Archived – Evaluation of the Atlantic Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative (AICFI)

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Project Number 6B118
May 27, 2010

Table of Contents

Available upon request

Acronyms

AAROM
Aboriginal Aquatic Resource and Oceans Management
ABs
Aggregate Bodies
ACOA
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
ADM
Assistant Deputy Minister
AFS
Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy
AHRDS
Aboriginal Human Resource Development Strategy
AICFI 
Atlantic Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative
AIHP
Aboriginal Inland Habitat Program
APC
Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat
APG
Aboriginal Policy and Governance
ASEP
Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership
ASTSIF
Aboriginal Skills and Training Strategic Investment Fund
BDP
Business Development Plan
BDT
Business Development Team
CESO 
Canadian Executive Service Organization
CFDOS
Commercial Fisheries Development Opportunities Source
CFE    
Commercial Fishing Enterprise
CFLC
Commercial Fisheries Liaison Coordinator
DFO
Department of Fisheries and Oceans
DG
Director General
DM
Deputy Minister
FAM
Fisheries and Aquaculture Management
FAP
Fisheries Access Program
FKN
Fisheries Knowledge Network
FMS
Fisheries Management System
FTE
Full Time Employee
FY
Fiscal Year
HRSDC
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
INAC 
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
MAP
Management Action Plan
MIS
Management Information System
MMFN
Mi’kmaq and Maliseet First Nations
MRI    
Marshall Response Initiative
PICFI
Pacific Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative
PM
Performance Measurement  
RBAF 
Results-Based Audit Framework
RDG
Regional Director General
RMAF
Results-Based Management and Accountability Framework
SCC
Supreme Court of Canada
SLA
Service Level Agreement
SMAPC
Senior Management Aboriginal Policy Committee
TB
Treasury Board

 

1.0 Executive Summary

1.1 Program Background

The Atlantic Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative (AICFI or the Initiative) was launched in 2007 as an important Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO or the Department) Transfer Payment program to sustain the substantive public investment made to the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet First Nations (MMFNs)  commercial fishery through the Marshall  Response Initiative (MRI), and to work with MMFNs to continue to build their capacity to manage successful commercial fishing enterprises and participate in the co-management of the integrated commercial fisheries along with other commercial harvesters. The Initiative affects 34 MMFNs in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and the Gaspé Region of Quebec. The program is designed to run for five fiscal years from 2007/08 to 2011/12 and has a total budget of $55.1 million. 

1.2 Purpose of the Evaluation

DFO is conducting an evaluation of AICFI as part of the Treasury Board requirement expressed in the Policy on Transfer Payments (2008). This evaluation is primarily aimed at assessing the appropriateness of the program design to support the achievement of AICFI objectives, and reviewing the structure and management of AICFI (including the extent to which performance measurement has been implemented). Further, in line with the Policy on Evaluation (2009) which encourages a Value for Money approach to evaluation, in addition to the formative issues examined, the evaluation will also examine the relevance and performance of the program, including, to the extent possible, an examination of the outputs generated and short-term outcomes achieved, and the efficiency and economy of the program. The evaluation covers the period of 2007/08 to September 30, 2009.  The scope of the evaluation consisted of refining an evaluation plan, reviewing and synthesizing information from existing data (i.e. AICFI program files) and collecting and analysing new data.

1.3 METHODOLOGY

The evaluation was conducted in three major phases.  The purpose of Phase I was to develop a detailed work plan which was then implemented in the subsequent phases.  Phase II consisted of the field research, while Phase III focused on analyzing the information and data collected and preparing reports.

 The specific steps that were undertaken in Phase I of the project are as follows:

  • Obtained a detailed understanding of AICFI by reviewing program documentation as well as conducting preliminary interviews with representatives of AICFI involved in management and implementation; and 
  • Developed a detailed work plan which included a profile of AICFI, defined the evaluation issues, questions, indicators, data sources, methodology, and data analysis plan, and presented the data collection tools which were used in the evaluation.

The major components of the field research undertaken in Phase II included:

  • An extensive literature review to address specific evaluation questions regarding the need for AICFI programming; 
  • A literature review on similar programs implemented in Canada;
  • A literature review on alternative programs and models; 
  • A review of contribution agreements signed under the program;
  • Collection and review of AICFI performance data provided by AICFI management;  
  • Interviews with 69 key informants, including 9 DFO managers and directors, 10 AICFI program representatives, 16 others involved in AICFI delivery, 23 MMFN Commercial Fisheries Enterprise (CFE) representatives, 6 representatives of non-participating MMFN communities, and 6 external stakeholders.
  • 10 Case Studies of participating MMFN communities which included an in-depth analysis of AICFI outputs and outcomes in the MMFN communities; 26 interviews with various program stakeholders and community representatives, comprehensive review of the CFE documented procedures, governance structures, and management mechanisms.

In Phase III, a detailed data analysis was conducted to answer the evaluation questions and prepare the evaluation report.

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1.4 Key Findings & Conclusions

The key conclusions that arise from the evaluation of AICFI are as follows:

1. The objectives of AICFI are consistent with the departmental strategic outcomes and government-wide priorities.
The document and literature review, combined with the inputs provided by DFO representatives, shows clear linkages between the objectives of AICFI and one of the Department’s major strategic outcomes, “Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture”, and the Fisheries Management sub activity focused on ensuring “sustainable resource utilization through close collaboration with resource users and stakeholders,”Further, AICFI is aligned to the Fisheries Renewal priority aimed at “developing and enabling transparent governance system…ensuring sustainability of the resource,” and Speeches from the Throne in 2004, 2007, 2008, and 2010 which highlighted the federal government’s commitment to supporting economic development, better governance, and education and job skills training in Aboriginal communities.

2. There is a need for AICFI in the Atlantic region.
Review of the available literature combined with key informant interviews indicate that some fisheries stocks are rapidly declining and the prices for the still abundant stocks have fallen as a result of the economic recession and slow recovery in the work markets. In addition, the cost of operating a fisheries enterprise is increasing due to high fuel prices. Under these circumstances, programming which focuses on building business capacity of MMFNs to be able to run effective and efficient fisheries enterprises and participate in co-management of the resource is critical. The need for AICFI is also critical to ensure sustainability of the substantial public investments made to MMFNs under the Marshall Response Initiative.

3. AICFI complements rather than duplicates other federal and provincial government programs.
AICFI complements other programs (e.g. AAROM, Ulnooweg, CESO, ACOA, INAC, HRSDC etc.) in the region that share similar objectives by providing business development and co-management services specifically tailored to the needs of MMFN communities. While other programs provide generic business, economic, skills, and community development services, AICFI is the only initiative specifically designed to meet the fisheries, business, and co-management development needs of MMFN communities.

4. AICFI is viewed as successful in achieving its objectives and producing necessary outputs.
A majority of key informants view AICFI as successful in achieving its objectives1 . In addition, document and file review results indicate that AICFI has been successful in terms of creating expected outputs. Since AICFIs inception in the 2007/08 fiscal year, 26 MMFNs have joined the program, 24 of MMFN CFEs have prepared Business and Training Plans, 12 have documented their governance structures, and 15 started using new fisheries management software. More than 84 fisheries positions were funded by AICFI and 119 co-management meetings were organized. It was observed during the evaluation that produced outputs are of an appropriate quality. For example, Business and Training Plans reviewed under case studies, meet the AICFI requirements for quality and completeness. The documents described in detail all aspects of CFEs business and training development needs and presented appropriate strategies. In addition, more than 71% (n=15) of MMFN CFEs are satisfied or very satisfied with AICFI services that they received.

5. While progress has been made in increasing MMFN participation in the program activities, awareness of AICFI among non-participating MMFNs still tends to be low.
Despite significant promotional efforts conducted by AICFI management, a majority of non-participating MMFNs are not very familiar with the Initiative, with half of the Fisheries Coordinators (n=3) reporting that they are not familiar at all.  Generally communities indicated that they chose not to participate in AICFI programming in order to avoid involvement with Government of Canada programs. However, the accomplishments of AICFI in other participating communities are encouraging some of these communities to join.

6. AICFI has been successful in creating a range of impacts in MMFN communities.
In particular, AICFI has been successful2 in terms of:

  • increasing MMFNs access to fishery information management such as utilization of Fisheries Management Systems; 
  • improving community capacity through funding various skilled fisheries positions such as Fisheries Coordinator positions;
  • increasing MMFNs access to opportunities for business development and diversification such as vessel and infrastructure upgrades;
  • increasing the skills of MMFNs to fish safely and successfully;
  • improving relations with DFO and other stakeholders;
  • increasing management capacity of MMFN CFEs through, for example, Business and Training Plans; and
  • developing strong governance structures within the CFEs such as organizational policies and procedures.

The Initiative has also been somewhat successful in terms of:

  • increasing participation of the MMFNs in co-management of the resources with help from Commercial Fisheries Liaison Coordinators (CFLC);
  • enhancing the ability of the MMFNs to become full participants in commercial fisheries such as increasing their role decision making and building better fisheries capacity; and
  • increasing the ability of MMFNs to contribute to resource conservation such as compliance with rules and using bio-degradable fisheries traps.

AICFI has also been somewhat successful in terms of creating economic impacts such as increasing employment in MMFN communities, developing trained MMFNs specialists in the fisheries, and improving the economic viability of the fisheries.

7. The success of AICFI in generating its impacts can be attributed to several factors.
The success of AICFI in generating impacts has been facilitated by comprehensive planning and community consultations at the early stage of the program, which has led to the inclusion of several innovative delivery components in its design. For example, AICFI has involved First Nations organizations in direct service delivery at the community level; recruited CFLCs to represent MMFNs in co-management meetings; and created the Business Development Team (BDT) to support MMFN participation in AICFI activities. These innovations are not present in any other program serving the MMFNs in the Atlantic. In addition, AICFI has a simple and clear governance structure and delivery design, as well as a number of program guides (e.g. AICFI Application Guide for MMFNs), and procedures (e.g. A Reporting Procedures Handbook for Contribution Agreement Recipients, Component 4 Commercial Fisheries Development Opportunity Source (CFDOS) Application Procedures etc.), which have facilitated its success. The success has been constrained by funding limitations, limited BDT support, historic relationships between the Government and MMFNs, as well as limited involvement by the regional DFO offices in the delivery.

8. While there are opportunities for improvement, the overall design of the delivery structure is appropriate to achieve the intended results and contribute to effective and efficient program delivery.
Key informants (average rating of 4.7 among DFO managers and others involved, and 4.7 among DFO program representatives; 90% (n=19) of MMFNs and 80% (n=4) of stakeholders) are generally satisfied with the AICFI delivery structure, specifically highlighting transparency, clarity and simplicity around delivery; the step-by-step approach; the innovative approach to limit the DFO role and involving First Nations organizations; the easy and understandable program policies and procedures; and its scope addressing all aspects of the fisheries enterprise development. Areas of concern that were identified tended to focus on the timing and slow process of delivery, limitations in the support available from the BDT, and limited involvement of the regional DFO offices in the delivery.

9. No significant modifications and changes have been implemented in AICFI design and delivery and the program has been implemented largely as planned.
Several changes identified in the program delivery have been also viewed as positive.

10. The AICFI Performance Measurement (PM) Strategy is adequate to measure the program outcomes.
The Evaluation Team undertook a comparative analysis of the AICFI PM Strategy and the logic model to determine the extent to which it is results oriented, based on a logical results chain, and implemented in a systematic manner with regular data collection. It was determined that the PM Strategy contains sufficient qualitative (e.g. effectiveness of governance structures, staff experience levels, training participant evaluation results, CFEs evaluated as well management and governed)  and quantitative (e.g. signed contribution agreements, distributed funds, number of training days, number of co-management meetings, number of MMFNs using FMS etc.) indicators to adequately measure its expected outputs and impacts, and it includes the necessary data collection mechanisms.  In addition, DFO directors, managers and program representatives interviewed (n=17)  provided an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 when asked if the current AICFI PM Strategy was adequate to measure program outcomes AICFI has also been successful in terms of collecting necessary data based on performance indicators. 

11. AICFI is an efficient and economical initiative.
Key informants view AICFI programming as cost-effective (on a scale of 1 to 5, DFO managers rated 4.5, others involved rated 4.4, and DFO program representatives rated 4.3). The review of AICFI files and documents concluded that, the program’s overhead cost is 10% of total expenditures; the program has been managed by 4 Full Time Equivalents (FTEs), and has leveraged an additional $0.12 in-kind and financial contribution from the communities for every AICFI dollar spent.

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1.5 Recommendations

The key recommendations arising from the above findings and conclusions are as follows:

Key Recommendations

 

Recommendations

Comments

Supporting Findings

 

Recommendation 1:
AICFI should be continued given that it is a response to a real need and its objectives are consistent with the federal government priorities.

 

The results of the evaluation indicate that AICFI programming complements, rather than duplicates, other similar programs and has been successful in reaching its objectives. In addition, the need for the types of services provided under AICFI is very high.

 

  • 5.1.1 Consistency with Government Objectives, Priorities, Roles & Responsibilities
  • 5.1.2 Need for the Program
  • 5.1.3 Relationship to Other Programming
  • 5.2.1 Achievement of AICFI Objectives

 

Recommendation 2:
AICFI should intensify its efforts to engage DFO regional offices in the program delivery.

 

More regional engagement would increase program ownership among the regional staff, increase their contribution to AICFI success, build DFO capacity in the regions, and facilitate better relations between regional offices and MMFN communities.

 

  • 5.2.4 Contributing & Constraining Factors

 

Recommendation 3:
AICFI should continue its efforts to promote the program objectives, especially among MMFN community members and Chiefs.

 

 

It is recommended that AICFI continue and intensify its awareness raising activities among MMFN community members and leadership. Success stories related to participating MMFNs should be widely developed, published and distributed. Personal contacts, community visits, presentations, and face-to-face meetings should be conducted to facilitate more community support for CFEs and AICFI programming.

 

  • 5.2.2 AICFI Participation & Outputs
  • 5.2.4 Contributing & Constraining Factors

 

Recommendation 4:
AICFI should continue to engage First Nations in program delivery and on-going consultations with the MMFNs.

 

AICFI’s innovative approach to engage First Nations organizations in the delivery of the program has been a key component of the program success. It is recommended that AICFI continue on-going consultations with the MMFN communities to ensure First Nations aspirations and needs are being incorporated into the program delivery.

 

  • 5.2.2 AICFI Participation & Outputs
  • 5.2.3 Achievement of Intended Outcomes
  • 5.3.2 The AICFI Governance Structure is Well Designed to Contribute to Effective and Efficient Program Delivery

 

Recommendation 5:
AICFI should facilitate internal communication and engagement

 

Concerns were raised that some AICFI delivery participants are not adequately informed about the activities implemented under other components and not all AICFI components are fully integrated. It is recommended that AICFI develop/enhance internal procedures to better communicate program activities and/or changes among various program components and key people involved in delivery.

 

  • 5.3.2 The AICFI Governance Structure is Well Designed to Contribute to Effective and Efficient Program Delivery

 

Recommendation 6:
AICFI should increase the amount of Business Development Team (BDT) support and allocate more resources in the BDT.

 

The evaluation results demonstrate that the limitations in the support available from the BDT is a barrier to the success of AICFI. It is recommended that AICFI involve greater resources to expand the services delivered by the BDT. AICFI should also consider expanding the size of the BDT to ensure sufficient support is available for the communities.

 

  • 5.2.4 Contributing & Constraining Factors
  • 5.3.1 There is Consensus Among Participants that AICFI is well-Designed to Achieve its Goals and Objectives.

