocation, flow and speed), the announced funding falls short.  While funding will flow principally to First Nations communities, there is no definition of targeted people or services.  Without a plan, the impact of emergency funding may be limited. 

Precedents exist to better allocate and distribute funding in crisis situations.  Four broad approaches to distributing emergency funding can be defined, each with its own trade-offs in allocation, flow and speed.  These approaches have clear targets and intentions, e.g. immediate financial relief allocated directly to a recipient, or long-term disaster mitigation planning.  To address needs in an emergency and to build resiliency for the next unexpected situation, funding targets, approaches and amounts will differ.  

There are models of planned and targeted emergency response.  Consider for instance, Dakota Ojibway Child and Family Services (DOCFS), based in Manitoba.  The organization has a well-developed business continuity plan that can be actioned in one half-day.  From staff roles to connections with other branches of the Tribal Council, DOCFS works to fulfill the emergency needs of the people they serve from the procurement and delivery of food to personal items.  

Emergency funding is a tool that should have clearly defined purposes to reach those in need in moments of crisis.  Allocating funding is one step, getting it to work is another. 

Introduction

The pandemic has sent economies into recession and is stressing health systems and the people they serve.  In response, the Government of Canada has introduced a variety of interim measures to ease the immediate financial pain caused by the pandemic.  

While all economic sectors and people have been in some way affected by the pandemic, vulnerable populations or populations with pre-existing social and economic challenges may be more severely burdened.  Indigenous Peoples, and especially, First Nations living on-reserve with overcrowded housing, limited access to social and health services, and higher incidences of child and family services interventions, are at greater risk of ramifications. 

Recognizing the particular challenges, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) announced $305 million for the Indigenous Community Services Fund on March 26, 2020.  This funding is to be distributed across groups of Indigenous Peoples, with 65% of the funding attributed to First Nations.  In mid-April, nearly $307 million was announced for Aboriginal businesses, largely made available through Indigenous financial institutions through short-term interest free loans, and non-repayable contributions.   

To provide a rough comparative basis on which to understand the funding, per capita calculations suggest that First Nations on-reserve receive approximately $645 per person, Inuit receive approximately $700, with Métis and Urban Indigenous Peoples receiving substantively less on a per capita basis:

Most of the total funding (approximately $290 million or 92%) is being allocated on a regional basis.  Since funding for urban Indigenous services is proposal-based (approximately 5% of total funding), there is no defined regional association (until the funding is allocated).

On a per capita basis, North West Territories receive the highest per capita funding amounts and Ontario receives the lowest.

At the time of writing, ISC had not released information on if and when allocated resources have flowed to participants.  For the funding allocated by proposal, the deadline for proposals was April 13, 2020.

Beyond the dollar amounts, there are three principal considerations on resources:

1)    The way in which funding is allocated (i.e. who gets what)
2)    The way in which funding flows (i.e. how money moves to recipients)
3)    The speed with which funding is distributed (i.e. when it flows to recipients)

Allocation

ISC defines population, remoteness and need as three parameters for distributing funding to First Nations.  ISC can be credited with identifying relevant factors for funding.  The problem, however, is that the definition of the factors and their application are unclear.  Without understanding how population, remoteness and need are being used to determine allocations, they have little meaning.

Flow

On the matter of funding flows, ISC defined different means of moving money based on recipient group.  For instance, First Nations dollars will flow directly to communities, whereas funding for Inuit will flow based on an allocation determined by ITK and regional Inuit land claims organizations.  In the case of Métis and Urban Indigenous funding, eligible parties can apply for funding. 

There is a helpful distinction to be made between emergency response funding to ease the immediate shock/pain of a pandemic, versus the longer-term funding that is meant to support development in communities.

In the current circumstances, it may be helpful to ensure funding flows to recipients as quickly and as efficiently as possible to ensure their basic needs are being met, especially in challenging circumstances.

Speed

The speed with which funding reaches recipients is closely connected to how it flows.  ISC has defined different means through which Indigenous Peoples will receive support: directly through their First Nation, through a land-based organization, or by applying for funding. 

The most efficient funding receipt will likely be among First Nations.  It can be expected that funding will move with relative ease to First Nations (as mechanisms and agreements already exist), and that the band council structures in place should generally be able to put funding into practice.  The slowest funding by contrast, may be funding allocated through the call for proposals for those providing services to Indigenous Peoples in urban centres or off-reserve.

Re-thinking emergency funding

There are four principal models that emerge when considering approaches to delivering emergency funding across jurisdictions: application-based temporary assistance; direct transfers to persons; medium- to long-term grants; and third-party managed funding.

There are considerations for each of these funding approaches, that may be suitable to responding to different types of crises or particular moments over the course of a crisis and its recovery. 

Next steps

  1. Model funding approaches and develop explanatory notes for funding components.
  2. Analyze initial expenditure data from ISC.
  3. Analyze data shared by FNCFS agencies and build case study profiles.
  4. Build research on transition and resource considerations.

