The Year in Review
This has been a year of growth for our evaluation work at PAN and the department continues to be very active on a number of evaluation programs, projects and fee-for-service contracts.
The CIHR Centre for REACH (REACH Nexus)
One of the biggest changes over the last year has been that PAN has taken on the national evaluation role for the CIHR Centre for REACH in HIV/AIDS (REACH 3.0/REACH Nexus) starting in April 2020. In this role, PAN oversees the REACH Nexus national evaluation, which includes holding the evaluation responsibility for a number of grants/studies under the REACH Nexus umbrella. This includes the overall REACH 3.0, CBR Collaborative, PHAC National Stigma Index, and REACHing for Impact Testing Team Grant. The spring and summer were spent supporting a number of evolving evaluation projects for REACH and doing evaluation planning and overview work for the Centre. We will be creating a a REACH Evaluation Steering Committee to help direct this work. If you are interested, please be in touch!
BC Testing Needs Assessment
REACH Nexus’ current focus is on testing, linkage to care, and stigma reduction. In addition to our national evaluation role, our department also holds responsibility for moving forward testing and linkage to care work for the BC region. We are currently waiting for Health Canada approval of a HIV self-test that will allow people across Canada to be able to purchase a test that they can use at home. REACH Nexus is developing an implementation science research study that will make free tests available to individuals across Canada, and our team has been doing work to support these planning pieces. We also conducted a BC Testing Needs Assessment over the summer to allow us to assess community-based organization (CBOs) members’ need and capacity for potentially supporting new testing technologies. Throughout July and August 2020, we talked to 17 of our members and allied stakeholders across the province to ask about how CBOs see their role in testing in this new context, how they can engage with the new technologies as they become available, any potential challenges or opportunities they foresee, and what resources and tools would support engagement in testing. We also provided our members with new testing technology background information in a blog post, background document/cover letter, and a webinar with our colleagues at the CBRC.
The information collected will help to inform PAN’s work plan supporting new and emerging testing technologies. As a partner with REACH Nexus, we will work with our members and allied stakeholders to build new and responsive approaches to expanded testing models. We will be releasing the summary of this Needs Assessment shortly.
Internal evaluation support
The PAN Evaluation Department is an ongoing resource for other PAN projects and programs. One big piece of work in this reporting period was supporting the evaluation of the Human Rights Education Project, a time-limited project housed at PAN as well as ongoing planning for our next Members’ and Stakeholders’ Survey (members keep your eyes open for a link to participate in the fall!).
The shift to online program delivery at PAN because of COVID-19 has required rethinking of the evaluation approach for many internal projects, including PAN’s Capacity Building Program, PLDI, and the Hepatitis C Leadership Program. The evaluation team has been working with the capacity building team to develop data collection tools that account for a new mode of program delivery (See Hep C in Focus event as a example).
Stigma Evaluation Working Group
Also, in support of other PAN-related work, namely the BC People Living with HIV Stigma Index, the Evaluation Department has been facilitating the Stigma Evaluation Working Group. This group has been supported by funding from the Community Action Initiative and was formed alongside the Stigma Intervention Deliberative Dialogue held in November 2019. The working group brings together people with lived and living experience, service providers, policy makers and other stakeholders with the purpose of creating a harmonized evaluation tool to measure stigma across different contexts and groups. The Working Group decided to focus its work on developing a Personal Experiences of Stigma Survey. The survey, which is in its pilot stage, is intended to capture the intersectional experiences of stigma and will be an open tool that coalitions, organizations or other groups can use to gather information about how stigma impacts its clients or members. As part of the work on building capacity around equity-based evaluation, PAN is working to highlight the best practices of intersectional research and evaluation.
Evaluation Support to the Provincial Health Services Authority’s Collective Impact Network
As shared elsewhere in the Year in Review, PAN was successful in receiving funding under the Provincial Health Services Authority’s (PHSA) most recent funding cycle for the Collective Impact Network (CIN). In support of this work our department has been working closely with PHSA Leadership to develop evaluation plans for all of the CIN members. We have also been supporting an evaluation of the CIN and facilitating conversation about the best way to measure outcomes across organizations who are part of the CIN.
Fee-for-Service Evaluation Work
PAN continues to grow its fee-for-service evaluation consultancy work. By taking on fee-for-service work that aligns with PAN’s mandate and mission we have been able to leverage our evaluation expertise and experience to grow evaluation capacity across BC and beyond. Between October 2019 and September 2020, PAN had the pleasure of providing evaluation supports and services to the following clients: 1) Interior Health, 2) ANKORS, 3) Vancouver Sex Work Community Alliance, 4) the National PLDI Community Alliance, and the 5) Families in TRANSition Project at Central Toronto Youth Services.
COVID-19 Support – Safe Supply Survey
As noted elsewhere in this report, PAN has been regularly bringing together leaders from our member and allied organizations to discuss how COVID-19 has been impacting organizations and clients. Coming from these meetings there was an identified need to collect information about how our members are experiencing implementation of safe drug supply. In response to the BC’s overdose crisis compounded by the COVID-19 epidemic, PAN is providing evaluation support to inform the members’ and stakeholders’ advocacy efforts around safe supply. We launched a longitudinal survey intended to collect information about the rollout of the Risk Mitigation in the Context of Dual Public Health Emergencies guidelines and their impact over time. We will be sharing the summary of this first round of data collection shortly and will be launching the second round of data collection in the fall.
Evaluation Capacity Building
PAN’s Evaluation Department continues to provide evaluation capacity building opportunities to its members and has given a number of presentations and written blog posts you can access on the Evaluation News on PAN’s webpage. As evaluators, we recognize our role in developing an equity-based approach to evaluation. COVID-19 has intensified the conversations about the inequities embedded into data collection practices. PAN evaluation team has contributed to the advocacy efforts around the collection of race disaggregated data.
We want to sincerely thank all of the people who have supported the Evaluation Department’s work over the last year including the people with lived and living experiences, organizations and other stakeholders who have engaged with the projects we are supporting and leading. We also want to thank our very engaged and passionate staff team supporting this work — Alfiya Battalova, Paul Kerber, and Leanne Zubowski. We are also grateful for funding and support from the CIHR Centre for REACH in HIV/AIDS, the CIHR CBR Collaborative Centre A Program of REACH), the Community Action Initiative, the Provincial Health Services Authority, and our fee-for-service contracts all of whom have made this work possible.
For more information on Evaluation at PAN, contact Janice Duddy, Director of Evaluation and Community-Based Research, [email protected]