2.0 Introduction & Context

2.1 Program Background

In the fall of 1999, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in the Marshall case, affirming a treaty right to hunt, fish and gather in pursuit of a moderate livelihood. The decision affected 34 Mi’kmaq and Maliseet First Nations (MMFNs) in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and the Gaspé Region of Quebec. In 2000, the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) started providing MMFNs with access to the commercial fishery and other benefits under the Marshall Response Initiative (MRI).  From 2000 to 2007, within the MRI framework, DFO invested almost $600 million in the MRI and reached agreements with 32 of the 34 eligible MMFNs. This initiative, which ended March 31, 2007, provided variety of support for increased commercial fisheries access (including vessels, gear, and commercial fisheries infrastructure) and internal governance development, with the objective of becoming a significant driver for economic development in these communities.

The Atlantic Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative (AICFI) was launched in 2007 as an important DFO program to sustain the substantive public investment made to the MMFN commercial fishery through the MRI and to work with MMFNs to continue to build their capacity to manage successful commercial fishing enterprises and participate in the co-management of the integrated commercial fisheries along with other commercial harvesters.

The objectives of AICFI are to:

  • Maintain and secure the significant investment made in existing fisheries assets attained through the MRI;
  • Further develop the governance, management, administrative and operations capacity of MMFN Commercial Fishing Enterprises (CFE) to enable MMFNs to operate successfully and effectively participate in the integrated commercial fishery;
  • Enhance the ability of MMFNs to participate in the co-management of the integrated commercial fishery;
  • Assist MMFNs primarily through Aggregate Bodies (ABs), to assume greater responsibility for their ongoing training/mentoring and other capacity building activities covered in the program; and
  • Help diversify existing fishing enterprises through the establishment of a “Commercial Fisheries Development Opportunities Source.” (CFDOS)

The program is designed to run for five fiscal years (FY) from 2007/08 to 2011/12 and has a total budget of $55.1 million.  AICFI is considered a Transfer Payment Program.

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2.2 Purpose Of The Evaluation

DFO is conducting an evaluation of AICFI as part of the Treasury Board (TB) requirement expressed in the Policy of Transfer Payments (2008). This evaluation is aimed at assessing the appropriateness of the program design to support the achievement of AICFI objectives, and reviewing the structure and management of AICFI (including the extent to which performance measurement has been implemented). Further, in line with the new Policy on Evaluation (2009) which encourages a Value for Money approach to evaluation, in addition to the formative issues examined, the evaluation will also examine the relevance and performance of the program, including, to the extent possible, an examination of the outputs generated and short-term outcomes achieved, and the efficiency and economy of the program. The key evaluation issues are as follows:

Key Evaluation Issues

Relevance

Issue #1:  Continued Need for Program

Assessment of the extent to which the program continues to address a demonstrable need and is responsive to the needs of Canadians.

Issue #2:  Alignment with Government Priorities

Assessment of the linkages between program objectives and (i) federal government priorities and (ii) departmental strategic outcomes.

Issue #3:  Alignment with Federal Roles and Responsibilities

Assessment of the role and responsibilities for the federal government in delivering the program.

Performance

Issue #4:  Achievement of Expected Outcomes

Assessment of progress toward expected outcomes (including immediate, intermediate and ultimate outcomes) with reference to performance targets and program reach, program design, including the linkage and contribution of outputs to outcomes.

Issue #5:  Demonstration of Efficiency and Economy

Assessment of resource utilization in relation to the production of outputs and progress toward expected outcomes.

AICFI has been in operation since 2007/08, and the evaluation is expected to cover the period of 2007/08 to September 30, 2009.  The scope of the evaluation consists of refining an evaluation plan, reviewing and synthesizing information from existing data (i.e. AICFI program files) and collecting new data.

2.3 Structure Of The Report

The next section (Section 3.0) outlines the evaluation questions and methodology. Section 4.0 provides an overview and description of AICFI.  Section 5.0 describes the major findings of the evaluation. Section 6.0 summarizes the main conclusions and Section 7.0 presents the recommendations flowing from the evaluation findings. Finally, Section 8.0 presents the Management Action Plan (MAP). As well a number of appendices are included for additional information.

3.0 Evaluation Methodology

3.1 Evaluation Objectives & Issues

The evaluation of AICFI addresses issues of relevance and performance with a special focus on the achievement of immediate outcomes. The evaluation questions are as follows.      

AICFI Evaluation Issues & Questions

Evaluation Issues

Evaluation Questions

Relevance

  1. Are the objectives of AICFI still relevant to departmental and government objectives and priorities?
  2. Do the activities of AICFI program complement, overlap or duplicate with other programs of DFO or other Federal Government Departments?
  3. To what extent does AICFI continue to be consistent with Federal Government roles and responsibilities?
  4. Is there a continued need for AICFI?

 

 

Effectiveness

  1. Are there any unintended outcomes, positive or negative, that can be attributed to AICFI?  If so, were any actions taken as a result of these?
  2. Are there any external factors and/or general challenges/barriers that influence the success of AICFI?
  3. To what extent have the intended outputs been produced in each program area?
  4. What progress has been made towards achieving AICFI’s short term outcomes?
  5. To what extent has AICFI contributed to the ability of MMFNs to be successful participants in the commercial fishery?
  6. To what extent has AICFI improved the MMFNs ability to contribute to the management and conservation of the resource?

Design & Delivery

  1. To what extent is the AICFI Governance Structure well designed and implemented to ensure effective and efficient program delivery?
  2. What are the primary challenges/benefits with the current program design, and would an alternative program design or delivery mechanism be more appropriate to achieve the expected results?
  3. Is there a performance measurement strategy and a reporting process/system in place? Is it consistent with the AICFI RMAP/RBAF?  Is it consistent with the new Integrated Aboriginal Contribution Management Framework?
  4. Will the performance information provide the necessary data required for the summative evaluation?
  5. Are there best practices and lessons learned from AICFI?
  6. To what extent have activities occurred as planned?
  7. To what extent were activities modified, and what was the effect on program design?

Economy/Efficiency

  1. Did AICFI resource utilization and activities optimally produce expected levels of outputs?  How could the efficiency of AICFI activities be improved?
  2. To what extent is AICFI economical?

3.2 Data Collection

The evaluation was undertaken in two phases. The first phase consisted of initial interviews as well as a file and document review leading to the development of an Evaluation Design Report (please refer to Appendix I for the Evaluation Design and Interview Guides) which outlined the strategies and methodologies which were implemented in the second phase of the project. The field research undertaken in the second phase of the project included:
 
Document Review: A detailed review of AICFI documents and files as well as literature relevant to the activities of the Program, which included:

  • A review of AICFI program documents, including: Results-based Management and Accountability Framework (RMAF), Terms of Reference, Governance Charter, program approval documents, Application Guides, Performance Measurement Strategy (PM Strategy), AICFI Organizational Structure, Management Control Framework, Integrated Aboriginal Policy Framework, and the Integrated Aboriginal Contribution Framework Logic Model.
  • Analysis of files and documents associated with the delivery of AICFI activities: In particular, we reviewed 82 Contribution Agreements signed by ABs (n=11) and MMFN communities (n=71). A database of the contribution agreements was created and subsequently analyzed for their nature, purpose, and funding amounts provided; Outputs were analyzed related to the Business Development Team (BDT), the Fisheries Knowledge Network (FKN), fisheries training, and Commercial Fisheries Liaison Coordinators (CFLCs). In particular, we reviewed related terms of references, progress reports, governance structures, and training materials.
  • A review of the literature associated with First Nations fisheries in Canada and abroad: Literature on programs implemented by the other departments that share similar objectives with AICFI was reviewed. In Canada, literature associated with the Marshall decision and the MRI, Aboriginal Aquatic Resource and Oceans Management Program (AAROM), INAC, and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) was reviewed.  Similar programs and strategies implemented by the governments of other countries were also analyzed. In particular, a review of Aboriginal fisheries policies in Australia, New Zealand and United States was undertaken.
  • A review of the literature on fisheries in the Atlantic region and MMFN involvement in the fisheries: a review of literature related to fisheries stocks, various fish species; licensing, access and participation of various groups in fisheries; and external factors affecting fisheries such as economic downturn, demand and prices for the fisheries products, trade barriers etc. We also conducted a comparative review of the MMFN participation in fisheries over the last several years, based on indicators of income, access, and employment. 

Interviews with Key Informants: As indicated in the following table, interviews were conducted with 69 key informants including 9 DFO directors and managers, 10 DFO representatives of the AICFI program, 15 others involved in the program delivery, 23 MMFN representatives involved in the commercial fisheries, 6 representatives of MMFN communities which decided not to participate in the program, and 6 program stakeholders. These key informants included:

Key Informants by Category

Key Informants

Sample size

# interviewed

Response rate

DFO directors and managers

12

9

75%

DFO program representatives

14

10

71%

Others involved in the program delivery

17

15

88%

MMFN CFE representatives

26

23

88%

Non participating MMFN representatives

8

6

75%

Other stakeholders

11

6

55%

Total

88

69

78%

As demonstrated in the above table, the key informant interview sample included representatives from a broad range of AICFI participants and stakeholders. The evaluation benefited from a relatively high response rate among all stakeholder groups. Please see Appendix I for the interview guides.

Case Studies: Ten case studies were undertaken to provide comprehensive information and insights on the outcomes of AICFI projects. The case study sample was selected based on initial interviews and was stratified to include AICFI-funded projects across various regions. Twenty-six additional in-depth interviews were conducted with the case study participants as well as a more in-depth review of the project materials and outputs. The case study interview participants included:

Case Study Interviews

case study participants

Number of interviewees

MMFN CFE representatives

10

MMFN Chiefs and leadership

2

Business Development Team representatives

9

Commercial Fisheries Liaison Coordinators

3

DFO staff members

2

Total

26

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3.3 Data Analysis & Reporting

The data from each of the evaluation methodologies was summarized to address each of the relevant evaluation issues/questions. Our data analysis strategy includes the triangulation of multiple lines of evidence. In summary, this involved the extraction of the results from each line of inquiry that relate to each evaluation issue and question and cross validation of the findings. As part of the process, the evaluators took into account the strengths and limitations of each line of inquiry.

3.4 Data Reliability & Limitations

The main strategy to achieve high reliability of the findings has been the inclusion of multiple lines of evidence in the methodology. Interviews were conducted with a large sample of respondents who represent a broad range of AICFI participants and stakeholders. In addition, an extensive literature and document review was conducted. Each key finding reported and/or conclusion presented in this report has been triangulated and confirmed from two or more lines of evidence to ensure reliability. Second, larger sample sizes were targeted for all interviews to increase reliability and validity of findings. The key informant interview sample included almost all AICFI management and program delivery staff and others involved in the delivery of the program, as well as a cross-section of program beneficiaries.

Despite these steps, it is important to acknowledge certain limitations. The main limitation is the related potential for respondent biases. Many of the respondents are employed and/or are direct beneficiaries of AICFI, which can lead to possible biases in their responses. Several measures in order to reduce the effect of respondent biases: (i) clear communication on the purpose of this evaluation, its design and methodology, and strict confidentiality of responses; (ii) the interviews were conducted by telephone by skilled interviewers; and (iii) answers were cross-checked from each sample of respondents with the other groups for consistency and validation.

3.5 Project Challenges

During the process of conducting this evaluation, a number of challenges were encountered; however several techniques were employed to overcome each challenge. The main challenges included:

  • Low response rate among non-participating First Nations communities

Although we did not receive high refusal rates, we experienced a challenge in accessing and interviewing the representatives of MMFNs. This was especially the case with the representatives of the MMFNs that do not participate in AICFI. In order to maximize the response rate, we emailed the questionnaires in advance, phoned several times and explained the purpose of the evaluation clearly. As a result, we were able to receive high response rates among CFEs (81% among participating and 75% among non-participating). However, our efforts to interview MMFN Chiefs for the 10 case studies were less successful as evidenced by 20% response rate. 

  • Timing

Due to the end of the fiscal year, many DFO staff members, as well as AICFI program employees, were very busy and it was relatively hard to find appropriate times for the interviews. We adjusted our schedule to conduct early morning and late afternoon interviews and provided flexible interview options for the DFO representatives. As a result, we managed to interview the majority of the participants in our target list. 

  • Review of the similar programs abroad

We were not able to find programs or initiatives implemented by the governments of other countries that were very similar to AICFI. To overcome this challenge a comparative analysis of AICFI design with the similar programs in Canada was conducted. In addition, a review of literature on indigenous peoples’ access to commercial fisheries in Australia and New Zealand was undertaken.

4.0 Overview of AICFI

This chapter provides an overview of AICFI in terms of its history, objective, structure, design and delivery, budget, management, and logic model.

4.1 Program Background

In the fall of 1999, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in the Marshall case, affirming a treaty right to hunt, fish and gather in pursuit of a moderate livelihood. The decision affected the 34 MMFNs in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and the Gaspé Region of Quebec. DFO and INAC were to provide interim benefits to MMFNs until longer-term agreements were concluded. In 2000, INAC and DFO began to provide MMFNs with access to the commercial fishery and other socio-economic benefits.  Under the MRI, DFO sought to enter into agreements with the MMFNs that provided for participation by the eligible First Nations in the commercial fishery while maintaining an orderly and integrated commercial fishery.  In addition, DFO began to work with the MMFNs to expand their capacity to operate and manage their commercial fishing and to better participate with other harvesters in managing the integrated commercial fishery in the Maritimes and Quebec.

Long-term arrangements under an INAC-led process are several years away.  In the interim, the need was identified for operating and program resources to be applied to assist the MMFNs to become more effectively involved in co-management of the fishery and to operate and maintain successful commercial fishing enterprises.  The Aboriginal Policy and Governance (APG) Directorate of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Management (FAM) Sector, in consultation with the MMFNs, associated ABs which represent affected First Nations, implicated DFO Regions, Area Offices, and Sectors identified the need for four distinct areas of further development to effectively utilize MMFN commercial fisheries access.  Since December 2006, a series of presentations and consultations on the AICFI Program design have occurred with both the DFO Senior Management Aboriginal Policy Committee (SMAPC) and the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat (APC) among others, and these remain ongoing.

The AICFI was created as an important DFO Transfer Payment Program to sustain the substantive public investment made to the MMFN commercial fishery through the MRI, and to work with the MMFNs to continue to build their capacity to manage successful commercial fishing enterprises and participate in the co-management of the integrated commercial fisheries along with other commercial harvesters. AICFI is carried out under the established Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy (AFS) and AAROM programs, utilizing their respective Terms and Conditions with only minor amendments.

4.2 Program Objectives & Goals

The overall long term goal of AICFI is to continue to create positive conditions for concluding longer-term treaty arrangements with the MMFNs.  To attain this goal, AICFI assists the MMFNs to achieve the following objectives:

  • Maintain and secure the significant investment made in existing fisheries assets attained through the MRI;
  • Further develop the governance, management, administrative and operations capacity of MMFN CFEs to enable MMFNs to operate successfully and effectively participate in the co-management of the integrated commercial fishery;
  • Enhance the ability of MMFNs to participate in the co-management of the integrated commercial fishery;
  • Assist MMFNs, primarily through ABs, to assume greater responsibility for their ongoing training/mentoring and other capacity building activities covered in the Program; and
  • Help diversify existing fishing enterprises through establishment of the CFDOS

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4.3 Program Delivery

This section describes design and delivery of activities undertaken within the AICFI framework.