Contact information

IFSD is pleased to respond to requests for further information or to provide individual briefings on the project and its project. For questions about the project or to participate, please contact:

Dr. Helaina Gaspard, Director, Governance and Institutions Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy (IFSD) at the University of Ottawa 
helaina.gaspard@ifsd.ca
1 (613) 983-8461

March 2020


IFSD is pleased to provide the sixth monthly update to its stakeholders on the progress of the First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) Project – Phase 2.

Download the March 2020 update


Principal Updates
  • We hope this update finds you, your families, communities and agencies safe and well as we collectively deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • IFSD is pleased to share the updated measurement approach shaped by agency leadership and experts.
  • In consultation with AFN, IFSD has concluded a data sharing agreement with Indigenous Services Canada and received an initial data set from ISC, and is continuing to work with the team tasked with delivery of the data to complete the request consistent with the project’s requirements.
  • IFSD welcomes your feedback throughout this work.
  • Inspite of the national health and economic circumstances, IFSD will continue its work with stakeholders on the FNCFS project, though will transition to online and telephone modes in order to maintain social distance.

Are you an agency that hasn’t yet participated in the questionnaire?

Connect with IFSD or download the questionnaire


Measuring to Thrive

Overview

Agency leadership and experts convened for a roundtable on February 21, 2020 in Ottawa at the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy (IFSD), to refine a measurement framework based on the work of First Nations child and family services (FNCFS) agency leadership in 2018.

The original vision had four components to well-being: safety, child, family and community well-being.

 

Building from this commonly held vision for thriving First Nations children, families and communities, the roundtable helped to translate this vision into a future focused measurement framework: Measuring to Thrive (see Appendix 1 for the full framework).

The intent of Measuring to Thrive, is to provide FNCFS agencies with a portrait of the people they serve and the context in which they operate to support enhanced decision-making and eventually, to better inform funding approaches.  This framework is a tool to promote better understanding of community in order to ensure an agency has the resources required to meet the needs of the people it serves.  Measuring to Thrive is a vision to promote better results; it is not about measuring an agency’s individual performance. 

What we heard
  1. Context matters: The experiences and needs of individual agencies and their communities differ, e.g. urban, rural, remote, etc.  The measurement framework must abstract to a common collective vision of well-being.
  2. Culture is key: Culture, language and land are crucial elements of belonging.  Opportunities for children and families to connect with their community are important.  The measurement framework must be read through the lens of individual cultural practices, traditions and languages.
  3. Safety is an element of well-being: Safety is not an independent goal of FNCFS, it is an important element of overall child well-being.  Safety must be a measure within child well-being.
  4. Measuring what matters: FNCFS agencies recognize the value of collecting and using their own meaningful data for improved decision-making and funding approaches.  Measuring what matters will take time and will require a period of testing and adjustment to refine the approach.
  5. Capacity requirements: Agencies require internal capacity and support to leverage data collection and analysis that reflects them.  A third-party independent and trusted custodian of the data should be established to support this need, along with resources internal to agencies.

The vision in Measuring to Thrive is expressed through three interrelated elements: the well-being of communities, families and children.  Measuring to Thrive is meant to be read in the spirit of holistic well-being.  As such, it is meant to be informed by the unique cultural practices, traditions and Indigenous languages integral to thriving First Nations and their communities. 

The vision in Measuring to Thrive is meant to be universal.  No matter where you reside, there can be agreement on the highest order elements that indicate thriving communities, families and children.  While Measuring to Thrive is an expression of well-being among FNCFS agencies, individual agencies will deliver their mandates in the best interests of the communities they serve.  This means that remote, rural, urban, large and small agencies may have differing needs and approaches to their practice, but may find unity in the pursuit of well-being for thriving children, families and communities. 

Ideally, the Measuring to Thrive framework receives strong and broad-based support and is used in part or in full as a common tool for data development and tracking among federally funded FNCFS agencies.  As proposed and agreed during the roundtable, it would be imperative for FNCFS agencies and for their communities to have any data collected through this framework transferred to a neutral, reliable and trusted third-party who would be a custodian of the data.  This data would belong to FNCFS agencies and their communities.  An institution such as the First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC) could be leveraged or an agency similar in style to the University of Chicago’s Chapin Hall, could be established in Canada at a university to securely house, analyze and support FNCFS agencies in the collection and application of their data. Over time, as increased amounts of data are collected and analyzed, the data’s predictive value would improve making it a helpful planning tool. 

In the current state of FNCFS, there is a lack of alignment between social policy and financial resources.  Social policy research and FNCFS agencies have repeatedly emphasized the importance of prevention-focused approaches to care that empower children, families and communities, rather than focusing on apprehension.  Approaches taken by FNCFS agencies in pursuit of the well-being of their communities are numerous.  There are however, established gaps in their regular funding in areas such as prevention, capital and information technology.  The most significant gap however, was characterized through poverty in the 2018 report Enabling First Nations Children to Thrive.  Poverty was used euphemistically to capture the challenging contexts in which many FNCFS agencies operate.  Such challenges include limited housing and housing in need of major repairs, access to potable water from the tap, access to broadband, etc. 

