What do we do at the Results & Delivery Unit - and why?

December 4, 2017


  • RSS
  • Cite

I was very pleased that the Government recently launched Canada.ca/results. Last week, the Results and Delivery Unit (RDU) posted the data set we’re using to track mandate letter commitments at open.canada.ca, allowing anyone to poke around in the data and analyze it as they’d like.

In my first blog post, I’d like to share my broader reflections on the core work of the RDU and describe our role, goals and day-to-day work, beyond our more visible work tracking progress on mandate letter commitments and reporting on outcomes (more on those in my next post).

First, we work to prepare materials for the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Committee on Agenda, Results and Communications. These materials – usually in the form of dashboards, heat maps and short progress reports -- outline progress on key priorities and discuss where attention might be needed. For example, our reports highlighted progress on gender-based budgeting and analysis across the system, as well as improved recruitment of under-represented groups in Canada’s uniformed and security agencies, but also identified where more progress was needed. Having a short stock take meeting with the Prime Minister and key leaders, supported by data, was a very helpful way to accelerate progress. As a result, there is now greater clarity across the public service that the Prime Minister expects targets to be met and rigorous gender-based analysis and budgeting on all new proposals. In practice, this means that analyses of proposals will more thoroughly assess the differential impact on different groups, like women or racialized communities. We will be finalizing shortly our approach to publicly sharing these reports on results we do for the Prime Minister.

Second, we help departments as they prepare new policy and program submissions. Our focus is on three simple questions: what are you really hoping to achieve? How will you achieve it? How will you evaluate whether you’re achieving it and adjust if things aren’t going well? This usually means offering advice to departments on their submissions to Cabinet, but could also involve looking in more detail at their programs. Recently, we’ve worked with departments as they clarified their policy goals and their evaluation strategies on many issues, including reducing homelessness, increasing broadband coverage in remote and rural communities, targeting the opioid crisis, improving outcomes for job training programs and reducing the carbon footprint of the federal government.

Third, we work closely with departments day-to-day to help Ministers overcome obstacles to successful delivery of their initiatives within the system. That means that rather than letting problems fester, we surface problems, direct them to the right decision-making forum, and try to accelerate progress. In some cases, we undertake deeper dives on high priority issues that are not progressing as quickly as anticipated. This involves examining the overall delivery chain and all of the various partners and policies that may help or hinder successful delivery, which could include the federal government’s own rules on procurement and contracting, slow decision-making or capacity on the ground with partners. One such recent example is long-term boil water advisories on reserve. This has been a complicated issue that has been difficult to resolve. So, a joint team, composed of representatives from the departments, from PCO and from communities has been mapping out the delivery chain and identifying challenges.

These three functions were not previously performed in a systematic way across the federal government. Of course, each in their own way was sometimes undertaken in response to particular situations, but not systematically in an on-going way. All of them are designed to support a larger objective: shift the culture of the federal government to one more preoccupied with implementation issues and focused on outcomes. This means more investment in people who can deliver programs and projects, and more investment in data and evaluation to determine what results are being achieved. So “Results & Delivery” isn’t just the name of the unit – they are our mission every day. I guess we’re an autonym.

The RDU team knows that systems change is not easy. We know that most attempts in large organizations at significant culture change do not stick. We also know that systems change is even more difficult in government because we do our work in public, with a high degree of media scrutiny. But getting the public service to systematically and consistently focus on delivery and results, and measure the real impact that programs and policies are having on Canadians, is crucial work. Organizations in all sectors are facing rapid disruption and existential threats. Government must change too, despite all the internal and external incentives to avoid taking risks.

This blog will be a place where I describe what we’re doing and discuss the challenges the public service confronts as we move towards a more outcomes-focused organization. In my next post I will discuss our approach to public reporting and what comes next.

Matthew Mendelsohn is the Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet for Results and Delivery in the Privy Council Office, leading the federal government’s Results and Delivery Unit.


Add new comment

Rules of Engagement

We look forward to hearing from you. Your ideas and feedback are central to the development of both the Open Government portal and the Government of Canada’s approach to Open Government.

While comments are moderated, the portal will not censor any comments except in a few specific cases, listed below. Accounts acting contrary to these rules may be temporarily or permanently disabled.

Comments and Interaction

Our team will read comments and participate in discussions when appropriate. Your comments and contributions must be relevant and respectful.