4.3.1 Delivery Approach

All of the 34 affected MMFNs in the Maritimes and the Gaspé Region of  Quebec are eligible for support under AICFI. Participation of MMFNs in AICFI is entirely voluntary. AICFI emphasizes and supports the enhancement of MMFN CFE governance structures, business and operational practices, thereby recognizing their importance as the foundation of successful fishing enterprises.  It also recognizes the importance of MMFN participation in the co-management of the integrated commercial fishery.

Under AICFI, a key element in achieving success in the integrated commercial fishery is the development of a “CFE Business Development Plan”.  These plans serve to capture the strategic direction/plan for each participating MMFN CFE.  The plans outline what initiatives are planned, how they will be undertaken, and estimated resource requirements and timeframes. The plans are the basis for each MMFN CFE to highlight those areas of AICFI support that will optimally benefit the CFE in its journey to become a successful commercial fishing organization. Detailed requirements to enhance governance structures, management, administrative and operational practices make up a significant part of each MMFNs’ CFE Business Development Plan. DFO reviews these plans to assist the Department in identifying current and future AICFI funding demands.  MMFN CFEs that have already developed planning instruments similar to AICFI CFE Business Development Plans may perhaps only need to fine tune their existing plan to meet the content requirements of a CFE Business Development Plan under AICFI.

As stated, the major emphasis of AICFI is to support the enhancement of MMFN CFE governance, management, administrative and operational structures and practices. However, the program recognizes the need to establish, in a limited way, a capability to support MMFNs to enhance their commercial fishing capacity through the provision of vessel upgrades/modifications, fishing gear upgrades, minor support facilities, and other costs which might need to be met to fine-tune commercial operations.  The latter could include quota/licence adjustments to support commercial viability.

AICFI takes advantage of existing MMFN AAROM ABs to facilitate the sharing of information and best practices pertaining to commercial fishing operations especially related to participation in the co-management of the integrated commercial fishery.  There are currently six MMFN ABs that link 26 of the MMFN Bands in various common activities in support of fisheries conservation and watershed management. 

Currently the AB structure is also used to provide direct support and services to MMFN CFEs.  The FKN is an AAROM AB established under the APC, representing all 34 MMFNs.  The FKN provides and coordinates training and mentoring to MMFNs in the areas of fish harvesting, management and business/operational practices. AICFI continues support to MMFN organizations like the FKN to encourage more MMFN responsibility for meeting their own training and mentoring requirements. The program as a whole is intended to move towards strengthening First Nations program management while DFO focuses on staying informed but less involved in the management process.

4.3.2 Delivery Components 

The AICFI program is structured in four distinct yet integrated components designed to follow the stages of development, starting from the production of a commercial fisheries business development strategy/plan followed by plan implementation, together with aggregate work on co-management, fisheries business management and training.  Diversification/development activities such as the upgrading of harvesting equipment, vessels and other needs, are based on progress and the results of planning and implementation work undertaken in the Program. The four AICFI components are as follows:

AICFI Delivery Components

Component

Description

Component 1: 
Enterprise Government Enhancement

This component is designed to enhance the governance structures associated with MMFN commercial fishing enterprises such as written policies and measures for the administration of communal access and community assets. Projects involve the development and subsequent implementation of an AICFI CFE Business Development Plan (detailing all activities relative to commercial fisheries), staffing, and access to professional expertise. Expectations with regard to enhancement of governance structures,  as well as delivery methods for professional expertise is determined through a collaboration process with stakeholders and DFO personnel during the initial phase of program development.

Component 2:
Management Practice Enhancement

The objective of this AICFI component is to enhance the management, administration and operational processes and systems that are critical to the successful operation of MMFN commercial fishing enterprises. This component is designed to further enhance the administrative, management and operational processes and systems, developed under Component I, through the hiring and training of appropriate people and the establishment of proper processes by First Nations. A Commercial Fisheries Business Development Team, through aggregate bodies, is available to provide assistance, if required, with the implementation and development of an AICFI CFE Business Development Plan. This component also provides for participation in the new fisheries management system and training from the APC’s Fisheries Knowledge Network. The system was designed to aid in data and information management through a data collection plan/administrative support and subsequent business mentoring based on collected data. MMFNs, previously unable to participate under the At-Sea Mentoring Initiative, have access to limited fish harvesting at-sea mentoring/training, provided a fisheries training plan is in place. In addition, this component includes enhancing the capacity of MMFN AB organizations, such as the Fisheries Knowledge Network (KN) to assume greater responsibility in providing ongoing training/mentoring to the 34 MMFNs.

Component 3: Co-management Capacity Building

The objective of this component is to build the capacity of MMFNs to successfully participate in the co-management of the integrated commercial fishery. This includes providing some support to MMFN Band-level commercial fishing enterprises to undertake selected co-management projects. The focus, however, is to support existing MMFN watershed-based aggregate bodies to become more involved in integrated commercial fisheries co-management activities.

Component 4: Commercial Fisheries Diversification 

The objective of this component is to diversify selected existing MMFN CFEs through access to a new Commercial Fisheries Development Opportunities Source.  For example, this could include funds for:  fishing vessel upgrades or new equipment, major overhauls of vessels engines, improvements to on-shore fish handling facilities and small adjustments in access through the addition of partial/seasonal or even temporary allocations. Requests for funding under this component must be accompanied by a business case and an active AICFI CFE Business Development Plan. DFO arranges for an independent review of submissions prior to entering into discussions and possible contribution agreements.

Implementation of AICFI activities is conducted through contribution agreements. Each contribution agreement includes a full project description with details of activities, timelines, milestones, costs, reporting requirements and payment schedules in line with the appropriate terms and conditions. Program delivery activities can only begin when contribution agreements are signed. DFO accepts applications throughout the lifespan of the program and provides notification of any deadlines for application and/or program wind-up. Depending on each First Nation and their needs, program delivery commences following the consultation process and the completion of program component applications.

4.3.3 Delivery Authority

Implementation of the program for individual MMFN communities is carried out using the established terms and conditions for the AFS (Negotiation and Implementation of Fisheries Agreements and Allocation Transfer Program). Amendments were made to adjust these terms and conditions to satisfy AICFI program requirements. 

Implementation of AICFI pertaining to ABs is carried out using terms and conditions for the AAROM program, in view of the existence of active MMFN aggregate bodies under that program.

The majority of amendments to the Terms and Conditions of the above existing programs are designed to accomplish the following:  restrict application to only MMFNs and associated aggregate bodies; establish a separate AICFI RMAF and RBAF (Results-based Audit Framework) which sets out the accountability and performance measurement reporting requirements, evaluation and audit requirements for AICFI as well as identifies key risk areas and strategies to manage them.

4.4 Program Governance

AICFI is managed through a combination of national, regional, and area organizations with clear definitions and assignments of implementation accountabilities, and a committee and implementation working group structure designed to ensure effective and timely stakeholder consultation and/or participation both within and external to DFO.

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4.4.1 AICFI Organizational Structure

The chart below describes the organizational structure of AICFI. 

The chart  below describes the organizational structure of AICFI.

National Headquarters:
As described in the figure, the Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM), FAM is responsible and accountable to provide AICFI policy and program direction through the Director General (DG) of APG. The DG, APG is responsible for developing AICFI policy and program design and providing ongoing advice to the SMAPC and the Regional Directors General (RDG) of Maritimes, Gulf and Quebec.

The DG, APG is supported by the Director, AICFI who chairs an AICFI Working Group and provides ongoing functional program direction through policy coordination, liaison and advice to Regional Directors of FAM.

APG is responsible for decisions pertaining to recipient funding as well as performance measurement data gathering and reporting. Negotiation of the terms and conditions of AICFI agreements with MMFN Bands or MMFN ABs are the responsibility of representatives of the headquarters APG Directorate. With AFS and AAROM as the foundation for AICFI program delivery, APG ensures ongoing coherence and consistency of AICFI delivery with other national initiatives and DFO program-level priorities, the ongoing Fisheries Renewal Strategy and government-wide priorities (e.g. INAC considerations). This is accomplished through ongoing advice to and participation on the SMAPC, monitoring of regional reporting through the AICFI Management Information System (MIS) and ongoing liaison between the Director, AICFI and the regions. As such, APG performs the role of an integrator ensuring overall AICFI coherence with the broader program environment and supports the sharing of best practices between and among relevant DFO, FAM and regional programs.

Regional Headquarters:
The RDGs of the Maritimes, Gulf and Quebec regions are accountable to the Deputy Minister (DM) for AICFI program delivery at the regional level under the direction of the SMAPC on the advice of the ADM, FAM and DG, APG. Responsibility for performance measurement of AICFI is shared between APG and the Regions where AICFI is offered. The regions have shared responsibilities for some aspects of performance measurement data gathering where it is not practical to do so from headquarters. This regional involvement is restricted to the Directors/Managers of Aboriginal Affairs, Area Aboriginal Coordinators, and Regional Directors of FAM.

Area Offices:
Area Offices are responsible for day-to-day delivery of the AICFI Program in the context of their ongoing responsibilities for AFS and AAROM program delivery. Specifics on Area Office roles are included in regionally-tailored Service Level Agreements (SLAs) between the ADM, FAM and the RDG of each AICFI Region.

4.4.2 AICFI Committee & Working Group Structure

The following chart illustrates description of AICFI Committee and Working Group Structure.

The  following chart illustrates description of AICFI Committee and Working Group  Structure.

As illustrated in the chart, AICFI operates under the direction of the DFO SMAPC chaired by the ADM, FAM with membership as per the figure below. The SMAPC was originally established as part of the Department’s systems and practices of due diligence, and sound administration of the Fisheries Access Program (FAP) as part of the FAP Management Control Framework.

The role of the SMAPC is to ensure effective inter-regional AICFI coordination and implementation oversight, and to ensure ongoing program coherence and consistency of AICFI delivery with other sector initiatives. The Committee reviews program delivery progress and results, establishes priorities, reviews periodic evaluation and audit reports and determine the need for periodic program adjustments as may be required.

The following chart provides a detailed description of the AICFI Working Group.

The  following chart provides a detailed description of the AICFI Working Group.

Throughout the initial design and implementation of AICFI, the Director, AICFI chaired an Implementation Working Group to coordinate the establishment of effective and consistent business, organizational, governance, performance management and reporting practices across AICFI Regions and APG Headquarters.

Following implementation and on an ongoing basis, the Director, AICFI chairs an AICFI Working Group composed of designated representatives from APG, each participating region and Area Offices as appropriate, Finance, FAM PP&C, Legal Services, Audit and Evaluation and Communications. Other members or participants may be included at the discretion of the Director, AICFI. Until mid-2009, the Working Group met quarterly to review program delivery progress and results, establish priorities, review periodic evaluation and audit reports and consider and propose periodic program adjustments to the DG, APG, ADM, FAM, RDGs and the SMAPC as the case warranted. The Working Group has now been supplemented by quarterly operational conference calls with Regional AICFI personnel.

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4.5 Target Groups & Eligibility

4.5.1 Target Groups

Access to AICFI support and funding is voluntary; there is no requirement for MMFNs to participate should they choose not to do so. As noted above in the description of each of the four AICFI Components, there are some prerequisites associated with access to some elements of AICFI.  The following are the eligible recipients/beneficiaries of AICFI: 

  • MMFNs communities in the Gaspésie region of Québec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia affected by the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) Marshall Decision.
  • Aggregate Bodies including:

(a)      Bodies recognized under the AAROM program which represent some or all of the MMFNs communities in the Gaspésie region of Québec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia affected by the SCC Marshall Decision,
(b)      The Fisheries Knowledge Network (FKN) under the APC,
(c)      Mi’kmaq and Maliseet organizations that represent some or all of the 34 MMFNs affected by the SCC Marshall Decision.

In addition to primary target groups, non-Aboriginal fishers and fishing industry stakeholders benefit from the increased participation of MMFNs in co-management projects and commercial integrated fisheries management. Aboriginal fishers and Aboriginal commercial enterprise management have the potential to bring their unique cultural perspective to co-management initiatives that can positively contribute to the overall management of the fisheries in the Gaspésie Region of Quebec and the Maritimes.

4.5.2 Co-Delivery Partners

AICFI also attempts to leverage resources from other sources outside of DFO to supplement or complement its programming. As referenced above a key co-delivery partner is the FKN. The FKN is supported under AICFI Component 2, to enhance its capacity to provide governance, management, administrative and operational training and support to participating MMFN CFEs.

4.6 Program Funding & Resources

Total AICFI resources for the FY 2007-2008 to 2011-2012 are $55.1 million.  The breakdown of this allocation is depicted in the table below.

Resources  ( $ millions)

 

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

Total

Atlantic Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative

$8.40

$10.15

$12.60

$12.60

$11.35

$55.10

For AICFI related projects approved for funding by DFO, DFO’s contribution must not exceed 100% of the total eligible costs of each project.
The stacking provision issue is addressed by including in the Contribution Agreement:

  • Complete project budgets, including all sources of revenue as well as total project costs;
  • A clause requiring AICFI recipients to disclose all sources of funding for a proposed project before the start and at the end of the project. The Department shall have the right to reduce the contribution by the equivalent amount of the assistance received where it deems it appropriate; and
  • A clause requiring that any funds contributed by the Minister that are not used towards eligible project costs: any payments made to the recipient in error; and any unexpended funds are considered as overpayments that are legal “debts to Canada to be repaid immediately or applied against the contributions under the agreement.”

The maximum level (stacking limit) of Total Government Assistance (federal, provincial, and municipal assistance for the same eligible expenditures) for a program should not exceed 100% of eligible expenditures. AICFI requires all potential recipients to disclose all sources of funding for a proposed project before the start and at the end of a project.

4.7 Expected Outcomes & Impacts

The following chart illustrates the AICFI logic model. A logic model describes the key elements of an initiative in a logical sequence, to assist in understanding the strategy underlying the initiative and the pathway that the initiative has been designed to follow to achieve the intended results.  The logic model identifies the key activities that constitute the initiative as well as the sequence of direct and intermediate outcomes that are expected to result from these activities. 

As described in the logic model, AICFI activities focus mainly on four major program areas, including:

  • Enhancing MMFN CFE governance structure by developing and implementing governance improvement plans and programs;
  • Enhancing MMFN management, operational and administrative practices;
  • Building MMFNs co-management capacity; and
  • Providing additional business development opportunities for MMFN CFEs that have historically demonstrated sound governance and management practices.

In the immediate term, it is expected that the four key components will result in documented governance structures and policies, documented management administrative and operational processes and systems, and enable MMFNs to become capable partners for co-management. 

In the intermediate term, MMFN communities should experience well governed, administered, operated, and managed MMFN CFEs, a demonstrated capacity to contribute to the management and conservation of the fishery resource, an improved relationship with DFO and other non-aboriginal stakeholders, and become eligible for additional funding from DFO.

In the long run, AICFI should lead to MMFNs becoming accepted as full partners in the co-management of the fisheries, better future treaty negotiations between DFO and the MMFNs, and successful CFEs.

Atlantic Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative

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5.0 Major Findings

This chapter summarizes the key findings of the evaluation gathered from all lines of evidence, grouped by evaluation issue and question.

5.1 Relevance

This section explores the relevance of AICFI in terms of its consistency with departmental and governmental priorities, the role of AICFI and the effectiveness of its approach, and the extent to which AICFI complements or duplicates other programs and initiatives.