FNCFS agencies do not operate in a vacuum but are influenced by the realities of the communities they serve.  Ensuring that financial resources are aligned to the realities of their circumstances is necessary to support the well-being of communities.  Achieving alignment between policy and resources requires people, processes and data to deliver operations and promote accountability.

As active organizations in a network of services in their communities, FNCFS agency activities are ideally focused on investing in people and collaborating to support – paraphrasing an Inuit proverb – the development of capable human beings.  Inter-relationality is paramount, as individuals are wholly well with a sense of community.

In the Measuring to Thrive framework, community is a network of belonging and support; family is a collection of people who may have blood relations that support each other almost every day; child is a young person on a journey to adulthood.

In an ideal state, a funding approach for FNCFS would have a guaranteed baseline of required operating resources, supplemented by funding to mediate contextual factors based on the needs of individual agencies.

Circumstantial effects, such as geography and poverty, can be mediated with expenditure.  A common vision for thriving children, families and communities sits above the operational elements and can be a common pursuit of agencies in their service journey. 

Applying the framework

On a quarterly basis, data on the child and family well-being indicators would be collected, while community well-being data would be collected annually for the Measuring to Thrive framework (see Appendix 1).  Data will come from various sources, including case files from the agency, as well as external publicly accessible data, e.g. Regional Health Survey, Statistics Canada, etc.  Any data to complete the framework will not identify individuals.  Measuring to Thrive is designed to collect information in aggregate to protect the privacy of individuals. 

As the agency completes the framework, the data would be accessed by the third-party custodian responsible for scrubbing and analyzing the data.  On a quarterly basis, researchers from the third-party would meet with agency leadership to discuss the analysis and potential applications on the ground. 

Transitioning to a data collection and monitoring system that supports FNCFS agencies is not expected to be seamless.  There will be a period of transition where testing and further refinement will be essential.  It is expected that in order to get to the best possible version of Measuring to Thrive, revisions through use will be necessary.  Testing the framework is the only way to ensure it reliably reflects the realities of FNCFS agencies and their communities.

“We have been researched to death.  We now have to research ourselves back to life.”

FNCFS agencies have an opportunity to leverage the information (data); heart (stories); and resource needs (funding) of their communities to support them.  There are three parts to the Measuring to Thrive framework:

  1. Support improved decision-making by collecting relevant data aligned to a common vision;
  2. Ensure data is good quality and connected to the realities and stories on the ground;
  3. Ensure agencies have the capacity and support required to collect and analyze the data.

Taken together, the parts of the Measuring to Thrive framework can encourage a culture of accomplishment within FNCFS agencies wherein measurement is a tool to promote holistic well-being, supported through requisite resources.


Appendix 1 – Measuring to Thrive framework


Next steps
  1. Host virtual meeting on funding approaches in April 2020 with FNCFS agency leadership and experts.
  2. Analyze initial expenditure data from ISC.
  3. Analyze data shared by FNCFS agencies and build case study profiles.
  4. Model funding approaches.
  5. Build research on transition and resource considerations.

Contact information

IFSD is pleased to respond to requests for further information or to provide individual briefings on the project and its project. For questions about the project or to participate, please contact:

Dr. Helaina Gaspard, Director, Governance and Institutions
Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy
helaina.gaspard@ifsd.ca
1 (613) 983-8461

February 2020


IFSD is pleased to provide the sixth monthly update to its stakeholders on the progress of the First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) Project – Phase 2.

Download the February 2020 update


Principal Updates
  • IFSD hosted a roundtable on measurement for thriving First Nations children, families and communities.  We are grateful to agency leadership from all regions and experts for their engagement and invaluable insights that have helped to refine the proposed approach to measurement.  IFSD looks forward to sharing the updated measurement approach with stakeholders in the next update.
  • IFSD is pleased to share its interim research on funding approaches.  This preliminary research is an overview of the case-focused analysis being pursued on the cost-benefit analysis of funding approaches.
  • Overall participation in the questionnaire has increased to 48%.  To get to at least a 50% participation from all provinces, we need four more agencies from Alberta, and one more agency from Ontario.  We’re almost there.  Please help us achieve at least 50% participation from each province/region to ensure agencies are represented.  IFSD wishes to thank all those agencies that have participated and is asking that all agencies who have not yet participated to download and return the completed questionnaire as soon as possible.
  • IFSD is continuing to working with an Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) team tasked with delivery of the data consistent with the project’s requirements.
  • IFSD welcomes your feedback throughout this work.

Are you an agency that hasn’t yet participated in the questionnaire?

Connect with IFSD or download the questionnaire


Resources and flexibility in service delivery

IFSD is researching approaches to funding social policy and service delivery.  There are two main types of funding:

  1. Prospective: service delivery agencies receive fixed payments to deliver services;
  2. Retrospective: service delivery agencies are reimbursed for specific activities.

Within these two main funding types, various mechanisms exist to deliver resources to agencies.  For child and family services, commonly identified mechanisms include: fee-for-service; block funding; and performance-based contracts.

As with any policy question, there are tradeoffs in funding mechanisms.  Resource guarantees and flexibility in delivery vary among the two funding types (and their associated mechanisms) (see figure below). 