Our team will not engage in partisan or political issues or respond to questions that violate these Terms and Conditions.

Our team reserves the right to remove comments and contributions, and to block users based on the following criteria:

The comments or contributions:

  • include personal, protected or classified information of the Government of Canada or infringes upon intellectual property or proprietary rights
  • are contrary to the principles of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Constitution Act, 1982
  • are racist, hateful, sexist, homophobic or defamatory, or contain or refer to any obscenity or pornography
  • are threatening, violent, intimidating or harassing
  • are contrary to any federal, provincial or territorial laws of Canada
  • constitute impersonation, advertising or spam
  • encourage or incite any criminal activity
  • are written in a language other than English or French
  • otherwise violate this notice

Our team cannot commit to replying to every message or comment, but we look forward to continuing the conversation whenever possible. Please note that responses will be provided in the same language that was used in the original comment.

Our team will reply to comments in the official language in which they are posted. If we determine the response is a question of general public interest, we will respond in both official languages.


Submitted by Laolgf on January 24, 2021 - 9:13 AM

financial well-being pertaining to satisfying your amazing right diamond necklace by going online

we all believe a learner found her or his perfect match within the net. The first part of attaining your special someone is to achieve the internet dating support that is perfect for you. Thee are many net websites obtainable, and so ensure that you do on the internet ahead of subscribing one. mainly online sites expense a monthly fee and give deals within the event you sign up to many months on end. Once you've selected your web page, the next step is in making an entertaining personal to convince you speak your trusty right diamond necklace.

you have to be honest. your online upvc profile would be wise to report real you. spending some time taking into consideration the things in everyday life that are important to you and your family relationships and things character you want in another person. the easier sincere you're with ourselves, the higher this it is likely that about satisfying perfect match. have a blast in case basic steps your international dating guide not to mention maintain it to remain main stream wonderful. It is useful to add a photograph towards the concern. folks will pretend that appears won't really make a difference, But the truth is, To the majority they will. it is helpful as a way to photography an expert at the time you address on the product. in addition to, yet again, be truthful along with your photograph. for years it is found too proves who you really are.

as soon as hire a company you would want to [url=https://www.slideshare.net/irene1103/is-chn-love-a-scam-heres-the-proof… scam[/url] meet, start with submitting him or her a subscriber reporting you experienced his or her's information and pair of you share of cats many well-liked appeal. this amazing mailing likely be their unique first thought people, So keep it encouraging together with lively so they will want to respond. their social key facts ture of uniform dating are different than old-school relationship, so if you're a woman, Don't forget to greatest first move around also post an email to someone that peaks an individual's appeal to. taking the time to convert your personal electronic mail that by bringing up something specific with his or personal television shows and movies reliable involvement in them. If you do not get a reply, way of life it face-to-face. your dog practically wasn't correct guy available for you. the one that has the actual possibility to become the perfect perfect match should certainly respond to.

chew the fat on his phone once or twice before you assemble and try to rrnside a common room. It is cognizant of have an associate be aware of where you stand going and precisely how long you consider you may and register having your friend for all those coming out from. webinar because of flavored coffee or a glass or two like first morning because you're not secured into a interval and you can now stay very little or providing you like. through the strategies presented and trusting your company stomach nuggets of information, Your international dating expertise can frequently you to make your perfect match.

Submitted by Public Servant 2 on January 23, 2019 - 3:53 PM

This is a great initiative. Are there RDUs established in all departments? If not, which departments have one? Also, do their heads or officials meet regularly to exchange experiences an consult on challenges and success cases?

Submitted by Public servant on January 11, 2018 - 5:14 PM

Thank you very much for your work, Mr. Mendelsohn. The RDU and TBS are spearheading tremendous culture change within the federal public service. It is much easier to criticize the work of those who are transparent about their efforts than those whose work is shrouded in secrecy. It takes a great deal of courage to champion an idea that is so beneficial for our country yet fiercely contested within the ranks of the bureaucracy.

Submitted by Chris Valiquet on January 31, 2018 - 4:34 PM

Thanks for your kind words! I work in the RDU and appreciate the encouragement. In my experience, there are very many smart, hard-working public servants across departments and agencies who embrace change and care deeply about making a positive difference through their work. It's not easy, but it's worth the effort. Thanks again!