5.1.1 Consistency with Government Objectives, Priorities, Roles & Responsibilities

5.1.1.1 The objectives of AICFI are consistent with departmental strategic outcomes and government-wide priorities 

More specifically, a review of literature and key informant interviews demonstrates that AICFI objectives are aligned with:

  • DFO’s Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture strategic outcome which aims at “delivering an integrated fisheries and aquaculture program that is credible, science based, affordable and effective, and contributes to sustainable wealth for Canadians.” Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture strategic outcome include Fisheries Management sub activity, which is aimed at conserving “Canada's fisheries resources to ensure sustainable resource utilization through close collaboration with resource users and stakeholders.”  DFO plans to spend between $607 million (in 2008/09) to $596 million (in 2010/11) per fiscal year to achieve Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture strategic outcome3 .
  • DFO’s stated departmental Fisheries Renewal priority. DFO Report on Plans and Priorities 2007/08, 2008/09, and 2009/10 highlighted Fisheries Renewal among departmental priorities. Under the Fisheries Renewal priority, the government is committed to “developing and enabling, transparent governance system to allow resource users and those with an interest in the resource to affect or to make decisions in support of their economic prosperity, while ensuring sustainability of the resource.”4
  • The Speeches from the Throne in 2004, 2007, 2008, and 2010 highlighted the federal government’s commitment to supporting economic development, better governance and education and job skills training in Aboriginal communities by stating “Our Government will also take steps to ensure that Aboriginal Canadians fully share in economic opportunities, putting particular emphasis on improving education for First Nations in partnership with the provinces and First Nations communities” 5 and “Our Government will also work hand-in-hand with Aboriginal communities and provinces and territories to reform and strengthen education, and to support student success and provide greater hope and opportunity,” 6  emphasizing the Government’s cooperation “with Aboriginal Canadians and provincial and territorial governments to create the conditions for long-term development—learning, economic opportunity, and modern institutions of Aboriginal governance—while respecting historical rights andagreements,” 7 and reiterating the Governments commitment by claiming “Our Government remains committed to improving the lives of Canada 's Aboriginal people.”8
  • Government of Canada’s 2007 Budget Plan which identified Integrated Commercial Fisheries as the Government priority by highlighting its support “for sustainable, integrated commercial fisheries, in which all commercial participants fish under common and transparent rules.”9

5.1.1.2 Most DFO representatives agree that AICFI objectives are consistent with the strategic outcomes of DFO and the government wide priorities

As described in the following figure, all DFO directors and managers and DFO program staff members reported that the objectives of AICFI are consistent with the strategic outcomes of the DFO as well as priorities of the Government of Canada.

As described in the following  figure, all DFO directors and managers and DFO program staff members reported  that the objectives of AICFI are consistent with the strategic outcomes of the  DFO as well as priorities of the Government of Canada.

DFO program representatives and managers identified that, within DFO, AICFI objectives are consistent with Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture strategic outcome and Fisheries Management sub-activity as well as Fisheries Renewal priority. AICFI objectives are also consistent with the Speeches from the Throne in 2004, 2007, 2008, which highlights the Government of Canada’s priority to provide economic, educational and governance opportunities for the Aboriginal communities. 

5.1.1.3 DFO is committed to the development and establishment of various inter-governmental, treaty and governance relationships with First Nations communities, provision of access to fisheries, and involvement of First Nations communities in co-management, which are aligned with the objectives of the AICFI program

DFO’s stated mandate is“developing and implementing policies and programs in support of Canada's scientific, ecological, social and economic interests in oceans and fresh waters. As a department committed to sustainable development, DFO works to protect and conserve Canada's aquatic resources, while supporting the development and use of these resources.”10As part of its mandate DFO has been working with various groups so that Canadian aquatic resources are being utilized under transparent rules. Since the 1990 Sparrow decision, DFO has also been closely engaged with Aboriginal groups and has made significant changes in the management of the fisheries and has implemented several initiatives to provide Aboriginal groups access to, and a role in the management of the resources. In 2004, the Supreme Court of Canada released decisions in Haida Nation v. HMQ (Haida) and Taku River Tlingit First Nation v. Ringstad et al (Taku).  These decisions further clarified the Government of Canada’s duty to consult with Aboriginal groups who assert, but have not established, Aboriginal title or other Aboriginal rights. The decisions establish that the Government has a duty to consult, and where appropriate, accommodate interests when the Crown has knowledge of the potential existence of Aboriginal title or other Aboriginal rights and is making decisions that might adversely affect the Aboriginal title or other Aboriginal rights.

INAC has primary responsibility to meet the federal government’s constitutional, treaty, political and legal responsibilities to First Nations and the Inuit. INAC’s predominant role is to support the First Nations and the Inuit in developing healthy, sustainable communities and in achieving their economic and social aspirations. One of DFO’s major responsibilities has been supporting the development and establishment of various inter-governmental, treaty and governance relationships through its participation in the negotiations, settlement and implementation of land claims agreements and self-government arrangements11.

DFO has worked with Aboriginal groups through its Aboriginal programs and initiatives and through its role in the implementation of land claims agreements. DFO’s Integrated Aboriginal Policy Framework is guided by the following three principles12:

  • Building and supporting strong, stable relationships;
  • Working in a way that upholds the honour of the Crown; and
  • Facilitating Aboriginal participation in fisheries and aquaculture and associated economic opportunities, and in the management of aquatic resources.

DFO’s Aboriginal programs are designed to strengthen the relationship between the federal government and Aboriginal groups by supporting integration in the commercial fishery and the development of capacity in Aboriginal groups13. The list of initiatives implemented by DFO pertaining to Aboriginal groups includes14:

  • AFS is aimed at providing First Nations communities with access to fishing for food, social and ceremonial purposes; contributing to economic self-sufficiency; and increasing the involvement of First Nations in decision making;
  • AAROM is aimed at establishing collaborative management structures and building the capacity of First Nations communities to participate in aquatic resource and oceans management;
  • Aboriginal Inland Habitat Program (AIHP), which provides funding to Aboriginal groups in the inland provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec) to enhance participation in the collaborative long-term management of fish habitat;
  • MRI is aimed at providing commercial fisheries access to  MMFN communities and to help build their capacity in fisheries and co-management; and
  • Pacific Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative (PICFI) is aimed at achieving environmentally sustainable and economically viable commercial fisheries, where conservation is the first priority and First Nations’ aspirations to be more involved are supported.

The main DFO strategy towards Aboriginal groups includes provision of:

  • Access to fisheries resources;
  • Annual agreements to secure an orderly fishery and increase stability; and
  • Increased Aboriginal participation in co-management.

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5.1.1.4 DFO directors, managers and the program representatives as well other stakeholders believe supporting this type of programming is a necessary and legitimate role for the Federal Government

As demonstrated in the following table 100% (n=9) of DFO directors and managers and program representatives reported that AICFI programming and activities are consistent with the appropriate roles and responsibilities of the federal government, as did 80% (n=12) of others involved in the program delivery, 83% (n=5) of external stakeholders and 50% (n=3) of non participating MMFN representatives. Only one external stakeholder (25%) claimed that the objectives of AICFI were inconsistent with the Federal Government’s roles and responsibilities, while 20% (n=3) of others involved in the program delivery and 50% (n=3) of the representatives of the non participating MMFN did not know if AICFI was consistent with the government roles and responsibilities. 

Alignment of the Program with an Appropriate & Necessary Role for the Federal Government

Response

Yes

No

Do not know

DFO directors and managers (n=9)

100%

0%

0%

DFO program representatives (n=10)

100%

0%

0%

Others involved in delivery (n=16)

80%

0%

20%

Stakeholders (n=6)

83%

17%

0%

Non participating MMFN (n=6)

50%

0%

50%

DFO managers and directors noted that section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 adopted in 1982 recognizes and affirms the existing Aboriginal and treaty rights of Aboriginal groups if making decisions that might adversely affect Aboriginal title or other Aboriginal rights. AICFI programming  facilitates access to, and builds capacity of,  MMFN communities to participate in co-management of fisheries resources. DFO managers and directors, program representatives, and others involved in the program delivery also mentioned that AICFI is consistent with the Government’s roles and responsibilities because it provides economic opportunities, helps to build better relationships and long-term partnerships with the MMFN communities, and ensures sustainable and transparent use of the natural resources. 

One external stakeholder who thought AICFI objectives were not consistent with the Government’s roles and responsibilities justified it by claiming that MMFN CFEs have not fully utilized all the licence and quota provided to them by MRI and any efforts providing extra access will be a waste of public money. 

5.1.2 Need for the Program

This section describes the need for AICFI programming.

5.1.2.1 There is a strong perceived need for the Program.

When asked to rate how much of a need there is for a program like AICFI, on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is no need at all, 3 is somewhat of a need and 5 is a major need, the majority of the DFO directors and managers, AICFI program representatives, others involved in the program, stakeholders, and MMFN CFE representatives provided a rating of either 4 or 5, as indicated in the chart below. The average rating across the six groups was 4.4.       

When asked to rate how much of a need there is for a program like AICFI, on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is no need at all, 3 is somewhat of a need and 5 is a major need, the majority of the DFO directors and managers, AICFI program representatives, others involved in the program, stakeholders, and MMFN CFE representatives provided a rating of either 4 or 5, as indicated in the chart below. The average rating across the six groups was 4.4. 

MMFN CFEs representatives justified the need for AICFI programming because it allows them to develop management and governance capacity to operate CFEs successfully, catch-up with non-Aboriginal CFEs, involve the community in the fisheries, provide access to various licence and quota, and maintain and acquire fishing vessels and gear. The representatives also noted that the need for AICFI programming is especially important at this time when the economy is in recession, CFE operating costs are rising, and the demand for many fisheries products is falling.  MMFN CFE members who provided lower ratings noted that their enterprises have been running successfully for many years, and there was not much need for AICFI programming.

DFO directors and managers, program representatives, as well as others involved in AICFI delivery noted that large amounts of fisheries assets were provided to MMFN communities within the framework of the MRI, but only limited training and capacity building was delivered to ensure MMFN communities maintain and utilize fisheries assets accordingly. The need for AICFI programming is justified by the fact that it assists with sustainability of the public investment by teaching MMFN communities how to successfully operate CFEs.  In addition, DFO program representatives and others involved in the program delivery mentioned that AICFI contributes to the socio-economic development of MMFN communities and fills the economic gap. This economic contribution is needed as the majority of the MMFN communities are economically disadvantaged.

Non-participating MMFN representatives and others involved in the program delivery highlighted the capacity development and training components of AICFI as an important area of need. MMFN CFEs need capacity to operate and business training to compete with other non-Aboriginal fisheries.

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5.1.2.2 The need for the Program has increased over the past few years.

The majority of DFO representatives, others involved in the program, members of the MMFN CFEs, and stakeholders that we interviewed indicated that the need for the Program had increased over the last three years, as indicated in the chart below.

The majority of DFO representatives, others involved in the program, members of the MMFN CFEs, and stakeholders that we interviewed indicated that the need for the Program had increased over the last three years, as indicated in the chart below.

Participants noted that over the last several years, the costs associated with operating CFEs have increased due to the rising price of fuel, while the fisheries stocks and the levels of catch have decreased significantly. In addition, the recent economic downturn has reduced the levels of demand and prices for the fisheries products. It is much harder to operate CFEs profitably now than it was several years ago. Two key informants also noted that Transport Canada has recently changed the requirements for vessels and operators. As of 2016, all fishing vessel operators will be required to hold proper certification. This new requirement has increased the need for AICFI programming. Participation in AICFI can facilitate obtaining such certification for MMFN CFEs.   

Key informants also noted that the increase in the number of MMFNs joining the program is an indicator of the rising need for the program. When AICFI was launched in 2006/07 fiscal year, not many MMFN communities were keen to join the program. However, the situation has gradually changed and the number of communities that have decided to participate in the initiative has significantly increased over the last two years.

5.1.2.3 The literature demonstrates the strong need for AICFI programming.

Our review of the literature on MMFN fisheries concluded that: 

  • The MRI provided MMFN communities with access to commercial fisheries and fishing gear and vessels, but was not able to complement this with adequate training and capacity building to enable successful, community-run commercial fisheries enterprises. The Summative Evaluation of the MRI15 conducted in 2007 highlighted the strong need to support MMFNs to operate successful commercial fishing enterprises. According to the results of the evaluation, initially the focus was only given to acquisition of licences and not as much attention was given to training. Although capacity building and training services were provided to MMFNs within the framework of MRI in the later stages, the scope of the available training was limited to the day-to-day requirements of commercial fishermen. The MRI capacity building curriculum did not include adequate training on the business management aspects of the CFEs. The report recommended that DFO establish a more coordinated, focused and systematic training program. The new program should include the development of business and management skills needed to operate a commercial fishing enterprise successfully. “This type of training will assist the First Nations in expanding their capability to prepare and manage their commercial fishery and to better participate with other harvesters in managing an integrated commercial fishery.”
  • The economic downturn, which resulted in decreased demand for fisheries products, escalating operating costs for fisheries enterprises, as well as low productivity due to declining fishing stocks, are among the factors increasing need for CFEs to build effective and efficient business management and governance structures as well as participate in co-management of the resource.  As research demonstrates, almost all fisheries stocks have declined significantly over the last decade in the region (see Appendix III). Some stocks that are still abundant (e.g. lobster and shrimp) are also threatened by overfishing. The prices for many fisheries products have recently declined significantly due to shrinking demand in the world markets and a surplus of supply. For example, the price for shrimp has declined almost 50% from 1995 to 2006 and the price for Canadian snow crab has fallen by more than 100% since 2004. The economic downturn, followed by a very slow recovery, has also significantly affected the fisheries industry in Atlantic Canada.  The world credit crunch has hampered the capacity of many harvesters and buyers to secure working capital and finance their operations, which has negatively affected their purchasing power. This past decade has also been known for very high fuel prices, which has gradually escalated the operating costs of many CFEs. Changing conditions have put extra pressure on CFEs to maintain profitability and increased competition for the resources. Under these circumstances, success of the CFEs will depend on their ability to increase effectiveness and efficiency of their business operations.  In addition, it has become extremely important for all industry stakeholders to collaborate their activities for responsible utilization of the resources and contribute to preserving the fisheries stocks.
  • Rapidly growing younger population rates in MMFN communities as compared to the general population in the region and an increased percentage of fishing licenses held by MMFNs predicts a rise in demand for training and other capacity building initiatives in First Nations communities. Recent changes in demographics, employment, and access to fisheries has increased the need for training and capacity building among First Nations fisheries. According to the INAC Indian Registry System, the membership of the 34 eligible MMFNs grew by 16% in the eight years between 2000 and 2008, compared to marginal population growth of 0.7% in relevant provinces16. While the general population has aged during the same time period, the proportion of young people in First Nations communities has increased significantly. The proportion of the 34 eligible MMFNs population between the ages of 25 and 44 is projected to grow by 25% over the next 14 years, while the proportion of the general Atlantic region population in the same age range is expected to decline by 14%. Finally, according to DFO landing and licence data, the share of the licences held by First Nations in the top five fisheries species has significantly increased over the decade from 1999 to 2009 (Shrimp, from 3 to 16%; Snow Crab, from 1% to 8%; Lobster, from 1% to 3%; Bluefin Tuna, from 1% to 5%; and Scallop from 1% to 4%)17. Nevertheless, almost 75% of First Nations report having some inactive licences, which is an indicator of need for further training and capacity building.
  • MMFNs are not represented fully and equally in the co-management and conservation of the resource. Despite that the majority of the First Nations communities are keen to participate in the co-management of resources and 95% of them report their future role in management and decision-making must be greatly expanded18. Currently, a gap still exists in terms of MMFN participation in the management process. The Summative Evaluation of the MRI demonstrated that MMFN representatives did not fully participate in Advisory Committee co-management meetings and processes. Some concerns were raised that First Nations representatives may have been overwhelmed or intimidated by the technically demanding nature of advisory committee meetings. According to the report, some First Nations representatives experienced the following at the advisory committee meetings:

    • Felt out of place in terms of not having the background, knowledge, and experience that other fishery representatives had;
    • Did not necessarily understand the conflicting views and debates among the different stakeholders; and
    • Felt tolerated at the meetings by some of the participants and begrudgingly accepted by others.

