This document contains excerpts from the 2009 Quadrennial Program Report for the Demography Statistics Program, covering the 2005/06 – 2008/09 reference period. Statistics Canada has established an integrated program evaluation and reporting system. In that system, statistical programs undergo a full program evaluation every four years. A major component of the evaluation is the extent to which existing statistical products and services continue to meet the evolving needs of clients.
In the coming years, the Division will focus more on the following strategic elements:
- improving the coherence and quality of the Agency's demographic estimates;
- producing population projections on a more regular basis to be in a better position to respond to requests for custom projections.
External consultation – Client Satisfaction Survey
The standard Statistics Canada questionnaire for assessing client satisfaction was used to conduct the Demography Division survey. This questionnaire is designed to obtain importance and satisfaction ratings of products for four of the six dimensions of the quality assurance framework, namely relevance, timeliness, accessibility and interpretability. This standardized content is also used to obtain feedback regarding client services.
The survey was administered in May 2009 to 33 provincial and territorial focal points (that is, senior and assistant focal points) and 143 external clients. The response rates were respectively 46% and 28%. With these rates including partial responses, there were generally very low counts for many of the items measured in the survey. This complicates the task of evaluating the results. Subject to these qualifications, the survey results yield the following general findings:
- On the whole, the clients interviewed are fairly satisfied with Demography Division products with scores around 4 out of 5 for the overall assessment of products.
- External clients, like provincial and territorial focal points, showed themselves to be fairly satisfied with the relevance, interpretability and accessibility of products (see Charts 2 and 3). However, some reservations are expressed with respect to the timeliness of products. Average scores for this aspect of quality were 3.5 for focal points and 3.8 for external clients, the lowest scores for all quality indicators.
- The importance assigned to products and the various aspects of quality measured for each product was generally quite high. While the scores obtained for importance are almost always higher than those obtained for satisfaction, the satisfaction/importance ratio is high, often nearly 100% and never below 80%. A low ratio would indicate a problem requiring some improvements.
- A number of written comments were provided relating to the different questions. Comments from provincial and territorial focal points mainly refer to the good relations maintained with Demography Division. Comments from other clients express dissatisfaction with the timeliness of products and their accessibility, especially as regards the performance of the search engine on the StatCan website.
- External clients, like the focal points, said they were generally satisfied with client services (e.g., speed of initial follow-up, speed of service, accessibility and overall quality of service delivery). However, they expressed a desire to be informed on an ongoing basis about upcoming releases and any sporadic delays that might occur in releases of regular products.
- Focal points were asked about the process of validation of the results of census coverage studies. A high level of satisfaction was obtained for this process. In particular, the satisfaction/importance ratio was found to reach or even exceed 100% for the management of meetings, the quality of presentations and the choice of topics on the agenda. By contrast, the dates on which documentation became available obtained a ratio of 71%, the lowest for any component of the process.
Apart from the Client Satisfaction Survey, the relevance of the program, products and services of the Division is evaluated regularly through consultations with its partners and users. This periodic consultation is conducted by way of different committees and working groups. Also, the increase over time in the number of downloads and hits on divisional products gives some indication of their relevance. Requests for cost recovery projects, such as projections of minority ethnocultural groups and projections of Aboriginal populations, also show the relevance of products and services.
Statistics Canada thanks participants for their participation in this consultation. Their insights guide the Agency's web development and ensure that the final products meet users' expectations.