Policy/Program Evaluation and Development
A municipality engaged HarGroup consultants to conduct a review of services provided by its Diversity Services division. Diversity Services has gone through various changes that had affected its mandate and the types of services provided. A review of stakeholder needs was undertaken using focus groups and executive interviews to determine how the division might better address its mandate and identify what services and structures were required to attend to the needs of stakeholders.
The review acknowledged that clients of the division perceived a need to access diversity services so that they might better address the needs of diverse cultural segments of the population. Core needs of clients were identified in the review and were used as a foundation for identifying work priorities for the division, as well as establishing structures and systems for providing services.
A Seniors Services team within a municipality was developing a Seniors Age-Friendly Strategy to address challenges that are expected to occur from community’s rapidly aging population. To assist with the development of the Strategy, a survey was conducted with adult residents to understand their perspectives about issues and priorities that should be addressed to ensure the city is age-friendly for seniors.
The aging population will affect many aspects of life in the community such as the labour force, financial system, housing sector, health services, community-based supports, transportation, etc. Services and programs that currently serve seniors may have to evolve to accommodate the changing nature and needs of seniors in the future. It was expected that the next generation of seniors are likely to be more diverse than has been the case with previous generations. It is also expected that many seniors will live longer than previous older adults, be more culturally diverse, and have higher education and income and savings. As well, they may have higher expectations for products and services.
HarGroup was engaged by the Seniors Services team to develop and conduct the survey. Issues examined were guided by results of focus groups that had been conducted with seniors by the Seniors Services team. The survey was conducted with 500 randomly selected adult residents.
The findings of the survey suggested that many citizens were concerned about how the community will respond to the aging population that is expected to occur. Key priority areas were identified within the study for improvement to make the community a great place for seniors to live such as housing, transportation, and community support and health services. These areas, over others such as respect and social inclusion, communication and information, social participation, outdoor spaces and buildings, and civic participation and employment, surfaced as having issues that should be improved to ensure the community is age-friendly for seniors.
A transit service conducted a Service Review to determine advantages, challenges, and opportunities for its local service.
The intent of the Service Review was to determine advantages, opportunities, and challenges for the transit service related to route coverage, service frequency, schedules, bus stops, connections, fares, and communications. Community residents, visitors, and organizations were engaged in the Service Review and their perspectives were considered in relation to operational statistics about the transit service.
The local transit service serves both residents and visitors of the community. Residents use the transit service to travel within the community to get to and from work, appointments, recreation/ social activities, and errands, while visitors tend to use it to get to and from attractions, recreation/social activities, eating/dining outings, etc. Perspectives were gathered about the needs and expectations of both of these groups through surveys. As well, various organizations operating in the community were interviewed to gain perspectives of how the local transit service serves employees and customers.
Other data were gathered and examined in the Service Review such as ridership characteristics, transportation issues and plans, etc.
The Service Review. presented key observations, conclusions, and recommendations such as times to increase frequency of service, expanding and establishing new routes, and identifying locations for new stops.