The report recommended that DFO employ alternative approaches to facilitate integration and full participation of MMFN representatives in the co-management of the resource.

  • It is more profitable for MMFN communities to operate CFEs rather than hiring other fisheries to fish their quota. It was determined that a self-pursued fishery produces more revenues for the MMFN. For example, it was calculated that MMFN CFEs would earn an additional 27% to 134% more income from a self-pursued snow crab fishery19. For the lobster fishery, the difference was 78%, which would represent an additional $200,000 for the community. MMFNs need extra support to be able to utilize all their access by the community resources. 

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5.1.3 Relationship to Other Programming

5.1.3.1 There are federal and provincial government programs in Canada that share objectives similar to those of AICFI

Several programs implemented by DFO such as PICFI, AIHP, AFS, and AAROM are among the programs that focus on providing access to, and building the capacity of, First Nations communities to participate fully in fisheries and co-management of the fisheries resources. The objectives of AAROM are directly related to the co-management component of AICFI. All of the objectives and components of PICFI are also very similar to AICFI programming and objectives. AIHP also relates to AICFI by supporting initiatives related to collaborative and long-term management of fish habitats. Even AFS, which focuses on food, social and ceremonial fisheries, share similar objectives with AICFI in terms of building First Nations capacity and co-management of the resources.

Examples of Other Programs

Program Type

Program

DFO

  • Aboriginal Aquatic Resource and Oceans Management Program
  • Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy
  • Aboriginal Inland Habitat Program
  • Pacific Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative

Other Departments

 

  • Aboriginal Business Canada by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Community Economic Development Program by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Community Economic Opportunities Program by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership (ASEP) by HRSDC
  • Aboriginal Skills and Training Strategic Investment Fund (ASTSIF) by HRSDC
  • Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy (AHRDS)
  • Business Development Programs by Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Provincial Programs

 

  • Business Development Program Agriculture and Aquaculture by the Government of New Brunswick
  • Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Aquaculture Support Branch
  • Government of Nova Scotia, Fisheries & Aquaculture Department

Non-profit & private sector

  • Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO)
  • Ulnooweg Development Group

AICFI also shares similar objectives with programs focused on business and entrepreneurship development supported by other departments, private and non profit sectors, as well as the provincial governments. Programs such as Aboriginal Business Canada by INAC, business development and loan programs by ACOA, programs operated under the Government of New Brunswick and the Government of Nova Scotia, Aboriginal programs by CESO, and the Equity program by Ulnooweg Development Group share similar objectives with AICFI, particularly with respect to supporting development of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal fishery businesses and enterprises. Some of these programs are providing support to all types of businesses and do not necessarily limit their focus on fisheries. Nevertheless, their scope also covers fisheries related activities.  

Programs by HRSDC (e.g. ASEP, ASTSIF and AHRDS) which focus on training and building technical skills and capacities of Aboriginal people, are also closely related to the capacity building component of AICFI. The scope of these programs covers Aboriginal training and capacity building initiatives, which may directly relate to fisheries. For example, one of the ASTSIF funded initiatives called Aquaculture Skills Employment Strategy particularly focuses on institutional training and on-the-job mentoring for aquaculture support workers and technicians in Newfoundland.

Finally, two programs implemented by INAC (Community Economic Development and Community Economic Opportunities), which focus on overall economic development of Aboriginal communities, share similar long-term outcomes with AICFI. In the long-term, AICFI support should transfer into better employment and economic prosperity in the MMFN communities.

5.1.3.2 AICFI is viewed as complementing rather than duplicating other federal and provincial government programs

Among the programs described above that share similar objectives with AICFI, several do not overlap with the Initiative because they have different target groups. For example, PICFI, the most similar program applies on the Pacific coast. AIHP is also only focused on the areas which are not covered by AICFI. Several other programs have different intervention strategies. In particular, programs focused on community economic development and business support do not overlap with AICFI because their scope is very broad (e.g. all fisheries, aboriginal community development, or business support) and do not necessarily address specific needs of First Nations fisheries. Instead, these business development programs complement AICFI activities by providing services that are not covered under AICFI.   For example, business loans provided by several private (e.g. Ulnooweg), provincial (e.g. Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture etc.) and federal programs (e.g. ACOA, INAC) may be utilized by the MMFN CFEs to finance their business expansion. Many of the co-management programs are also complementary with AICFI. For example, AICFI is using ABs developed within the AAROM framework to implement its co-management component. By raising MMFNs capacity, AICFI also facilitates their participation in other programs and services. 

HRSDC Programs (ASTSIF, ASEP, and AHRDS) overlap with the capacity building component of AICFI only if they support specific capacity building projects related to fisheries (e.g. fish harvesting, on-site mentoring etc.). Although these types of training fall within the scope of the aforementioned HRSDC programs, a review of related literature as well as interviews with the key informants did not reveal any evidence to confirm the possible overlap.

5.2 Effectiveness

This section describes AICFI effectiveness with a special focus on program generated outputs, outcomes, and factors that have contributed to the success of the program.

5.2.1 Achievement of AICFI Objectives

5.2.1.1 The objectives of AICFI are viewed as strengthening the MMFN CFEs operations and capacity, producing better economic opportunities and livelihood for the MMFN communities, enhancing MMFN participation in resource management, and increasing sustainability of the MRI investments

The objectives of AICFI are viewed differently by various program stakeholders. MMFN CFE representatives view their objectives of joining to AICFI programming as an opportunity to obtain additional funding and resources for their business operations, expand their quota and licences to various fisheries species; acquire, upgrade and maintain fishing equipment, vessels, and gear; attain various trainings for CFEs members; create new employment and contribute to economic well-being of the communities; enhance the capacity, management and governance structure of the CFEs; and become self-sufficient and increase the sustainability of the CFEs.

DFO managers and program staff view the objectives of the program as improving the rates of return on public investment made within the framework of the MRI through building MMFN capacity to manage and operate successful CFEs; involve MMFN into decision making and co-management of resource by building transparent rules and procedures; and provide economic development opportunities for the MMFN communities.  

Others involved in the program delivery view the objectives of AICFI as having fisheries coordinators in place; ensuring CFEs staff members have necessary skills and capacity; increasing economic return from fisheries and increasing employment among community members; and building CFEs capacity to participate in co-management.

The representatives of non-participating MMFNs view the objectives of AICFI as providing training and support for the MMFN CFEs and opportunities for DFO to influence and control the activities of the MMFN communities. Other stakeholders also viewed the objectives of the program to provide opportunities for MMFNs to participate in commercial fisheries and obtain economic development and livelihood.

5.2.1.2 There is a general agreement that AICFI has been successful in achieving its objectives

As demonstrated in the following chart, when asked to rate the extent to which the program was successful in achieving its objectives using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is not successful at all, 3 is somewhat successful, and 5 is very successful, DFO representatives provided an average rating of 4.2; others involved in the program delivery provided an average rating of 4.1; representatives of MMFN CFEs provided an average rating of 3.7; other stakeholders provided an average rating of 3.2; and, representatives of the MMFN communities who do not participate in AICFI programming provided an average rating of 2.5.

As demonstrated in the following chart, when asked to rate the extent to which the program was successful in achieving its objectives using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is not successful at all, 3 is somewhat successful, and 5 is very successful, DFO representatives provided an average rating of 4.2; others involved in the program delivery provided an average rating of 4.1; representatives of MMFN CFEs provided an average rating of 3.7; other stakeholders provided an average rating of 3.2; and, representatives of the MMFN communities who do not participate in AICFI programming provided an average rating of 2.5.

MMFN CFE members who provided higher ratings noted that the program has helped them to upgrade their vessels, upgrade their fishing skills, and obtain additional licenses. The CFE representatives who provided lower ratings mentioned that the process is very slow,  and that the amounts of funding and support provided were not sufficient to accomplish goals. Some highlighted that they are at an early stage of AICFI involvement and therefore have not been able to accomplish the objectives.   

DFO representatives and others involved in the program noted increased MMFN participation in AICFI programming and positive feedback from the community representatives as indicators of the success of the program. The number of MMFNs participating in program activities has increased significantly over the last two years and has exceeded the initial expectations. Some staff members of DFO, citing from independent sources, noted that employment and economic benefits from the fisheries have increased over the last several years in MMFN communities. 

Some key informants also noted that it is too early to provide a reliable rating on the success of the Initiative. Many program activities are in the early stages of implementation and they will require further time and efforts to succeed. 

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5.2.2 AICFI Participation and Outputs

This section describes the outputs generated by AICFI programming and activities.

5.2.2.1 AICFI has been successful in terms of increasing MMFN participation and involvement

As illustrated in the following table, the number of MMFN communities participating in the program has increased substantially over the last three years from 0 communities in the 2007/08 fiscal year to 26 communities in the 2009/10 fiscal year. There are only 8 communities among all 34 MMFNs that could potentially participate, but have chosen not to participate in AICFI programming.

Fiscal Year

Number of MMFNs

2007/2008

0

2008/2009

15

2009/2010

11

Total

26

Not participating

8

Total

34

 

5.2.2.2 However, Fisheries Coordinators in non-participating communities are not very familiar with AICFI activities and objectives

As part of this evaluation Fisheries Coordinators from 6 of the 8 MMFNs that are not participating were interviewed. Non-participating MMFN representatives were asked to rate the extent to which they were familiar with AICFI programming using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is not familiar at all, 3 is somewhat familiar, 5 is very familiar. Non-participating MMFN representatives provided an average rating of 2.0. As demonstrated in the following table, 50% (n=3)of representatives indicated that they were somewhat familiar with the program, and 50% (n=3) said they were not familiar with the program at all.

As part of this evaluation Fisheries Coordinators from 6 of the 8 MMFNs that are not participating were interviewed. Non-participating MMFN representatives were asked to rate the extent to which they were familiar with AICFI programming using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is not familiar at all, 3 is somewhat familiar, 5 is very familiar. Non-participating MMFN representatives provided an average rating of 2.0. As demonstrated in the following table, 50% (n=3)of representatives indicated that they were somewhat familiar with the program, and 50% (n=3) said they were not familiar with the program at all.

The three representatives who had some AICFI awareness had heard about it from other communities that already participate. 

5.2.2.3 MMFN communities indicated they chose not to participate in AICFI programming because they do not trust the official stated objectives of the program.  Nevertheless, some communities have decided to join to the program after they learned about the program accomplishments in other participating communities

Some representative from non-participating MMFNs who were interviewed stated that their community members, community council and/or community Chief did not trust the Government or DFO and did not want to be involved in the Government initiatives. Some also claimed that it is their right not to join and the community preferred to exercise this right. Nevertheless, as demonstrated in the following chart, two communities anticipate that the community will join AICFI in the near future, two communities said they would not join AICFI, and two other community representatives were not sure if they will participate.

Some representative from non-participating MMFNs who were interviewed stated that their community members, community council and/or community Chief did not trust the Government or DFO and did not want to be involved in the Government initiatives. Some also claimed that it is their right not to join and the community preferred to exercise this right. Nevertheless, as demonstrated in the following chart, two communities anticipate that the community will join AICFI in the near future, two communities said they would not join AICFI, and two other community representatives were not sure if they will participate.

The communities that feel they may participate in the future have made their decision based on positive feedback about AICFI programming that they received from other communities. They would like to take advantage of the potential benefits that AICFI programming could bring to their communities. Two representatives of an MMFN community who were not sure if their communities will ever participate in AICFI programming also noted that the decision to join or not belongs to the community council. If the community council decides to join, they will certainly do so.

5.2.2.4 There is a substantial increase in levels of AICFI generated outputs over the three years of program implementation

The following table depicts trends in the outputs generated by AICFI program activities. As demonstrated in the table, the number of AICFI outputs have increased significantly for almost all of the program components over the three years of implementation. Under the Governance Enhancement component, the number of MMFN CFEs which documented governance structure increased from 0 to 12 between 2007/08 and 2009/10 fiscal years. Within the framework of Management Practice Enhancement component, the number of contribution agreements signed increased from 3 in 2007/08 to 54 in 2009/10; the amount of contribution funding distributed increased from $343 thousand to $9.8 million; the number of communities using Fisheries Management Systems increased from 0 to 15; the number of hired MMFN CFE technical employees increased from 0 to 84; and the number of MMFN communities developing/implementing Business Development plans increased from 0 to 23.

The Co-management Capacity Building component demonstrated an increase in terms of output indicators. The number of ABs representing CFLCs increased from 0 to 6, and the number of communities represented by CFLCs increased from 0 to 26 within three years of the program implementation. The quantity of co-management meetings increased significantly during the second year of the project from 0 to 152 and decreased slightly to 119 in 2009/10 fiscal year. The Diversification/Business Development component also was very successful in terms of generating outputs. The total funding allocated to MMFN communities under the framework of this component increased from 0 to $5.9 million and the number of communities participating in this component increased from 0 to 16 between 2007/08 and 2009/10 fiscal years.

Trends in AICFI Outputs

AICFI Outputs

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

Governance

 

 

 

Number of MMFN communities that have Documented Governance Structures and Policies

0

2 (3)

10 (2)

Management Practice Enhancement

 

 

 

Number of MMFN communities developing/implementing Business Development Plans

-

13

24

Number of contribution agreements signed and distributed

3

37

54

Amounts of funding distributed

$342,991.58

$2,529,234.32

$9,782,256.28

In-class/At Sea Training Days

3,528

1299

1540

Documented Fisheries Management Systems Use

-

14

15

Number of Fisheries Coordinators and other MMFN CFE positions funded

-

46

84

Co-management capacity building

 

 

 

Number of Aggregate Bodies Represented by Commercial Fisheries Liaison Coordinators

-

5

6

Number of MMFN CFEs represented by Commercial Fisheries Liaison Coordinators

-

23

26

Number of co-management meetings held

-

152

119

Diversification/Business Development Enhancement

 

 

 

Funding Allocated (Equipment or Business Development Capacity Support)

-

-

$5,970,492

Number of contribution agreements signed

-

-

16

Number of MMFN CFE received diversification/ business development support

-

-

16

Number of MMFNs participated in Diversification/Business Support component 

-

-

16

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5.2.2.5 The content and the quality of AICFI outputs is appropriate 

As part of the case studies that were conducted (refer to Appendix V), a detailed review of the outputs generated and accomplishments achieved in 10 selected communities was undertaken. Business Development Plans and Training Plans in all 10 communities met the requirements laid out in the AICFI application guide. The Business Development Plans were evaluated as satisfactory and were awarded the requested funds. The findings are summarized as follows:

  • Business Development Plans (BDP): Reviewed business plans are comprehensive and describe in detail all aspects of enterprise business development.  In particular,  BDPs describe the community background; present analysis of the fisheries industry from the regional perspective; present SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) and risk analyses; demonstrate fisheries enterprise governance structure; outline an operational plan (description and use of licences, facilities, infrastructure, equipment, vessels and other assets); present the marketing plan, fishing and harvesting strategies; illustrate data collection and monitoring mechanism;  summarize management, human resources and staffing plan; discuss viability and long range sustainability planning; and present financial statements.
  • Training Plans: Reviewed training plans are comprehensive and provide detailed description of CFEs training and capacity development requirements. In particular, Training Plans provide background of the community, CFEs, and business operations; describe current labour force involved in the delivery of the CFEs activities and required capacity, skills and personnel for successful operations; present gaps in existing skills and required capacity; identify training needs for each staff member and position, demonstrate plans for each specific training and defines participants and timing for training;  and illustrate organizational procedures for hiring, recruiting and capacity building.