 

Retrospective funding approachces (e.g. fee-for-service), tend to offer better resource guarantees (as funded activities are clearly defined), but tend to limit flexibility in delivery (since fundable activities can be restricted).  Prospective approaches (e.g. block funding, performance-based contracting) by contrast, tend to offer greater flexibility in delivery (as service providers can allocate resources as needed), but service providers are required to work within established resource parameters (supplementary resources may not be guaranteed).

Funding Mechanism

Case Study

Description

Fee-for-Service

Current funding mechanism for FNCFS

Required resources are provided by payment for specific activities by unit cost or by population served.  Funding may be consistent but there is limited flexibility in delivery as reimbursement is defined for specific allowable activities. 

Block Funding

West Region’s Child and Family Services Center block pilot funding program

Resources are allocated based on a combination of previous financial data and need.  A set funding amount is allocated, leaving the service provider to determine its best uses.  While flexibility in approach is promoted, the service provider bears the risk of operating within the set funding amount.

Performance-based contracting

State of Tennessee child welfare program

Resources are disbursed by achieving pre-established goals.  Goals are defined through a service provider’s past performance.  This approach promotes flexibility in delivery but requires the service provider to meet expectations to receive funding. 

There is no perfect approach to funding social policy, but there are acceptable tradeoffs that support FNCFS agencies in best serving their children, families and communities.  Identifying the critical mix of resources required and leveraging lessons from other cases and jurisdictions will be instrumental in developing an approach that is reliable and focused on a common vision of thriving First Nations children, families and communities that you helped to define. 


Participation gaps – questionnaire

We are close to achieving our goal of at least 50% participation in each province/region.  To reach the targeted threshold, we require four more agencies from Alberta, and one from Ontario to complete the survey.  Several provinces have made very good progress in the last month, most especially, Saskatchewan which surpassed the 53% threshold. Thank you!

The information from the questionnaire will help IFSD to ensure alignment to need as a funding approach is developed and more accurately cluster agencies to model the effects of transition. 

By sharing your experience, you’re making this work more representative and reflective of your agency’s reality. 


Next steps
  1. Continue to build comparative assessments of results-focused funding approaches.
  2. Finalize the revised measurement framework and data collection strategies.
  3. Encourage FNCFS agency participation to complete the questionnaire and analyze data provided through the questionnaire.
  4. Continue to work with ISC to complete the data request.
  5. Prepare for FNCFS agency leadership and expert roundtable on funding approaches in April 2020.  

Contact information

IFSD is pleased to respond to requests for further information or to provide individual briefings on the project and its project. For questions about the project or to participate, please contact:

Dr. Helaina Gaspard, Director, Governance and Institutions
Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy
helaina.gaspard@ifsd.ca
1 (613) 983-8461

January 2020


IFSD is pleased to provide the fifth monthly update to its stakeholders on the progress of the First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) Project – Phase 2.

Download the January 2020 update


Principal Updates
  • IFSD is continuing its work on refining the results framework in collaboration with agencies and experts.  A roundtable is scheduled for February 2020.   
  • As the work on data structures and alignment to results is pursued, work is underway on the structure of a funding approach to meet the goal of thriving First Nations children, families and communities.  Cases such as Tennessee are being explored to learn from their experience.
  • Overall participation in the questionnaire has increased to 45%.  To get to at least a 50% participation for all provinces, we need five more agencies from Alberta, and two more agencies each from Saskatchewan and Ontario.  We’re almost there.  Please help us achieve at least 50% participation from each province/region to ensure agencies are represented.  IFSD wishes to thank all those agencies that have participated and is asking that all agencies who have not yet participated to download and return the completed questionnaire as soon as possible.
  • IFSD is continuing to working with an Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) team tasked with delivery of the data consistent with the project’s requirements.
  • IFSD welcomes your feedback throughout this work.

Are you an agency that hasn’t yet participated in the questionnaire?

Connect with IFSD or download the questionnaire


Money as a tool for change

At its core, performance budgeting is about aligning spending to desired results.  Money can be used as a tool to incentivize an outcome.  In our case, we want money to be a tool for agencies to support the development of thriving First Nations children, families and communities. 

In a perfect world, both the amount of funding and the way the funding flows to recipients, would support desired outcomes.  The current First Nations child and family services (FNCFS) system incentivizes the placement of children in care to unlock funding.  While funding for prevention-focused programming and services exists and has been bolstered by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) rulings, the structure of the funding system has yet to catch up to the need for a prevention-based approach to funding FNCFS. 

Agencies and stakholders made it clear that agency leadership spend time trying to find ways of working around the current funding system, rather than having a system that works for them.  IFSD recognizes the importance of a funding approach that enables agencies to act in the best interest of children and families.  By looking to the experiences of other jurisdictions, IFSD will leverage their lessons and best practices to inform an alternative funding approach for FNCFS in Canada.

In child and family services, notably in the United States, various budgeting models have been adopted to promote permanent placements for children in care.  In jurisdictions such as Tennessee, performance-based contracting has shifted the focus of service providers from system processes (how things are done) toward improved outcomes for children (an accountability for results). 

