Issues Affecting Women
SPR has conducted many projects focused on issues such as family violence, pay equity, child care, education & training and related issues, including:

  • Evaluation of the Victim/Witness Assistance Program (V/WAP).  Utilizing a multi-method approach, this balanced scorecard-type evaluation assessed the quality and effectiveness of the program which provides assistance in court to 300,000 Ontarians annually -- mainly women who are victims of family violence. The evaluation identified success factors such as effective staffing and assessed future priorities. The project involved a web survey of 200 V/WAP staff, Crown Attorneys and 500+ agencies (community services, police, etc.) and identified important issues in the program, including worker burnout (for the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, 2010-2011);

  • 2007-2009 Evaluation of the Shelter Enhancement Program.  This evaluation replicated a previous Evaluation of the Shelter Enhancement Program which SPR conducted in 2001-2002 (see below). The evaluation had two points of focus:  (1) understanding the physical condition of family violence shelters in relation to the needs of women and children using these shelters in areas such as safety and security, children’s play areas, and access for persons with disabilities; and (2) assessing the overall impact on the infrastructure of Canada's family violence shelter system which encompasses over 500 shelters (for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, 2007-2009);

  • Study to Assess and Identify Ways of Increasing Women's Participation in Trades, Technology and Operations Occupations.  This study included a literature review, regional and national focus groups with stakeholders, in-depth interviews with employers and unions, and a national survey with career educators and trainers, with the objective of identifying best practices aimed at increasing women’s participation in trades, technology and operations occupations (for the Women in Trades, Technology and Operations National Network and HRDC, 2002);

  • Evaluation of the Shelter Enhancement Program.  This evaluation involved surveys of shelters, clients of shelters, regional contacts and physical inspections of shelters to assess the impact of this renovation program in such areas as physical building condition, play areas for children, and security systems (for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, 2001-2002);

  • Review of Needs of Homeless Families and Children.   This review examined the range of shelter services available in Canada for homeless families, children and youth, with emphasis on service models. The review included a national survey of shelters and an international literature review (for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Health Canada, 1998-2000);

  • Evaluation of the Construction Technology for Women Program.   This evaluation examined this program which encourages the entry of young women into construction technology (a pilot project of the Human Resources Development Canada Youth Internship Program) (for the Women in Trades and Technology National Network (WITT NN) and Human Resources Development Canada, 1997-99);

  • Policy Paper on Child Development Initiatives.   This policy project examined alternative child interventions and tools for improving child development and their potential for Canada. An examination of existing studies and interventions examined included: pre-natal nutrition programs; educational programs; home visits; HeadStart and other early childhood education initiatives; child care for working parents and income supplements (for Human Resources Development Canada, 1999);

  • Women’s Health and Housing in Canada.  This study provided a broad policy overview of issues in health and housing for Canadian women. The study involved analysis of Statistics Canada data, consultations with the Provinces, Territories and advocacy groups, and included a Delphi study (for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, 1998);

  • Survey on the Canadian Breast Cancer Initiative.  This survey obtained cross-Canada input from stakeholders in research, clinical practice, and survivors (women who have experienced breast cancer) for the Canadian Breast Cancer Initiative (BCI) and its educational, research, and clinical practice related programs. The primary method was a national survey which examined the views of this program among over 500 stakeholders. The survey examined awareness of the BCI, participation in BCI processes, and satisfaction with the BCI process. The survey was input to Health Canada’s broader review of the BCI (for Health Canada, 1997);

  • Next Step Evaluation.  This study examined second-stage family violence shelters (providers of longer-term shelter) in assisting women who experience family violence, and then following a stay in emergency shelters, seek to secure new, safe, long-term housing. A national survey of women using second- stage shelters was conducted as part of the evaluation (for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, 1996);

  • Project Haven Evaluation.  This study examined basic issues in the use of shelters, and some specific factors such as incomes and access to income security services for women leaving violent marriages/relationships (for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, on behalf of the Federal Interdepartmental Initiative on Family Violence, 1992-94);

  • Patient Evaluation of Canadian Fertility Clinics.  This study of 1,400 patients of Canadian fertility clinics examined issues of information, service satisfaction, evaluation of informed consent, decision-making, and related issues, as part of a broader research program on fertility clinics (for the Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies, 1993-94);

  • Study of the Special Needs of Women Who Experience Family Violence.  This study involved community case studies of women's shelters in all regions of Canada, as well as interviews with provincial level and national level organizations to assess special needs of women who experience family violence, and at the same time face obstacles to use of such services such as mental health issues, alcoholism, disability, etc. (for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, 1993);

  • Downpayment Pay Equity Study.  This project collected data on job classes and wages for over 30,000 women employed in the non-profit sector who were eligible for pay equity adjustments. Information was collected from a sample of 2,000 day care centres, nursing and similar programs (for the Ontario Ministry of Labour, 1992-93);

  • Survey on Pay Equity in Predominantly Female Industries in Ontario.  This study involved a courier-mail survey of an initial sample of some 7,000 Ontario employers in sectors with predominantly female employees. Sectors surveyed included the leather goods industry, retail, business and personal services, child care, hotels and restaurants, and health (nursing homes and nursing services, pharmacies, clinics, laboratories). Male and female wage data were obtained for more than 30,000 job titles. A response rate of 65% was obtained (for the Pay Equity Commission of Ontario, Ontario Ministry of Labour, with Environics Research Group Ltd., 1988-89); and

  • Study of For-Profit and Not-for-Profit Day Care.  This study involved a review of legislation and experiences of for-profit and not-for-profit day care across Canada, including analysis of scenarios for possible impacts of future legislation. Main study data (evaluations of quality of care of over 1,000 day care centres) was drawn from surveys of provincial day care consultants in each of the Provinces and Territories (for the Parliamentary Committee on Child Care, 1986-87).