5.2.2.6 The CFEs report being actively involved in various program activities

Close to 95% (n=20) of the MMFN CFE representatives whom we interviewed indicated that they have been involved in business plan preparation, 90% (n=19) in training plan preparation, and Fisheries Management Systems (FMS) development and implementation; 81% (n=17) mentioned that they have engaged in the development of management, administrative, and operational policies, procedures, and systems; 81% (n=17) benefited from AICFI programming through hiring and training skilled staff members; 71% (n=15) were involved in delivering the training on fish harvesting and 70% (n=14) have also undertaken capital improvements to their vessels, gear and other assets; 48% (n=10) have hired and trained Fisheries Coordinators; and 43% (n=9) have been involved in co-management projects and initiatives.

Close to 95% (n=20) of the MMFN CFE representatives whom we interviewed indicated that they have been involved in business plan preparation, 90% (n=19) in training plan preparation, and Fisheries Management Systems (FMS) development and implementation; 81% (n=17) mentioned that they have engaged in the development of management, administrative, and operational policies, procedures, and systems; 81% (n=17) benefited from AICFI programming through hiring and training skilled staff members; 71% (n=15) were involved in delivering the training on fish harvesting and 70% (n=14) have also undertaken capital improvements to their vessels, gear and other assets; 48% (n=10) have hired and trained Fisheries Coordinators; and 43% (n=9) have been involved in co-management projects and initiatives.

One CFE representative who reported that they have not received AICFI support on Business Plan Development also noted that their enterprise has just joined the process. The examples of the internal management and administration systems, polices and programs mentioned by CFEs representatives, included:

  • Fisheries management plans;
  • Strategic development plans;
  • Human resources procedures and salary scales;
  • Staff training plans;
  • Drugs, alcohol, and employee discipline policies;
  • Job descriptions for various positions and employee contracts; and
  • Operational policies and procedures.

With AICFI support, CFEs have managed to hire and retain professional employees such as fisheries coordinators, fleet supervisors/managers, office managers, financial officers, logistics coordinators; and support staff such as administrative assistants, fisheries assistants, and data entry clerks, etc.

5.2.2.7 MMFN CFE representatives are satisfied with the services and support they have received through AICFI programming 

The AICFI delivery structure is designed to limit DFO involvement in the process of providing direct services to the MMFN communities. AICFI has engaged several key delivery players with First Nations backgrounds in service delivery, including the BDT, CFLCs, APC FKN, and the FMS. CFE representatives described the assistance and support that they received from those key players:

  • BDT: CFEs interact with the BDT on a regular basis. Only three CFEs mentioned that they had no interaction with the BDT. The purpose of the interaction is to receive support and guidance with respect to the development of business plans and procedures, applications to participate in AICFI, various program reports, and any other emerging issue related to CFEs operations. The interaction happens via telephone, email, and in-person.
  • CFLC: The CFE representatives communicate with CFLCs at various levels. Only five CFE representatives mentioned that they had no interaction with the CFLCs. The remaining (14) mentioned some types of interactions. The purpose of the interactions is to learn news and updates on the changes in the industry, government rules and regulations, licensing requirements, prices, profits, and other external issues that might affect the activities of CFEs.  The interaction happens frequently (daily, weekly) via telephone, email, and in-person.
  • APC FKN: CFEs interact with the representatives of FKN on a semi-monthly, monthly, and quarterly basis. FKN representatives usually send updates to CFEs regarding the available related workshops, meetings, and other events and CFEs choose to participate in those activities.
  • FMS Representatives: The CFEs interact with FMS representatives frequently based on need. FMS representatives provide training and support to CFEs on effectively utilizing the software. It usually includes initial training, data entry, generating various reports and data, and solving various software problems. The support is provided online through remote support sessions, telephone and in-person.

When asked to rate the levels of satisfaction from the services and support received through AICFI using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is not at all satisfied, 3 is somewhat satisfied, and 5 is very satisfied, CFE representatives provided an average rating of 4.2. As demonstrated in the following chart, 57% (n=12) of CFE representatives reported that they are very satisfied with the services and an additional 14% (n=3) reported that they are satisfied. Only two CFEs representatives (10%) reported that they are not satisfied with the services.

When asked to rate the levels of satisfaction from the services and support received through AICFI using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is not at all satisfied, 3 is somewhat satisfied, and 5 is very satisfied, CFE representatives provided an average rating of 4.2. As demonstrated in the following chart, 57% (n=12) of CFE representatives reported that they are very satisfied with the services and an additional 14% (n=3) reported that they are satisfied. Only two CFEs representatives (10%) reported that they are not satisfied with the services.

CFE representatives who provided lower ratings highlighted the shortage of available funding to cover their needs and the time-consuming and slow process of moving forward, as well as limited support they received from the BDT. CFE members who were satisfied with the services mentioned availability of funding for the staff salaries, upgrades in the fisheries infrastructure and equipment, as well as quality and professionalism of the services that they received.

5.2.2.8 Community service providers (CFLCs, BDT members, Harvester Trainers, FMS representatives, and FKN representatives) report their services have been successful in achieving objectives 

CFLCs, BDT members, harvester trainers, FMS representatives, and FKN representatives viewed the objectives of their activities as building MMFN capacity to conduct successful and sustainable fisheries operations through participating in the co-management of the resource, learning fisheries skills, learning and developing business plans and governance structures, and utilization of advanced information management techniques.

When asked to rate the extent to which their services have been successful in achieving these objectives using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is not successful at all, 3 is somewhat successful and 5 is very successful, the service providers gave an average rating of 4.1. As demonstrated in the following table, 20% (n=3) of the service providers thought their activities were very successful, 53% (n=8) were successful, and 27% (n=4) were somewhat successful in achieving the objectives.

When asked to rate the extent to which their services have been successful in achieving these objectives using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is not successful at all, 3 is somewhat successful and 5 is very successful, the service providers gave an average rating of 4.1. As demonstrated in the following table, 20% (n=3) of the service providers thought their activities were very successful, 53% (n=8) were successful, and 27% (n=4) were somewhat successful in achieving the objectives.

Service providers highlighted the increasing number of MMFNs requesting their support as well as the positive feedback that they are receiving from the community members as justification of their ratings. Service providers also noted that they are at the early stage of AICFI implementation, and some communities have very recently joined. Therefore, it is hard to determine how successful they would be in long-term.

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5.2.3 Achievement of Intended Outcomes.

This section describes the results of AICFI programming in terms of generating a variety of impacts. 

5.2.3.1 AICFI has been largely successful in terms of creating a range of impacts

DFO directors and managers, AICFI program representatives and CFE members were asked to rate the extent to which AICFI programming was successful in achieving its expected outcomes using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is no impact at all, 3 is somewhat of an impact, and 5 is major impact. The following table demonstrates the average ratings. As illustrated in the table, according to the DFO representatives, AICFI programming has been successful in all areas of impact, including: increasing access to the information management systems and necessary data; hiring and retaining fisheries coordinators and other skilled staff; increasing MMFNs access to business development and diversification; increasing CFEs skills to fish safely and successfully; improving relations with DFO and other Stakeholders; increasing the MMFNs capacity to manage commercial fishing enterprises; developing strong governance structure within CFEs; increasing the participation of MMFNs in co-management of the resource; enhancing ability of the MMFNs to participate in commercial fishery; and increasing the capacity of MMFNs to conserve the resource. 

The average ratings provided by MMFN representatives were slightly lower than those of DFO representatives. According to the MMFN CFEs members, AICFI programming has been successful at increasing CFEs skills and capacity to fish safely and successfully, providing opportunities for the business development and diversification, improving relations with DFO and other stakeholders, and developing strong governance structure within CFEs. AICFI programming was also somewhat successful in terms of increasing the capacity of MMFNs to manage CFEs, increasing MMFNs capacity in co-management of the resource, increasing the ability of the MMFN to contribute to the management and conservation of the resource, and enhancing the ability of MMFNs to participate in commercial fishery.

AICFI Outcome Ratings

Intended Outcomes

DFO Directors & Managers*

DFO Program Reps*

MMFN CFEs20

Increasing the access of MMFNs to fishery information management systems and necessary data

4.6

4.3

-

Improving community capacity through having Fisheries Coordinators

4.0

4.3

-

Increasing access of MMFNs to opportunities for business development and diversification

4.6

3.8

4.0

Increasing the skills of people to fish safely and successfully

3.8

4.1

4.3

Improving relations with DFO and other stakeholders

4.5

4.2

3.5

Increasing management capacity of MMFNs  and CFEs

4.3

4.2

3.4

Developing a strong governance structure within the CFE

4.1

4.3

3.5

Increasing participation of the First Nation in co-management of the resource

4.0

3.8

3.2

Enhancing the ability of MMFNs to participate in commercial fishery

4.2

3.8

3.0

Increasing the ability of the MMFNs to contribute to management and conservation of the resource

3.6

3.8

3.1

* Average rating on a scale 1 to 5, where 1 is no impact at all, 3 is somewhat, and 5 is major impact.

The key informants provided examples and justification for each impact area that they have rated. The results are summarized as follows:

  • Increasing the access of MMFNs to fishery information management systems and necessary data: AICFI programming has introduced the FMS database to the MMFN communities through AICFI Component 2.2. DFO representatives noted FMS as the major AICFI success in this area. According to the representatives, FMS allows CFEs to better manage their activities on a continuous basis and make more informed decisions. It helps them to monitor data related to all aspects of CFE management such as catch levels, human resource and staffing, fuel spending and resources, assets, and financial information. The FMS is being utilized by the majority of the communities. However, there is still need for further training and capacity building in order to enable the CFEs to take full advantage of it.
  • Improving community capacity through having Fisheries Coordinators and other skilled staff positions: According to the DFO representatives, many communities had already hired fisheries coordinators within the framework of MRI. The positions were later sustained by the communities internal resources until AICFI support became available. AICFI further strengthened those positions by providing extra support, training and resources. In addition, AICFI supported other important positions required for the CFEs successful operations. Many participants stressed the important role that the fisheries coordinators play in success of the CFEs and the entire AICFI programming.
  • Increasing access of MMFNs to opportunities for business development and diversification: CFEs representatives highlighted several AICFI components that helped them to enhance and diversify their businesses. Funding that CFEs received for vessel and infrastructure upgrades through Component 4 was mentioned as a major support in this area. Several CFE members also mentioned that they received AICFI support for obtaining additional licence and quota for their fisheries, which helped them with business diversification. The training that CFE employees received (e.g. harvester, at-sea mentoring etc.) was also mentioned as a contributor in enhancing the CFEs business operations. DFO representatives also mentioned that AICFI support in the development of BDPs, governance structures, and training have contributed to CFEs business development. According to the representatives, however, AICFI Component 4, which has strong focus on business development has only recently started in the 2009/10 fiscal year. AICFIs impact in this area will be far greater once more communities can participate.  
  • Increasing the skills of people to fish safely and successfully: CFE members noted that their staff have received a range of training through AICFI, which has had a positive impact in this area. Professional development training such as Captain and vessel operator courses, safety classes such as first-aid, and certification courses such as operators certificates were mentioned as having significant impact. However, several CFEs members claimed that they already had necessary skills to fish safely and successfully and did not need AICFI help.  DFO representatives also mentioned that various training delivered through Component 2 has generated significant changes in the CFEs’ capacity to fish successfully and safely.
  • Improving relations with DFO and other stakeholders: The majority of the CFE members mentioned that their relations with DFO have improved due to AICFI programming (three members reported no improvement). According to the CFE members, AICFI has managed to limit the level of politics in their relations by presenting the program objectives in a simple, clear, and professional way. This approach helped the communities to build a level of trust with DFO. In addition, several members mentioned they were able to engage in successful business operations with DFO, which facilitated better relations. DFO representatives also highlighted opened lines of communications and availability of on-going support, extensive initial consultations, and clear and simple program design as the major reasons for improved relations between DFO and MMFNs. In addition, some representatives noted that the involvement of the APC, BDTs, and CFLCs have significantly facilitated the process of building better relations between DFO and MMFNs. MMFN members were more willing to trust and build relations through the Aboriginal representatives and organizations. 
  • Increasing the management capacity of MMFNs and CFEs: Some CFE representatives mentioned that AICFI has provided access to various professional development trainings and has helped them to develop BDPs and organizational policies, procedures and structures. These efforts have positively contributed to the CFEs’ management capacity. Some other CFE members reported minimal AICFI impact in developing management capacity due to limited programming efforts in this area. DFO representatives also noted that all AICFI capacity building efforts, BDP, and governance structures have contributed to improved management capacity. In addition, utilization of the FMS has considerably improved CFEs capacity to make more informed decisions based on available data.
  • Developing a strong governance structure within the CFE: CFE representatives noted that they already had strong and effective governance structures in place prior to AICFI. AICFI’s role was mainly in documenting those structures and making them more sustainable. In addition, AICFI assistance enabled CFEs to pay further attention and focus on their internal organizational policies and procedures. DFO representatives attributed improved governance structures to the activities carried out by BDT. According to the representatives, with BDT support, CFEs were able to document their governance structure and develop organizational policies, procedures, and systems.
  • Increasing participation of First Nations in the co-management of the resource: CFE members mentioned that they are participating in co-management activities through the help of CFLCs. CFLCs represent MMFN communities at co-management meetings and communicate co-management decisions back to the community representatives. Some CFEs reported that they receive very valuable information from the CFLCs and feel satisfied with their participation. Some other CFE members reported that they do not participate in co-management at all. DFO representatives also highlighted the CFLCs role as the major impact in this area. According to the representatives, at this point, using CFLCs is the most appropriate method to ensure MMFNs participation in co-management.  Some DFO representatives, however, noted that it is too early to make the final conclusions regarding the success of CFLCs representing MMFNs in co-management. CFLCs’ role is transitional with the long-term objectives of building MMFNs capacity and facilitating MMFNs direct participation in co-management. The long-term success of this outcome will be known when MMFNs start attending co-management events directly. However, all representatives agreed that, at this point, using CFLCs is the best approach as many MMFN communities refuse to participate in co-management directly.
  • Enhancing the ability of MMFNs to participate in commercial fishery: The majority of CFE representatives noted the role of AICFI in new employment, business development, and expansion of their fisheries. However, most did not describe these changes as full participation in commercial fisheries. Some mentioned that they have recently joined AICFI and that it is too early to expect a significant program impact in this area. DFO representatives claimed that all AICFI programming focused on capacity building, BDP, governance enhancement, and co-management, has somewhat improved CFEs’ capacity to become full participants in fisheries. However, the program has recently been launched and it is too early to see significant impact in this area. Some representatives also noted that, without AICFI support, many CFEs would stop participating completely in commercial fisheries given changing external conditions such as declining fisheries stocks and increasing operating costs.
  • Increasing the ability of the MMFNs to contribute to the management and conservation of the resource. Most CFEs reported that they are in the early stage of the program implementation and have not seen a significant increase in their ability to contribute to management and conservation of the fisheries resource. DFO representatives claimed that capacity building activities have contributed to CFEs sustainable utilization of the fisheries resources. For example, FMS allows CFEs to control their catch and good management training help CFEs become more responsible for their activities. In addition, MMFN communities are now more informed about industry changes and regulations through participating in co-management.