IFSD had the opportunity to learn about Tennessee’s model from those that developed it for the state.  The State of Tennessee’s approach to child welfare is premised on the goal of timely permanency for children (either through family reunification or adoption).  By reducing the length of stay of a child in care, there are improved outcomes for the child and lower associated costs.

To achieve the goal of permanency, Tennessee adopted a performance-based contracting (PBC) model.  In this model, providers are financially incented to promote the permanent placement of children and are benchmarked against their own performance.  The state pays for a result and bills providers that do not meet their agreed targets.  

There are three core components to the PBC model:

  1. Reduce the length of stay of a child in care;
  2. Increase rates of permanency;
  3. Reduce rates of re-entry of children into the protection system.  

Since its initial implementation in 2006, Tennessee’s PBC model has proven to be cost-neutral for the state and has promoted a reduction in the number of children in care. 

Tennessee’s child welfare system is comprised of state-run apprehension services supplemented by a network of providers.  The providers undertake all maintenance, placement, family-support and care services post-apprehension or contact with the child welfare system.

The program’s financial information suggests that PBC is incentivizing better program practices and more stability for children by focusing on Tennessee’s continuum of care.  Since the start of PBC, Tennessee has been paying out more in reinvestment dollars (to providers meeting their targets), than it has required payment in penalties for not meeting them.  When the model was paired with an increase in prevention-focused funding, the number of children in care dropped (it rose again when those prevention investments were eliminated due to state spending changes).   

IFSD recognizes that there is no single model that be transposed for the unique contexts of FNCFS agencies and the communities that they serve.  There is no plan to adopt Tennessee’s PBC model for Canada.  However, Tennessee offers three useful lessons for consideration as funding approaches are being considered. 

First, Tennessee implemented a significant shift in its child welfare system that went from “buying beds, to buying results.”  We can learn from Tennessee’s experience with transition by encouraging those providers ready to adapt and providing resources and support for those needing more time to adjust to the new system. 

Second, Tennessee benchmarks its services provides against themselves.  Comparing the activities of service providers to their own context and their own practices can be a useful point of departure when introducing a new system.  Providers in Tennessee were only asked to do better than themselves; no one else.  This approach helps to recognize diverse contexts and practices to child and family services. 

Third, Tennessee successfully used money to change outcomes.  Even though a reduction in the number of children in care is not the same goal as enabling First Nations children to thrive, that Tennessee encouraged behavioural changes in its service providers is a helpful lesson for other jurisdictions grappling with change.

IFSD will continue to build assessments of comparative cases that have altered their funding approaches to achieve different results, e.g. West Region Child and Family Services’ block funding experience from the 2000s. 


Participation gaps – questionnaire

We are close to achieving our goal of at least 50% participation in each province/region.  To reach the targeted threshold, we require five more agencies from Alberta, and two more agencies each from Saskatchewan and Ontario to complete the survey.  Several provinces have made very good progress in the last month, most especially, Saskatchewan. 

The information from the questionnaire will help IFSD to ensure alignment to need as a funding approach is developed and more accurately cluster agencies to model the effects of transition. 

By sharing your experience, you’re making this work more representative and reflective of your agency’s reality. 


Next steps
  1. Continue to build comparative assessments of results-focused funding approaches.
  2. Prepare for stakeholder and expert roundtable to finalize the performance framework and data collection strategies.
  3. Finalize FNCFS agency participation to complete the questionnaire and analyze data provided through the questionnaire.
  4. Continue to work with ISC to complete the data request.

Contact information

IFSD is pleased to respond to requests for further information or to provide individual briefings on the project and its project. For questions about the project or to participate, please contact:

Dr. Helaina Gaspard, Director, Governance and Institutions
Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy
helaina.gaspard@ifsd.ca
1 (613) 983-8461

December 2019


IFSD is pleased to provide monthly updates to its stakeholders on the progress of the First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) Project – Phase 2.

Download the December 2019 update


Principal Updates
  • Following the update on the results framework, this update will focus on the related necessary data.
  • Relevant, available, comparable, and consistenly captured data is necessary to give life to a results framework. 
  • IFSD has prepared a draft alignment of necessary data and data gaps in the current universe of available information.  Consult the full update for details.
  • Overall participation in the questionnaire has increased to 42%.  Saskatchewan’s participation has improved significantly to 37% (over double its previous rate).  Important gaps remain however, for Alberta, Ontario, and Saskatchewan.  The goal is to achieve at least 50% participation from each province/region to ensure agencies are represented.  IFSD wishes to thank all those agencies that have participated and is asking that all agencies who have not yet participated to download and return the completed questionnaire as soon as possible.
  • IFSD is now working with an Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) team tasked with delivery of the data consistent with the project’s requirements.
  • IFSD welcomes your feedback throughout this work.

Are you an agency that hasn’t yet participated in the questionnaire?

Connect with IFSD or download the questionnaire


Data alignment and data gaps

There are a variety of indicators proposed in the performance framework to capture progress across the four sub-strategic outcomes defined in Phase 1 – Enabling First Nations Children to Thrive.  The table below summarizes the linkage between sub-strategic objective, measure and indicators, and includes the feasibility of accessing the data required. 

