Evaluation of the One-Tonne Challenge Program
- PROGRAM SUMMARY
- EVALUATION DESIGN
- EVALUATION ISSUES AND ASSOCIATED FINDINGS
- LESSONS LEARNED
- MANAGEMENT RESPONSE
- Annex 1a - OTC Logic Model - Public and Education Outreach
- Annex 1b - OTC Logic Model - Performance Measurement Framework of the OTC
- Annex 1c - OTC Logic Model - OTC Business Plan and Management Framework
- Annex 2 - Evaluation Issues and Questions
- Annex 3 - Documentation Reviewed
- Annex 4 - List of Interviewees
- Annex 5 - Interview Questions and Themes for Federal Government Officials
- Annex 6 - Interview Questions for OTC Partners/Stakeholders
- Annex 7 - Survey Questions for OTC Tracking Survey
- Annex 8 - OTC Relevant Program Mapping
Report Clearance Steps
|Project initiated||July 2005|
|Planning phase completed||October 2005|
|Report completed||May 26, 2006|
|Report approved by Departmental Audit and Evaluation Committee (DAEC)||July 6, 2006|
Acronyms used in the report
|A&E||Audit and Evaluation|
|CCAF||Climate Change Action Fund|
|CESD||Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development|
|CESF||Competitiveness and Environmental Sustainability Framework|
|CFLs||Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs|
|DAEC||Departmental Audit and Evaluation Committee|
|DG||Di rector General|
|GoC||Government of Canada|
|NRCan||Natural Resources Canada|
|MOU||Memorandum of Understanding|
|OEE||Office of Energy Efficiency|
|OGD||Other Government Departments|
|OPP||Outcome Project Plan|
|PERRL||Pilot Emissions Removals, Reductions and Learnings Initiative|
|PEO||Public Education and Outreach|
|RMAF||Results-based Management and Accountability Framework|
|TBS||Treasury Board Secretariat|
The Evaluation Project Team including Shelley Tice (Environment Canada), Robert Tkaczyk (Environment Canada), Marc Bennett (Natural Resources Canada) and led by Marie-Christine Tremblay (Environment Canada), would like to thank those individuals who contributed to this project and particularly all interviewees, evaluation committee members and Audit and Evaluation Branch management who provided insights and comments crucial to this evaluation.
As identified in the Departmental Audit and Evaluation Plan 2005/6 to 2007/8, an evaluation of the One-Tonne Challenge (OTC) program was conducted.The primary objective of this formative evaluation was to assess OTC progress toward leading Canadians citizens to take actions to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that they produce. As education and engagement are key levers in the achievement of a number of environmental results for Canadians, the evaluation also shed light on the challenges of achieving an environmental goal with a public education and outreach program.
This report presents the findings and lessons learned from the evaluation which was conducted jointly by the Evaluation teams at Environment Canada (EC) and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). Note that on April 13, 2006, the Minister of NRCan, in a public news release entitled “First Steps Taken Towards Made-in-Canada Approach”, confirmed the Government of Canada decision to take a different approach with the OTC program. In light of this, no recommendations are made with respect to the Program other than to note lessons learned that would apply to the design of any relevant future program.
Through the use of public education and outreach means (i.e.,a national marketing initiative and partnerships with key sectors of the Canadian society), t he OTC program called on all Canadians to reduce the GHG emissions that they produce and hence do their part in achieving Canada’s climate change objectives. Specifically, the OTC program challenged individual Canadians to reduce their annual GHG emissions by an average of one tonne or about 20 percent by encouraging them to use less energy and fewer resources in their daily activities by taking into account energy efficient/conservation considerations in their purchase, use and lifestyle decisions.
The evaluation examined the following four evaluation issues:
- Relevance assessed whether the OTC addressed actual needs.
- Success focussed on whether the OTC was on track to meeting its public education outcomes (i.e., awareness, understanding and support for the Challenge) and had the potential to achieve what it was ultimately intended to do, namely, lead Canadians to actions that reduce their annual GHG emissions.
- Design and delivery investigated the extent to which the OTC was designed and delivered in the best possible way.
- Cost-effectiveness investigated whether the most appropriate and efficient means were used to achieve outcomes.