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5.2.3.2 AICFI has also generated a range of economic impacts

We also asked DFO representatives to rate the extent to which AICFI programming has been successful in achieving several economic outcomes using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is no impact at all, 3 is somewhat of an impact, and 5 is major impact. The following table demonstrates average ratings. As illustrated in the table, according to the DFO representatives, AICFI programming has been successful in engaging trained specialists in fisheries, increasing MMFN employment in fisheries, and generating positive economic returns for MMFNs from fisheries. AICFI activities were also rated as somewhat successful in increasing the number of commercial licenses held by MMFN communities.

We also asked DFO representatives to rate the extent to which AICFI programming has been successful in achieving several economic outcomes using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is no impact at all, 3 is somewhat of an impact, and 5 is major impact. The following table demonstrates average ratings. As illustrated in the table, according to the DFO representatives, AICFI programming has been successful in engaging trained specialists in fisheries, increasing MMFN employment in fisheries, and generating positive economic returns for MMFNs from fisheries. AICFI activities were also rated as somewhat successful in increasing the number of commercial licenses held by MMFN communities.
DFO program representatives provided examples and justification for each impact area that they have rated.

The results are summarized as follows:

  • Engaging and developing trained specialists working in fisheries: It was noted that training and capacity building provided by AICFI has contributed to the development of skills and capacity amongst CFE employees. In addition, AICFI funding has enabled CFEs to attract more skilled employees to their organizations.
  • Increasing MMFN employment in fisheries: Developing business always opens new employment opportunities. In addition, it was mentioned that due to AICFI support in capacity building, many CFEs were able to replace their non-MMFN skilled employees with the representatives of their own communities. Many CFEs now do not need to hire skilled employees outside of their communities. Therefore, the program has had positive net employment contribution in MMFN communities.
  • Economic return from fisheries: When CFE businesses become more effective and efficient, it always brings additional economic returns. However, it was noted that the majority of the CFEs are working under huge economic stress due to declining stocks and prices, and rising operational costs. Therefore, dollar gains from participating in the program have not yet been significant for the MMFNs.
  • Increased number of commercial licenses held by MMFNs. It was mentioned that only Component 4 supports CFEs in obtaining additional licenses and quota.  In order to participate in Component 4, CFEs have to become successful in all other AICFI components. As it is early in the program, not many CFEs have been able to participate in Component 4 yet. Therefore, the program has not had significant impact in this area.  

5.2.3.3 The review of the literature confirms certain improvements in MMFNs fisheries over the last few years

As the following table depicts, the percentage of MMFNs who report to have inactive licences has decreased from 81% in 2005 to 75% in 2009 and the percentage of MMFNs participating in advisory committees and/or co-management meetings increased from 18% to 85% for the same time period. In 2009, 34 MMFN communities in Atlantic Canada generated a total of $35 million in revenues from fisheries business, which was a decline of $6 million from 2004. The difference was mainly due to a sharp decrease in the price for lobster and snow crab in the world markets and was not associated with the development of the fisheries industry in MMFNs. The total number of MMFN members employed in the fisheries has also increased from 1,822 in 2004 to 1,862 in 2009. The increase was mainly among skilled CFEs employees who were directly involved in fisheries operations. In addition, in 2004, 16% of all employed MMFN members were working in fisheries industry. The number went up to 18% by 2009 indicating the fisheries are becoming important and viable economic source for the MMFNs.

Indicators

2004

2009

Fishing-related employment (number)

Skilled positions (e.g. crew)

1,039

1,089

Employed in processing, tourism or other

215

209

Employed in fisheries management

568

564

Total fisheries related employment

1822

1862

Employment in fisheries compared to all employment in MMFNs

16%

18%

Economic return in top five species (thousands)

Shrimp

$314

$322

Snow Crab

$183

$157

Lobster

$42

$43

Scallop

$35

$29

Bluefin Tuna

$12

$11

Total for 5 species

$586

$562

Economic return from all licenses for all 34 MMFNs

$41 million

$35 million

MMFN licenses (%)

% MMFNs report having inactive licenses

81% (2005)

75%

Co-management & participation

% of MMFNs report involved in advisory body

18%

84%

Source: APC (2009) Marshall 10 years Later. APC (2005) Post Marshall Implementation.

5.2.3.4 AICFI has also produced a number of unintended outcomes

This evaluation has revealed several outcomes produced by AICFI that were not initially expected. Positive impacts were reported in terms of:

  •  Motivation: Several representatives mentioned that the success in the fisheries has been transformed into other areas in some more successful MMFN communities.  The MMFNs are motivated and keen to engage in other business activities (e.g. aquaculture).  In addition, as the project activities have generated tangible results for the participating communities, other non- participating MMFNs are also becoming interested in joining.    
  • Business relations: Several MMFN representatives and others involved in the program mentioned that AICFI programming has contributed to open communication between all stakeholders (external and internal) and has decreased the level of politics behind the commercial fisheries.
  • On the negative side it was also noted that some non-Aboriginal fishers are not very satisfied with the government support to MMFN fisheries. Non-Aboriginal fishers think that the government’s extra support makes MMFN CFEs more competitive during the time when it is hard to survive for all fisheries.

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5.2.4 Contributing and Constraining Factors

5.2.4.1 The success of AICFI initiatives in producing expected outcomes can be attributed to a range of key factors

The evaluation explored key factors that may have contributed to the success of AICFI programming. Factors identified by community representatives include:

  • The availability of funding: CFE representatives believed that the availability of funding under AICFI for hiring additional staff members and operations was a key to success. The funds enabled CFEs to hire skilled employees, and support business operations.
  • Training, capacity building and CFE structure: CFE members also mentioned that planning, capacity building, BDPs, technical support, and governance structures were key factors contributing to the success of their fisheries.  

Factors that were identified at the program level include:

  • Comprehensive planning and community consultations: As noted in the MRI summative evaluation, one of the program shortcomings related to its design was that it did not adequately take MMFN perspectives into consideration. Therefore, during the design of AICFI , extensive consultations were conducted with the MMFNs and their opinions (as well as recommendations from the summative evaluation of MRI) were taken into account and incorporated into the program design.
  • Innovative approach: The design of AICFI has incorporated several key innovations, which have contributed to the success of the program. Based on extensive MMFN consultations, it was decided to remove the DFO label from the program and engage First Nations organizations in the delivery of AICFI activities. APC and Ulnooweg Development Group were engaged to recruit the BDT, which consist of four specialists who worked towards building MMFN CFE capacity and governance structures; APC was employed to develop the FMS, and the FKN which supports MMFNs with the management information systems and knowledge; and First Nations ABs were engaged to recruit CFLCs, which represent MMFNs at co-management meetings and events. This approach helped to open lines of communication with the MMFNs. Many key informants mentioned that the engagement of the BDT, CFLCs and FKN was key to the success of the program.
  • Simple and clear program design and structure:  The simple and clear design of the AICFI program delivery, as well as the openly communicated objectives, served as factors facilitating the success. It was noted that AICFI management was able to develop clear and concise program guidance and instructions. These documents helped AICFI staff to communicate the program objectives, requirements, eligibility criteria etc. and reduce possible confusion and misunderstandings with MMFNs. The simple design and structure also facilitated accountability of the program activities. In addition, it was mentioned that the four program Components played a significant role in the success of the program. The program Components were structured so that MMFNs invest significant effort in planning and capacity building before moving ahead with co-management, infrastructure building, and diversification. MMFN CFEs representatives also noted that the step by step approach provided them with a road map to follow with attainable goals.
  • Open communications: Many CFE representatives, DFO staff, and others involved in the delivery of AICFI mentioned that open communications and business relations helped them to minimize the negative effects of historic tensions, eliminate politics in their interactions, and build trustful relations.

5.2.4.2 Several project, proponent, and program-specific factors served as obstacles to the success of the Initiative

These factors include:

  • Funding constraints: Many key informants viewed the limited program funding as a major program constraint. CFEs wished more funding was available for access, infrastructure and training. DFO representatives wish more funding was invested in BDT, capacity development and other program activities.
  • Limited support from the BDT: CFE representatives mentioned that they were not able to receive as much support from the BDT as they needed. DFO program representatives also mentioned that the BDT support and availability is limited due to a number of constraints. There are only four BDT members currently on duty serving 26 MMFN communities. The communities are located in a wide-spread area across four provinces and some are in isolated areas. Therefore, it is hard to deliver an adequate amount of support to each MMFN.
  • Low awareness of AICFI among MMFNs combined with historic tensions:  Many key informants mentioned that AICFI and its objectives have not been adequately communicated to the MMFN members and Chiefs.  The lack of awareness of AICFI objectives, historic tensions, and mistrust make many MMFNs reluctant to join to AICFI activities. Some communities think that the real objective of the program is to influence community decisions and affect MMFN treaty negotiations. In addition, some MMFNs have frequently changing leadership resulting in a disconnect and misunderstanding between the community leadership and the fisheries, and a lack of community capacity to support fisheries. The representatives mentioned that despite all of these issues, AICFI has momentum among MMFNs and more communities are joining the program.
  • Regional involvement: It was noted that AICFI was mainly managed and implemented from the DFO Headquarters and did not involve regional offices at an adequate level. Although the program structure and governance indicates that the regional offices are the main body in the delivery of the program, the regional offices have not been fully engaged in the process. This approach has certainly increased the accountability of the program and contributed to its success by making design simpler and more straightforward. However, it may also have constrained the success by missing an opportunity to invest in the capacity of the regional staff and facilitate better relations between regional DFO offices and MMFNs. It was also mentioned that high staff turnover at DFO regional offices may have negatively affected regional participation. Some regional DFO offices have recently experienced high turnover of staff which has created problems in terms of their engagement in AICFI management and delivery.

5.3 AICFI Design & Delivery

This section reviews the findings of the evaluation regarding the design and delivery of AICFI.

5.3.1 There is consensus among participants that AICFI is well-designed to achieve its goals and objectives

The findings of our review regarding the design and delivery of AICFI programming are summarized in this section.

5.3.1.1 DFO representatives and others involved in the program delivery reported that the design of the program is appropriate

DFO directors and managers, AICFI program representatives and others involved in the delivery of AICFI were asked to rate the extent to which they thought the design of AICFI programming was appropriate using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is strongly disagree, 2 is somewhat disagree, 3 is neither agree nor disagree, 4 is somewhat agree and 5 is strongly agree. The following table demonstrates average values of rating results. As illustrated in the table, DFO managers and directors and others involved in AICFI delivery provided an average rating of 4.7 and DFO program representatives provided an average rating of 4.6.

DFO directors and managers, AICFI program representatives and others involved in the delivery of AICFI were asked to rate the extent to which they thought the design of AICFI programming was appropriate using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is strongly disagree, 2 is somewhat disagree, 3 is neither agree nor disagree, 4 is somewhat agree and 5 is strongly agree. The following table demonstrates average values of rating results. As illustrated in the table, DFO managers and directors and others involved in AICFI delivery provided an average rating of 4.7 and DFO program representatives provided an average rating of 4.6.

According to key informants, AICFI is well-designed because it has a simple and clear structure and focus; it employs a progressive step-by-step approach allowing communities to grow from each step; it requires a lot of planning for the communities for better results; it is transparent and fair, proposals are being evaluated by external experts, First Nations are involved in the program delivery and it has the same rules that apply to all participants;  it has prepared a clear and simple set of tools, procedures and guides; and it is comprehensive and addresses all major aspects of commercial fisheries development such as training, capacity building, financial support etc. The only area of AICFI design highlighted as needing improvement is related to its timing and levels of progress. Some key informants claimed that the AICFI design works well, but that the progress is slower than it could be. They see the need for speeding up the AICFI delivery process so the MMFN can meet the five year program targets.

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5.3.1.2 MMFNs representatives and other stakeholders also agreed that the program design is appropriate

As demonstrated in the following table, 90% (n=19) of CFE representatives and 80% (n=4) of stakeholders mentioned that the design and the structure of the program is adequate to accomplish its objectives and goals. 

As demonstrated in the following table, 90% (n=19) of CFE representatives and 80% (n=4) of stakeholders mentioned that the design and the structure of the program is adequate to accomplish its objectives and goals. 

CFE representatives thought the program design was appropriate because it provides MMFN CFEs with necessary support and resources when they need it, the program staff members have a professional approach and want to see MMFNs succeed, it is organized and has a clear focus, and the program is quick in responding to the CFEs’ requests and questions. CFE members identified limited support provided by the BDT as the major program constraint. This is especially the case, when the need for the BDT support is urgent.

Stakeholders noted that AICFI was able to correct a majority of the shortcomings of the MRI in its design; therefore, it is adequate to achieve expected results. 

5.3.1.3 Our review of the literature of similar programs implemented by the governments of other countries did not reveal alternative design options

In Australia, only some Aboriginal communities located in remote regions have access to commercial fisheries. The Australian government-wide strategy to involve Aboriginal communities in all aspects of commercial fisheries is still in design stage. In New Zealand, after a century long struggle, the Maori population now owns approximately 23% of national commercial fisheries quota. A publicly funded and Maori-owned organization has been created to distribute the access and assets to Maori communities and represent Maori interest in the fisheries industry. The organization also supports limited Maori capacity building activities in commercial fisheries such as scholarships for education in fisheries. Appendix IV provides more detailed review of the literature on this issue.

5.3.2 The AICFI governance structure is well designed to contribute to effective and efficient program delivery

DFO directors and managers, AICFI program representatives and others involved in the delivery of AICFI were asked to rate the extent to which the AICFI governance structure is well designed to contribute to the effective and efficient program delivery using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is strongly disagree, 2 is somewhat disagree, 3 is neither agree nor disagree, 4 is somewhat agree and 5 is strongly agree. As illustrated in the chart below, others involved in AICFI delivery and DFO program representatives provided an average rating of 4.4, and DFO managers and directors provided an average rating of 4.3. 

DFO directors and managers, AICFI program representatives and others involved in the delivery of AICFI were asked to rate the extent to which the AICFI governance structure is well designed to contribute to the effective and efficient program delivery using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is strongly disagree, 2 is somewhat disagree, 3 is neither agree nor disagree, 4 is somewhat agree and 5 is strongly agree. As illustrated in the chart below, others involved in AICFI delivery and DFO program representatives provided an average rating of 4.4, and DFO managers and directors provided an average rating of 4.3. 

The key informants thought the program structure is effective and efficient because it is tightly controlled from DFO Headquarters and also incorporates some support from the DFO regional offices; it has necessary structures required for effective and efficient governance such as an accountability structure, monitoring and performance measurement mechanism; it involves First Nations organizations in the program delivery;  and it has a governance charter that clearly demonstrates the roles and responsibilities for everyone who is involved in the program. Several shortcomings of the governance structure were also mentioned by the key informants. Despite its innovative approach, and extensive consultations with MMFNs, some informants find the program structure to be “top-down” and that it does not necessarily include as much First Nations consultations and involvement in the decision making as it could. Some key informants expressed the view that all major decisions are made by DFO with limited MMFN consultations. In addition, it was noted that communication and interactions among various program components have not been properly developed. AICFI proponents involved in delivery of one component are not necessarily aware of the activities implemented by others under another program component. For example, the representatives of BDT, CFLCs, FMS etc, do not necessarily receive enough information regarding the activities implemented under other program components.