Green

Feasible

Green means feasibly accessible because the data is already being captured or an agency could easily collect the data. 

Yellow

Somewhat feasible

Yellow implies somewhat feasibly accessible.  While the data may not exist publicly, nor is it likely being captured by agencies, the request falls within the agency’s mandate and the data could be feasibly collected by an agency.

Red

Difficult

Red indicates some challenge in accessing the data as it falls outside of a typical agency’s mandate, and may require collaboration with a third party to capture the information.

Sub-objective

Performance Area

Measure

Indicators

Safety

Protection

Protection from all forms of maltreatment

Recurrence of maltreatment

Serious injuries/deaths

Recurrence of child protection concerns after ongoing protection services

Non-accidental child injury

Child sexual abuse

Permanency

Permanency status

Out of home placement rate

Number of moves in care

Timeliness of family reunification

Timeliness of adoptions

Out of home care

Percentage of children placed with kin and/or Indigenous families within their community

Quality of caregiver and youth relationship

Child well-being

Cognitive development

School readiness

Percentage of 3 and 4-year-olds participating in funded early years education

Basic literacy score

Basic numeracy score

Advanced literacy score

Interest in literacy/numeracy and memory score

Educational attainment

Literacy and numeracy test scores (middle childhood)

Positive attitude towards school/learning

Youth who intend on going to full-time post-secondary (e.g. college, trade school, university)

Social relationships

Social support and belonging

Youth who report positive relations with their parents or caregiver

Youth with 5 or more close friends

Youth who report positive relations with siblings and extended family

Youth who report positive relations with non-family adults

Youth who report strong ties with elders in the community

Social engagement

Youth who report some involvement, participation or contribution within the community

Youth who participate in extracurricular activities

Psychological and emotional well-being

Child behaviour

Anxious and fearful behaviour

Aggressive behaviour

Hyperactivity and inattentive behaviour

Social competence

Communication skills

Prosocial and helping behaviour

Social intelligence (e.g. cooperation, conflict resolution, trust, intimacy)

Subjective well-being

Self-reported happiness/life satisfaction

Self-reported mental health

Esteem

Sense of purpose

Optimism and hope

Resilience

Confidence

Agency

Cultural and spiritual well-being

Spirituality

Sense of belonging to cultural group

Pride in Indigenous identity

Sense of connection to the land

Participation in spiritual practice/knowledge/ceremony

Tradition

Speaks traditional language

Eats traditional foods

Physical health and well-being

Overall physical health

Low birth weight

Breastfed for at least 6 months

Children living with a disability or chronic illness

Healthy habits

Eating habits

Level of physical activity

Sleep habits

Risk management

Teenage birth rate

Percentage who report using illicit drugs in the past month

Percentage who report binge drinking in the last month

Smoking in the last month

Family well-being

Self-sufficiency

Secure parental employment and parental participation in the labour force

Labour force status

Job tenure/permanency

Ability to meet basic needs

Household income sufficient to meet basic needs for transportation, housing and utilities, food, clothing, childcare and other necessary expenses

Family health and protective factors

Physical health status of parents or caregivers

Chronic conditions

Eating habits

Drug use (alcohol, smoking, illicit drugs, prescription medication)

Mental health status of parents and caregivers

Self-reported mental health

Symptoms of anxiety and depression

Thoughts of suicide/self-harm

Family protective factors

Parental resilience

Social connections

Knowledge of parent and child development

Concrete support in times of need

Developmental parenting and attachment

Community well-being

Access to basic needs

Access to potable water

Number of long-term drinking water advisories affecting FN water systems

Access to suitable housing

Percentage of homes that are suitable

Percentage of homes in need of major repairs

Access to broadband connectivity

Percentage of homes with internet connectivity

Community infrastructure

Presence of point of community assembly, health centre, elementary school, recreational space or facility

Overall poverty level

Median household income compared to provincial or national poverty line

Mental health and counselling services

Child and family services/social services

Health and medical services

Respite care

Transportation and accommodation (medical and non-medical appointments)

Public safety and community health

Health and safety

Rates of reported suicide attempts

Rates of reported heavy drinking

Rates of reported drug use

BMI rates

Rates of chronic health conditions

Rates of violent crime

Educational attainment

High school graduation rate

Rate of post-secondary education

IFSD welcomes your feedback on the alignment of data and indicators.  IFSD looks forward to continuing to refine this framework with its stakeholders.   

Beyond the availability of data, there are considerations relative to its accessibility and its sufficient detail for analytic use. Publicly accessible data tends to be available (e.g. housing, access to potable water) but aggregated, which limits its applicability for decision-support in specific domains. Granular data may be available at the level of the individual agency or First Nation, but is not always readily available, comparable or consistently captured (i.e. loss of time series).

The draft diagram below plots the indicators from the performance framework based on their current-state accessibility and granularity.  A significant majority of indicators are accessible but insufficiently granular (bottom right quandrant).  This suggests that while there is aggregate data at the level of a First Nation, a province or region, the data may not have the necessary detail to measure the indicator defined in the performance framework.  For instance, there may be data at the level of the First Nation on alcohol and drug misuse (for assessment of the risk management indicator), but that data may not be available for the individual child.  Even though individual data will not be shared, it is a useful internal metric for agency decision-support and planning for the child and family.  The mismatch between accessibility and granularity is not insurmountable.  It will require agency action with requisite resources. 

