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Evaluation at Global Affairs Canada - Lessons Learned and Future Directions

Gender Equality, Inclusive Governance and the Law: Aligned for a Better World

2018 Annual Conference, January 22-23, 2018 

125 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, ON

Tuesday January 23, 2017 - 10:45am - Session 1b


Session: Evaluation at Global Affairs Canada - Lessons Learned and Future Directions


Chair: Catherine Gander, International Program Evaluator

David Heath, Director of Development Evaluation, Global Affairs Canada

Stephen Kester, Director, Diplomacy, Trade and Corporate Evaluation Division, Evaluation and Results  Bureau, Strategic Policy Branch, Global Affairs Canada


It is still early days for the influences of the Feminist International Assistance Policy (and the Government’s new Policy on Results) to be felt in the way Global Affairs evaluations are carried out.  But there is impetus for change within the International Assistance and the Diplomacy, Trade and Corporate Evaluation divisions in the department. Some of this comes from the department’s own introspection. 

The supply community can expect changes in contracting, how departmental evaluations are managed, and in the kinds of evaluation deliverables that will be used to drive decision-making.  There is heightened interest in new evaluation approaches and in ways to understand the “impact” of departmental initiatives by using methods to determine cause-and-effect relationships of certain outcomes.  Evaluators can also expect increased oversight of decentralized evaluations as a result of the findings of a recent meta-evaluation.  David and Stephen will share the lessons learned from the past eighteen months, the shifts that are occurring within the evaluation divisions, and how they see these evolving.  They look forward to the opportunity for dialogue.


Catherine Gander has worked for more than 30 years in international development evaluation, program management and policy analysis. She has conducted many evaluations for Global Affairs, CIDA and international agencies including the UN and European Commission. Ms. Gander also worked for nine years as a journalist in Latin America. She has a Master’s degree in Development Studies from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queens University.




David Heath  is the Director of Development Evaluation at Global Affairs Canada (GAC).  Previously, he was worked as an evaluator and in policy at Industry Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and Public Works and Government Services.  At GAC, Mr. Heath oversees the division that evaluates the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of development programming.  He began his professional career as a management consultant. He has a Master's degree in International Affairs from Carleton University.

Stephen Kester ​is the Director of the Diplomacy, Trade and Corporate  Evaluation Division at Global Affairs Canada. He has been with the department since 2002. Prior to entering the Public Service, Stephen worked extensively in the field of international development using his knowledge of program evaluation, results-based management and performance measurement for program improvements. He worked in Sri Lanka for five years as the Program Advisor to the Sri Lanka Canada Development Fund for seven years with an Ottawa based Canadian NGO.