Final Evaluation of the Community Access Program
The Community Access Program is a Government of Canada (GOC) initiative established in 1994 and administered by Industry Canada, which aims to provide Canadians with affordable public access to the internet and the skills they need to use it effectively. The program's core objective has been to provide affordable public internet access, skills training and access to related services. With the combined efforts of the federal, provincial and territorial governments, community groups, social agencies, libraries, schools, volunteer groups and the business community, CAP is intended to help Canadians take advantage of emerging opportunities in the new global knowledge-based economy. Under CAP, public locations like schools, libraries and community centres provide access to the Information Highway for all Canadians, as well as computer support and training.
As of March 31st, 2009, there were 3,785 sites across Canada with approximately 68 percent (68%) of sites in rural, remote and First Nation communities and 32 percent (32%) in urban areas. Most sites are organized into CAP networks, or groupings of CAP sites that share a common interest or purpose and work collaboratively in the pursuit of common objectives with other partners. There are currently 82 networks of provincial, territorial, or community non-profit partners that operate and deliver services at the local level through co-funding and/or the provision of in-kind services.
CAP is managed in two different ways: either through Memoranda of Agreement (MOA) with provincial/territorial governments (Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Yukon) or through Industry Canada Regional Offices and Headquarters.Footnote 1 The program is currently monitored and delivered nationally by the Regional Operations Sector of Industry Canada.
CAP also includes a Youth Initiative component (CAP-YI), funded through the Youth Employment Strategy (YES) led by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC)Footnote 2. Through CAP-YI, up to 1,500 youth work as interns at CAP sites across Canada, helping individuals, community organizations and small businesses improve their knowledge and effective use of the internet and related information technologies.
Beginning in 2006–2007, CAP funding was extended by one-year increments. The latest extension, to March 31, 2010, provides $15.4 million in funding, along with $10.1 million from the Youth Employment Strategy.
|Year||CAP Funding Allocation||CAP-YI Funding Allocation||Total|
Source: CAP Administrative Data.
|2004–2005||$25 million||$4.9 million||$29.9 million|
|2005–2006||$25 million||$4.9 million||$29.9 million|
|2006–2007||$12.5 million||$8.9 million||$21.4 million|
|2007–2008||$19 million||$10.1 million||$29.1 million|
|2008–2009||$18.9 million||$10.1 million||$29 million|
|2009–2010||$15.4 million||$10.1 million||$25.5 million|
|Total||$115.8 million||$49 million||$164.8 million|
The most recent audit of CAP was conducted in 2003 as a part of a follow-up audit of the Information Highway Applications Branch (IHAB). The audit noted that the branch had made progress on recommendations stemming from an audit conducted in 2000 and that the branch should continue its work to improve the management of its finances, contracts and contribution agreements. A final evaluation of CAP-YI was conducted by Industry Canada in 2003, and an evaluation of CAP was conducted in 2004. The 2004 evaluation recommended the following changes to CAP: refocus and refine the program's strategic priorities, improve the marketing of the program and its benefits/potential applications; provide multi-year funding, if possible; assess the feasibility of increasing funding to certain sites; establish service standards for sites; and keep a database of CAP sites up-to-date. The program's current logic model, updated in May 2009, is presented in Appendix A — CAP Logic Model, for additional reference.
- 1 The Saskatchewan MOA is with the Saskatchewan Library Services that acts as one of several network coordinators in that province. The agreement is not viewed as a government-to-government agreement. Although there is no official agreement with the government of PEI, as CAP is delivered by a provincial crown corporation (Technology PEI), the province is treated similarly to other MOA partners. (back to footnote reference 1)
- 2 The CAP-YI has been in existence since 1996. (back to footnote reference 2)
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