The upper right quadrant is both accessible and sufficiently granular.  Most of this data relates to child safety, as it is expected that agencies already collect this information at the level of the individual child for their case files.  It is anticipated that while this data will not be made public at the level of the individual, the aggregated data can be a reliable source of information to asses overall outcomes for children and families in a community.  Some community level data is also included, as it can be accessed from public sources at the level of the First Nation.  Such data includes housing suitability and access to potable water to fulfill certain indicators.  The two community well-being indicators related to infrastructure and health and social services in the bottom left corner are deemed both insufficiently granular and insufficiently accessible because the data does not tend to exist.  It would be up to individual communities or agencies to collect or produce this data.    

To help to close the data gaps and ensure data is relevant for the proposed results framework, a mix of existing and new data will have to be collected and analysed.

This is an opportunity for agencies to standardize the capture of relevant data to support planning, decision-making, and the alignment of activities and resources for the well-being of children, families and communities.

In the coming months, IFSD looks forward to sharing a data framework that agencies may wish to leverage to capture their own information.


Participation gaps – questionnaire

Manitoba and British Columbia have reached the 50% participation threshold, and the Atlantic region has surpassed it at 55%.  Saskatchewan has more than doubled its participation rate in less than four weeks.  IFSD is grateful for this effort.  To reach the 50% target participation rate per region, we are asking agencies in Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Quebec to continue to complete the questionnaire if they have not already done so.     

The information from the questionnaire will help IFSD to ensure alignment to need as a funding approach is developed and more accurately cluster agencies to model the effects of transition. 

By sharing your experience, you’re making this work more representative and reflective of your agency’s reality. 


Next steps
  1. Present a full draft results framework and data alignment to working group members, including case study agencies and experts (scheduled to meet in February 2020).
  2. Continue to build comparative assessments of results-focused funding approaches.
  3. Finalize FNCFS agency participation to complete the questionnaire and analyze data provided through the questionnaire.
  4. Continue to work with ISC to complete the data request.

Contact information

IFSD is pleased to respond to requests for further information or to provide individual briefings on the project and its project. For questions about the project or to participate, please contact:

Dr. Helaina Gaspard, Director, Governance and Institutions
Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy
helaina.gaspard@ifsd.ca
1 (613) 983-8461

November 2019


IFSD is pleased to provide monthly updates to its stakeholders on the progress of the First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) Project – Phase 2

Download the November 2019 update


Principal Updates
  • At this time 37% of FNCFS agencies have completed the questionnaire.  There are significant participation gaps in Saskatchewan, Ontario and Alberta.  The goal is to achieve at least 50% participation from each province/region to ensure agencies are represented.  IFSD wishes to thank all those agencies that have participated and is asking that all agencies who have not yet participated to download and return the completed questionnaire as soon as possible.
  • A draft results framework is available in the full update, which builds from the goal of enabling First Nations children to thrive defined in Phase 1.  This framework will serve as the point of departure for the funding approach.  IFSD welcomes feedback from agencies on this work.
  • IFSD is continuing to work with Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) to complete its August 2019 data request on departmental spending.
  • IFSD is grateful to all of the agencies who have come forward to serve as case studies and regular collaborators for this project.  We look forward to visiting and learning from you.
  • IFSD welcomes your feedback throughout this work.

Are you an agency that hasn’t yet participated in the questionnaire?

Connect with IFSD or download the questionnaire


Participation gaps – questionnaire

The short (7-question) questionnaire is designed to capture basic information on funding (e.g. total expenditures, CHRT funding requested) and performance practices among FNCFS agencies.  Most of the questionnaire can be completed by checking boxes. 

The information from the questionnaire will help IFSD to ensure alignment to need as a funding approach is developed and more accurately cluster agencies to model the effects of transition. 


In Phase 1, the participation rate for 100+ question survey was 76%.  The overall participation rate for the Phase 2, 7-question questionnaire, is currently 37%.  IFSD is targeting at least 50% participation from each province/region for representivity.  By sharing your experience, you’re making this work more representative and reflective of your agency’s reality.  We encourage all agencies to complete the survey.


Results framework

The results framework is designed to ‘flip the current structure on its head’ by defining the end goal (thriving First Nations children) and building out a funding approach that aligns to that outcome.   

The table below is a high-level overview of the overall goal, the means through which it can be achieved and the way in which progress can be monitored by agencies.   

IFSD encourages you to share your input and ideas to enhance the framework.

Strategic Outcome: Thriving First Nations Children

The overarching goal, to which all activities contribute.

Sub-Strategic Outcomes

Areas of focus to achieve the strategic outcome.

Safety

Children are protected from harm and achieve permanency in their living situation.

Child well-being

Children reach their full developmental potential and have hope, belonging, purpose and meaning.

Family well-being

Families enjoy a safe, stable environment in which to foster healthy relationships.

