Government of Canada

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Results-based Management Policy Statement 2008

Last update: August 8, 2008

Prepared by Performance Management Division, Strategic Policy and Performance Branch, Canadian International Development Agency
1. Objectives
2. Policy Statement
3. Context
4. Scope
5. Principles
6. Definitions 7. References

1. Objectives

  • to reiterate the importance of basic results-based management (RBM) principles for CIDA;
  • to adjust the context for the RBM Policy Statement in response to evolving national and international environments since 1996; and
  • to better align the RBM vocabulary used at CIDA with Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada and international standards.

2. Policy Statement

RBM is integral to the Agency's management philosophy and practice. CIDA focuses on results to ensure that it employs management practices that optimize value for money and the prudent use of its human and financial resources. CIDA will report on its results in order to inform Parliament and Canadians of its development achievements.

3. Context

CIDA has been managing for development results for more than thirty years. In recent years, this pursuit of development results has been deepened and accelerated by a number of important CIDA, Government of Canada, and international initiatives, most notably:
  • An important consensus on key development results emerged after some forty years of collective experience, leading to the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
  • The 2005 Paris Declaration is an international agreement to emphasize partner-country ownership as well as mutual accountability,
  • Linked to the Management Accountability Framework, the Treasury Board Secretariat issued its Management, Resources and Results Structure (MRRS) policy in April 2005 to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the use of Canadian government resources. In 2007 the MRRS introduced mandatory Performance Measurement Frameworks, which are applied at CIDA at the program level.
  • The Government of Canada introduced in 2006 the Federal Accountability Act, which provides specific measures to help strengthen accountability, and increase transparency and oversight in government operations.
  • Budgets 2007 and 2008 highlighted the importance of better delivering and demonstrating development results (including the aid effectiveness agenda).
  • CIDA launched the Transformation for Results Initiative on June 2007 in order to place the Agency among the world's most effective and accountable development agencies. The initiative aims to further strengthen the focus, efficiency, and accountability of Canada's international development assistance efforts.

4. Scope

This RBM policy is the underpinning of sound corporate, program, and project planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation, as well as the Agency's reporting to Parliament and to the Canadian public, and internationally on its development achievements.

5. Principles

CIDA will provide a work environment in which accountability includes delivering on results, and will ensure that RBM is featured in Performance Management Agreements of its executives. CIDA will foster accountability in its activities through all programming mechanisms, including those involving national and international partners. CIDA recognizes that it contributes to the efforts of others and thus shares accountability with its developing-country partners, and the rest of the global development community, for achieving development results and progress on the MDGs, and meeting other international commitments.

The RBM approach implemented by CIDA will be easy to understand by its staff and stakeholders.

Realistic implementation
CIDA will implement RBM on an iterative basis, refining approaches as it learns from experience, and adapting realistically to circumstances (including necessary capacity building in some developing-country partners). CIDA will support its staff in implementing RBM by providing appropriate guidelines and training, which will be updated regularly on the basis of lessons learned.

Broad Application
CIDA will identify expected results, performance indicators (quantitative and qualitative), baselines and targets for its programs and projects. It will develop cost-effective means to monitor and measure results, and learn from the best practices of the international community.

CIDA will identify, in collaboration with its partners, its respective roles and responsibilities. CIDA will share the responsibility for achieving results at the program and project levels with its partners in Canada and in developing countries. CIDA will work with its partners to ensure a common understanding of the principles and vocabulary of RBM.

CIDA's implementation of RBM will lead to better reporting on more clearly identified development results to Parliament, the Canadian public, country partners, and the international donor community.

6. Definitions

6.1 What is results-based management?

RBM is a life-cycle approach to management that integrates strategy, people, resources, processes, and measurements to improve decision making, transparency, and accountability. RBM is essential for CIDA's senior management to exercise sound stewardship in compliance with government-wide performance and accountability standards. The approach focuses on achieving outcomes, implementing performance measurement, learning, and adapting, as well as reporting performance. RBM means:
  • defining realistic expected results based on appropriate analyses;
  • clearly identifying program beneficiaries and designing programs to meet their needs;
  • monitoring progress toward results and resources consumed with the use of appropriate indicators;
  • identifying and managing risks while bearing in mind the expected results and necessary resources;
  • increasing knowledge by learning lessons and integrating them into decisions; and
  • reporting on the results achieved and resources involved.

6.2 Common results-based management vocabulary

Results chain (logic model): A depiction of the causal or logical relationships between the inputs, activities, outputs, and outcomes of a a given policy, program, or initiative.

Results Chain Components
Results Chain Components
  • Result: A describable or measurable change in state that is derived from a cause-and-effect relationship. Results are defined as outcomes, which are further qualified as immediate, intermediate, or ultimate.
  • Development results: Reflect the actual changes in the state of human development that are attributable, at least in part, to a CIDA activity.
  • Inputs: The financial, human, material, and information resources used to produce outputs through activities and accomplish outcomes.
  • Activities: Actions taken or work performed through which inputs are mobilized to produce outputs.
  • Outputs: Direct products or services stemming from the activities of an organization, policy, program, or initiative.
  • Immediate outcome (short term): This is a change that is directly attributable to the outputs of an organization, policy, program, or initiative. In terms of time frame and level, these are short-term outcomes, and are usually at the level of an increase in awareness/skills of… or access to… among beneficiaries.
  • Intermediate outcome (medium term): This is a change that is expected to logically occur once one or more immediate outcomes have been achieved. In terms of time frame and level, these are medium-term outcomes, which are usually achieved by the end of a project/program and usually when there is a change of behaviour or practice level among beneficiaries.
  • Ultimate outcome (long term): This is the highest-level change that can be reasonably attributed to a policy, program, or initiative in a causal manner, and is the consequence of one or more intermediate outcomes. An ultimate outcome usually represents the raison d'être of a policy, program, or initiative, and takes the form of a sustainable change of state among beneficiaries.


Canada. Canadian International Development Agency. Results-Based Management Policy. Gatineau, 1996.

Canadian International Development Agency. Terms and Conditions for International Development Assistance. Gatineau, 2007.

Canadian International Development Agency. Business Process RoadMap Overview - Version 3.0. Gatineau, 2007.

Federal Accountability Act. Ottawa, 2006.

Treasury Board Secretariat. Management, Resources and Results Structure Policy. Ottawa, April 2005.

Treasury Board Secretariat. Results for Canadians: A Management Framework for the Government of Canada. Ottawa, 2000.

Mayne, J. Best Practices in Results-Based Management: A Review of Experience - A Report for the United Nations Secretariat. New York, 2007.

Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness - Ownership, Harmonisation, Alignment, Results and Mutual Accountability. Paris, 2005.

UN Millennium Development Goals website

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