In accordance with best practices, the approach for the evaluation involved the use of multiple lines of enquiry including document review, key informant interviews, a review of results of relevant survey research and an analysis of OTC linkages with other programs.
The following represent the summary findings from this report by evaluation issue.
The evaluation found that public education and outreach programs like the OTC are relevant. Such programs respond to the need among Canadians for information on the issue of climate change to allow them to make informed decisions about their use of energy and resources in their daily activities. Programs like the OTC are also relevant given that the climate change phenomenon presents unique challenges in terms of establishing it as a priority for action at the individual level. The fact that Canadian citizens are responsible for about 30 percent of Canada’s GHG emissions makes them a key component of Canada’s fight against climate change.Public education and outreach means also have a role to play in stimulating consumer demand for new and more energy efficient products. In this sense, a program like the OTC directly contributes to the market transformation that is called upon to effectively achieve Canada’s short-term and longer-term climate change goals.
The OTC was found to be on track to achieve its public education outcomes. The level of awareness of the OTC increased significantly from 2004 to 2005. The OTC was generally understood by Canadian citizens as a program designed to reduce emissions and/or energy use, and Canadians supported the Challenge, including an expressed willingness to take personal action to reduce GHG emissions. It is not clear, however, whether the OTC was on track to achieve its emission reduction target. The evaluation found that the Program was faced with a number of measurement issues which challenged it in delivering clear and attributable GHG emission reductions. Moreover, the evaluation also found that a majority of Canadians believe that it will be difficult to personally meet such a Challenge.The perceived difficulty remains most evident among those Canadians that are emitting relatively more GHG emissions. Key barriers to actions include low interest/concern, the lack of information about how to reduce emissions and the perception that the Challenge is too inconvenient or time-consuming.
Design and Delivery
While the OTC was well designed and delivered to achieve its public education outcomes, the evaluation identified a number of missed opportunities with respect to partnering and integration. Specifically the evidence indicated a need to:
- redefine certain partnerships and/or better define their roles;
- complement OTC activities with additional tools (e.g., incentives, regulations) that could provide additional motivators for taking action to reduce GHG emissions; and
- consistently integrate messaging efforts with other key related programs/initiatives, including those at the provincial/territorial levels.
The evidence also indicated that complementing OTC-like activities with additional tools (e.g., economic instruments, regulations) would enhance the cost-effectiveness of such a Program, especially in light of its emission reduction goal. The unique challenges in moving Canadians from awareness to GHG emission-reducing actions, the lessons learned from analogous behavioural-changing initiatives in the area of tobacco control, and the ongoing recommendations by the OECD on the wider use of economic instruments, in association with other instruments (e.g., public education, regulations) were other reasons provided in support of the need to use additional tools to enhance cost-effectiveness.
Conclusions and Lessons Learned
Based on the findings above, this evaluation concluded that in order to achieve GHG emission reductions, national public education and outreach (PEO) programs like the OTC need to be complemented by additional tools (e.g., economic instruments, regulations) to assist Canadians in reducing the GHG emissions that they produce. In selecting such tools in the future, close scrutiny should be given, for example, to how they may increase the reach of the intended audience, stimulate the demand for new GHG-emission reducing products and create synergies across relevant initiatives, including those being used and developed at the provincial and territorial levels.
Furthermore,consistent and integrated messaging would also be necessary given the existence of other related initiatives, including those at the provincial/territorial levels. To this end, national public education messaging in the area of climate change should better account for other key motivators (e.g., energy conservation, financial, environment in general) that are driving many related undertakings.
Learnings of this evaluation will be taken into account in the development of any future and relevant programs.
Evaluations of two other climate change programs, namely the Pilot Emission Removals, Reductions and Learnings (PERRL) Initiative and the Opportunities Envelope (OE) were also conducted. The three climate change programs were selected for evaluation given the central role played by Environment Canada (EC) in regard to their shaping and implementation, their contribution to helping EC address its broader priorities by way of fostering multi-jurisdictional collaboration, enabling sound decision-making, and empowering citizens to make informed decisions, and the need to respond to program specific risks and issues.
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