Community well-being

Communities have adequate infrastructure, services, resiliency and belonging to ensure collective safety, stability and well-being.

Performance Areas

The lenses through which progress on sub-strategic outcomes can be understood.

  • Protection
  • Permanency
  • Cognitive development
  • Social relationships
  • Psychological and emotional development
  • Cultural and spiritual development
  • Physical well-being
  • Self-sufficiency
  • Family health and protective factors
  • Access to basic needs
  • Gaps in services to community
  • Public safety and community health

Measures

Means of assessing progress in performance areas.

  • Protection from all forms of maltreatment
  • Emergency mental health
  • Permanency status
  • Out-of-home care
  • Educational attainment
  • Social support and engagement
  • Child behaviour, mental and social well-being
  • Spirituality and tradition
  • Overall physical health, healthy habits and risk management
  • Parental employment
  • Ability to meet basic needs
  • Physical and mental health of caregivers
  • Family protective factors
  • Access to potable water, housing, broadband and community infrastructure
  • Poverty level
  • Gaps in health and social services
  • Overall community mental and physical health status

Examples of key performance indicators

The variable measured.

  • Recurrence of maltreatment
  • Number of moves in care
  • Sense of belonging to cultural group
  • Literacy and numeracy scores
  • Youth who report positive relations with parents, friends and elders
  • Parental job tenure and permanency
  • Self-reported physical and mental health
  • Developmental parenting and attachment
  • Number of boil water advisories
  • Median household income
  • Rates of suicide attempts


Next steps
  1. Finalize FNCFS agency participation to complete the questionnaire and analyze data provided through the questionnaire.
  2. Continue to identify and acquire federal spending data required to establish a clear portrait of allocations and spending.
  3. Continue to refine the results framework and comparative assessments of results-focused funding approaches.
  4. Continue to work with ISC to complete the data request.

Contact information

IFSD is pleased to respond to requests for further information or to provide individual briefings on the project and its project. For questions about the project or to participate, please contact:

Dr. Helaina Gaspard, Director, Governance and Institutions
Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy
helaina.gaspard@ifsd.ca
1 (613) 983-8461

October 2019


IFSD is pleased to provide monthly updates to its stakeholders on the progress of the First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) Project – Phase 2.

Download the October 2019 update


Principal Updates
  • IFSD has extended the questionnaire deadline to November 6, 2019.  FNCFS gencies are encouraged to complete the short questionnaire and return it via email to IFSD, if they haven’t already done so.
  • Some basic data on FNCFS program spending was shared by ISC pursuant to IFSD’s August 2019 request for required data.  The balance of the request is in-progress.  
  • IFSD is seeking other FNCFS agencies to join those which have already agreed to serve as case studies and regular collaborators for this project.  This will be a unique opportunity to share your experiences and have them inform this work on funding approach development.Are you an agency that hasn’t yet participated in the questionnaire, or would like to inquire about being a case study agency?

Connect with IFSD


Current state spending by Indigenous Services Canada (ISC)

IFSD submitted a request for data in August 2019 to ISC.  Some basic elements of the request have been fulfilled (and others are in progress).  The data delivered by ISC suggests that:

  • FNCFS program spending has trended upward since 2014-15, with an important increase between 2017-18 and 2018-19.

  • Over time, Manitoba, Ontario and Alberta have received the largest total FNCFS program transfers.

  • Ontario-based agencies have received the highest amount of CHRT-mandated supplementary funding.

  • Agencies serving at least one community inaccessible by year-round receive larger transfers than those serving communities accessible by year-round round (using only identifiable agencies in ISC’s data).

Would your agency like to be considered as a case study agency?

In addition to the questionnaire, IFSD is seeking in-depth engagement from approximately 12 FNCFS agencies and two communities not served by a FNCFS agency. These agencies, all with different characteristics (e.g. geographic location, size, etc.), will be selected to serve as representative cases for the project. These agencies/communities will work closely with IFSD to evaluate and test models and frameworks throughout the project.

Are you an agency that hasn’t yet participated in the questionnaire, or would like to inquire about being a case study agency?

Connect with IFSD


Next steps
  1. Finalize FNCFS agency participation to complete the questionnaire.
  2. Compile and analyze data provided through the questionnaire, once at least a 30% participation rate is achieved.
  3. Continue to identify and acquire federal spending data required to establish a clear portrait of allocations and spending.
  4. Finalize the complement of case study agencies who will work closely with IFSD throughout this phase of work.
  5. Leverage experiences from experts and jurisdictions in the United States, e.g. State of Tennessee, Chapin Hall (University of Chicago), to identify lessons and practices for a holistic approach to child welfare.  There is no wholesale transfer of any model, but we can learn from what worked and what did not in other jurisdictions.  Any approach will have to be informed by cultural practices and the goal of holistic well-being.  
  6. Continue to refine the performance architecture and comparative assessments of results-focused funding approaches.

Contact information

IFSD is pleased to respond to requests for further information or to provide individual briefings on the project and its project. For questions about the project or to participate, please contact:

Dr. Helaina Gaspard, Director, Governance and Institutions
Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy
helaina.gaspard@ifsd.ca
1 (613) 983-8461