5.3.3 The program has been implemented largely as planned and no major changes or modifications to the program design were implemented

5.3.3.1 Our review of AICFI documents and files did not reveal significant changes. The changes that were identified are as follows:

  • [Cabinet Confidence]. However, those positions were later funded under a different initiative, and the saved program budget was spent on other activities. The AICFI contract with the regional offices allowed the program to utilize Aboriginal Area Coordinators without financial expenditures. 
  • The initial AICFI design required MMFNs to submit a full business plan in order to be eligible for AICFI funding. This was later revised as the communities did not have capacity and resources to engage in full business planning processes. The changes allowed MMFNs to submit preliminary plans that can be completed after receiving AICFI funding.

5.3.3.2 The Interview participants also did not report major program changes

DFO directors and managers, AICFI program representatives and others involved in the delivery of AICFI were asked to rate the extent to which the program was implemented as planned using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is strongly disagree, 2 is somewhat disagree, 3 is neither agree nor disagree, 4 is somewhat agree and 5 is strongly agree. The following table demonstrates average values of rating results. As illustrated in the table, DFO managers and directors provided an average rating of 4.8, others involved in AICFI delivery provided an average rating of 4.6, and DFO program representatives provided an average rating of 4.2.

DFO directors and managers, AICFI program representatives and others involved in the delivery of AICFI were asked to rate the extent to which the program was implemented as planned using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is strongly disagree, 2 is somewhat disagree, 3 is neither agree nor disagree, 4 is somewhat agree and 5 is strongly agree. The following table demonstrates average values of rating results. As illustrated in the table, DFO managers and directors provided an average rating of 4.8, others involved in AICFI delivery provided an average rating of 4.6, and DFO program representatives provided an average rating of 4.2.

The only change that was mentioned by the participants was related to the Business Planning component of the program. During the early stages of the program implementation, AICFI required MMFNs to prepare full businesses plans in advance as part of the eligibility requirements. This approach created problems as many of the MMFNs did not have capacity to prepare comprehensive business development plans. AICFI management was quick to modify the program and allow CFEs to submit preliminary/simplified business plans for participation, and work on comprehensive business development plans later. According to the key informants this modification created better conditions for MMFNs to participate in the program, and ensured that the MMFNs have adequate support and capacity to create comprehensive BDTs.  

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5.3.4 The AICFI Performance Measurement Strategy is adequate to measure the program outcomes

Our review of the AICFI PM Strategy indicates:

5.3.4.1 AICFI PM Strategy contains both quantitative and qualitative indicators necessary for measuring the program outcomes

Our comparative review of the PM Strategy and the logic model demonstrated that the current PM Strategy contains both qualitative (e.g. effectiveness of governance structures, staff experience levels, training participant evaluation results, CFEs evaluated as well managed and governed)  and quantitative (e.g. signed contribution agreements, distributed funds, number of training days, number of co-management meetings, number of MMFNs using FMS etc.) indicators to successfully measure AICFI expected impacts described in logic model. The PM Strategy contains a total of 28 indicators and has at least one indicator to measure each outcome described in logic model. Collecting data for some indicators is relatively easy due to their simplified, straight-forward nature (e.g. number of contribution agreements distributed, number of agreements signed, BDP developed etc.). Some indicators (e.g. CFEs that have been rated as effectively governed, CFEs that have been rated as well managed), however, require further efforts and methodologies. Our review demonstrates that AICFI has developed adequate methodologies to collect data and measure those indicators.  For example, AICFI has the appropriate methodology and mechanism to measure the effectiveness of CFEs governance structure and management mechanism. AICFI collects performance data on a regular basis and was also able to provide adequate and updated performance data, when requested by the Evaluation Team.  

5.3.4.2 DFO representatives agree that the AICFI PM Strategy is adequate

DFO directors and managers and AICFI program representatives were asked to rate the extent to which the current AICFI performance measurement strategy was adequate to measure the program outcomes using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is strongly disagree, 2 is somewhat disagree, 3 is neither agree nor disagree, 4 is somewhat agree and 5 is strongly agree. The following table demonstrates average values of rating results. As illustrated in the table, both DFO managers and directors and program representatives provided an average rating of 4.4.

DFO directors and managers and AICFI program representatives were asked to rate the extent to which the current AICFI performance measurement strategy was adequate to measure the program outcomes using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is strongly disagree, 2 is somewhat disagree, 3 is neither agree nor disagree, 4 is somewhat agree and 5 is strongly agree. The following table demonstrates average values of rating results. As illustrated in the table, both DFO managers and directors and program representatives provided an average rating of 4.4.

Participants mentioned that the performance data is collected and analyzed in accordance with the AICFI RMAF. There are both qualitative and quantitative indicators and they are appropriate to measure the outcomes of the program. Some representatives also mentioned that since all DFO Aboriginal programs have moved under one Integrated Aboriginal Policy Framework, AICFI performance indicators have also been changed. The previous PM Strategy included too many indicators and was difficult to implement. The new Integrated PM Strategy, however, is appropriate and simple.

5.3.4.3 MMFN representatives agree that the collected data and reporting requirements are reasonable

As demonstrated in the following table, 95% (n=20) of CFE representatives, who provided an opinion, agree that current collected data and reporting requirements of the program are adequate.

As demonstrated in the following table, 95% (n=20) of CFE representatives, who provided an opinion, agree that current collected data and reporting requirements of the program are adequate.

A majority of the CFE representatives mentioned that AICFI reporting requirements are simple and straightforward. Some understood the importance of preparing those reports as it also helps CFEs to monitor their own performance. Several CFE members mentioned that AICFI could improve the reporting process by providing better guides and explanations for the reports thereby reducing the time it requires to complete them.

5.4 Economy & Efficiency

This section reviews the findings of the evaluation regarding the economy and efficiency of AICFI.

5.4.1 AICFI is an efficient & economical program

We used a variety of measures to evaluate the efficiency and economy of AICFI programming.  Some of the measures used include a calculation of ratio of overhead costs to program expenditures, a calculation of the overall leveraging of funds achieved for every dollar budgeted, and analysis of qualitative perceptions of the extent to which AICFI is efficient and economical.  The results of the evaluation are detailed below.

5.4.1.1 The ratio of overhead cost to the program expenditures is relatively low

Overall, the program was implemented with very low overhead cost. The document and file review  indicated that the initial total AICFI budget was projected to be $8.4 million in 2007/08, $10.2 million in 2008/09, and $12.6 million in 2009/10. However, the budget was later significantly revised based on regional arrangements. Initially, it was expected that AICFI would fund Aboriginal Area Coordinator positions in regions. However, those positions were later funded under a different initiative, significantly decreasing the overhead cost for AICFI. As demonstrated in the following table, of the total $15 million on program activities, $1.5 million was spent on overhead expenditures. The ratio of overhead cost to program expenditures is around 1:10 (reported below as a percentage).   

Fiscal Year

Total Budget ($1,000)

Program activities
($1,000)

Overhead cost
($1,000)

Ratio

2007/08

$342

$342

$0

0%

2008/09

$3,284

$2,784

$500

18%

2009/10

$12,897

$11,905

$992

8%

 Total

$16,523

$15,031

$1,492

10%

           *numbers provided are reflective of the March, 2010 and some may fall outside of the scope of this evaluation.

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5.4.1.2 AICFI has been implemented largely with the existing resources 

The program is managed by four full time employees (FTEs), one Director and three Program Officers, working from the DFO Headquarters in Ottawa. The regional DFO offices participate in the program using the existing staff resources. AICFI did not hire additional staff members for its implementation. The total overhead expenditures spent on salaries does not exceed $300,000. 

5.4.1.3 AICFI has leveraged a significant amount of additional resources

AICFI funding allocated within the framework of Component 4 requires communities to contribute in-kind and financial support. AICFI has allocated a total of $5.9 million in the activities of Component 4 within the timeframe covered under this evaluation. For every dollar contributed by AICFI programming for Component 4, an additional $0.32 was contributed by the communities, so that this funding has leveraged a total of approximately $1.9 million in-kind and financial contributions from the communities. Comparing to the total AICFI budget, we cans say that for every dollar budgeted for AICFI ($16.5 million) $0.12 was contributed by the communities.21

5.4.1.4 Participants view AICFI as an efficient program

DFO directors and managers, AICFI program representatives and others involved in the delivery of AICFI were asked to rate the extent to which the program represented a cost-effective approach for producing expected outcomes and outputs using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is strongly disagree, 2 is somewhat disagree, 3 is neither agree nor disagree, 4 is somewhat agree and 5 is strongly agree. The following table depicts average values of rating results. As illustrated in the table, DFO managers and directors provided an average rating of 4.5, others involved in AICFI delivery provided an average rating of 4.4, and DFO program representatives provided an average rating of 4.3.

DFO directors and managers, AICFI program representatives and others involved in the delivery of AICFI were asked to rate the extent to which the program represented a cost-effective approach for producing expected outcomes and outputs using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is strongly disagree, 2 is somewhat disagree, 3 is neither agree nor disagree, 4 is somewhat agree and 5 is strongly agree. The following table depicts average values of rating results. As illustrated in the table, DFO managers and directors provided an average rating of 4.5, others involved in AICFI delivery provided an average rating of 4.4, and DFO program representatives provided an average rating of 4.3.

DFO program representatives provided examples and justification to explain why the AICFI approach was cost effective. The results are summarized as follows:

  • It is transparent and has high accountability standards: It was mentioned by several program participants that the program is transparent in terms of its budget and expenditures and employs high accountability standards and necessary reporting requirements. AICFI makes sure that public money is wisely spent.
  • It produces significant and tangible outcomes: Several key informants mentioned that AICFI has been very successful in terms of generating expected outcomes, which indicates high levels of return on investment. AICFI has a smaller budget as compared to the MRI expenditures. However, the outcomes of the program can be more significant than the impacts generated by MRI. The program ensures that the public investment made through the MRI is sustainable and effectively utilized. In addition, the involvement of third-party First Nations players in the program delivery has contributed to its cost-effectiveness by increasing its success.
  • It has a clear focus and simple structure: The fact that the program is mainly managed from the DFO Headquarters in Ottawa has significantly reduced administrative barriers and bureaucracy. The program does not require unnecessary administrative efforts and expenditures, which increases its efficiency. In addition, the program has developed a set of simple and clear policies, procedures and guides, which minimizes misunderstandings, streamlines the delivery, and contributes to cost-effectiveness. 

Since the proportion contributed by communities has been rounded to the nearest cent, the two methods of calculating the total community contribution will not agree exactly.

5.5 Lessons Learned & Opportunities For Improvement

5.5.1 Participants of this evaluation highlighted a number of key lessons that have been learned from their involvement in AICFI activities and opportunities for improvement

5.5.1.1 Extensive First Nations community consultations and First Nations engagement in direct service delivery is key for the success of any First Nations program initiated by the Federal Government     

One of the critical success factors of AICFI was related to the extensive consultation process conducted with the MMFNs during the early stage of the program design. AICFI incorporated results of the community consultations as well as lessons and recommendations that were developed by the summative evaluation of the MRI. As a result, DFO acknowledged the need for more First Nations organizations to be engaged in the direct delivery of AICFI services and DFO’s involvement was limited to overall management and oversight. All major AICFI services were provided by BDT, CFLC, and FMS which are run by First Nations ABs and APC. As the research demonstrates, the results have been very positive in terms of engaging more MMFNs into AICFI and building the necessary trust and good relationships among all stakeholders. This approach has proven to be successful.   

5.5.1.2 Transparency, open communication, clear and simple program instructions and procedures, and tight control and monitoring over activities are useful when implementing any Government initiative working with First Nations communities distributed across large geographic areas

All participants of the evaluation noted the importance of clear program rules, instructions, procedures and guides for the success of AICFI programming. Transparent rules that defined program criteria for participation, funding, eligibility, and reporting were communicated through clear guides and instructions and strictly followed by every participant. This approach has developed further trust of the objectives of the program, facilitated workload for the program staff members, minimized ‘politics’ in the business relations, and eliminated major misunderstandings and possible conflicts. In addition, AICFI has employed tight monitoring mechanisms and accountability schemes by identifying clear roles and responsibilities for everyone involved in the program delivery. Transparency and clear rules opened lines of communications between MMFNs and others involved in the delivery of AICFI programming. It made program delivery staff members become more responsive to the needs and requests coming from the MMFNs, which further facilitated CFEs satisfaction from the services.

5.5.1.3 A step-by-step approach, which requires each participating community to meet certain milestones before being eligible for the next more complex step, contributes to the success of comprehensive programs like AICFI

AICFI included four components in its delivery (governance, management, co-management, and diversification). The combination of all components is very comprehensive and addresses all aspects of commercial fisheries development. The program also employed a step-by-step approach to ensure that CFEs develop necessary capacity before being eligible for the next component. This approach has been identified as the key lesson that can be learned and applied to all other similar programs in the future. Thorough business planning, training and capacity development, and governance structure enhancements are prerequisites for any commercial fisheries business to be able to acquire quota, vessels, and infrastructure for its operations. AICFI has also ensured that CFEs develop necessary capacity before being eligible for diversification of their operations.   

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5.5.2 Key informants provided a variety of suggestions and recommendations with respect to how AICFI could be improved

While many participants were quite satisfied with the program, numerous recommendations were provided as to how the initiative could be improved. Comments were also made regarding the design or structure of any future programs.  The recommendations provided by those interviewed, as well as the number of responses reported, are provided in the table below.

Area

Recommendation

Implementation

  • Conduct more consultations with the MMFN communities before making decisions or generating outputs and ensure MMFNs views are reflected in program delivery (5)
  • Program should be continued (4)
  • Allocate more resources into BDT and ensure there is sufficient BDT support available for the MMFNs (3)
  • The process is too slow and should somehow be accelerated (2)
  • Involve more skilled First Nations people who are aware of the local needs in the process of service delivery (1)
  • Ensure people who provide direct services to the MMFNs are the same. There are too many contacts for each MMFN which creates confusion (1). 

Design

  • One structure does not fit all, so please have case-by-case approach or some flexibility over design that can take individual needs and unique situation into account  (6)
  • Include regional offices in the delivery of the program as much as possible and enhance their participation. It will improve their significance in the region and contribute to their relations with the MMFNs (4) 
  • Increase interactions among service delivery partners. Ensure that each one of them (CFLC, BDT, FMS, HT) are aware of the activities undertaken with others (3)
  • Involve more people with adequate fisheries knowledge or improve capacity of current service delivery staff (2)
  • Develop Provincial Fisheries Coordinators Coordination bodies. The body should meet regularly and funded by DFO (1)
  • Facilitate financing (e.g. loans) support for MMFNs to purchase assets. Many communities can not purchase additional assets and infrastructure (1)

Training

  • Increase amount of training for Fisheries Coordinators and others (3)
  • Two week mentoring training is not sufficient. Increase it. (1)

Budget and funding

  • Increase amount of funding for MMFNs (4)
  • Increase overall budget and resources of AICFI (3)
  • If there is adequate justification, CFEs should be allowed to roll over their funding across years. (1)

Public awareness

  • Educate MMFNs and Chiefs about the program and its potential benefits and involve them into decision making (4)

PM Strategy & Reporting

  • Reduce the amount of reporting for the communities with low capacity or increase support for them (3)
  • Develop better reporting instructions and properly explain it to MMFNs (2)
  • PM Strategy should reflect maturity of the MMFNs. Some MMFNs are more developed and others. Thus indicators should be different (1).

FMS

  • FMS face-to-face consultations would be more efficient than over the phone. (3)
  • FMS is not user friendly. It should be updated and made more user friendly. (2)

6.0 Summary Of Conclusions

The key conclusions that arise from the evaluation of AICFI are as follows:

1.  The objectives of AICFI are consistent with departmental strategic outcomes and government-wide priorities.

The document and literature review combined with the input provided by HRSDC representatives shows clear linkages between the objectives of AICFI and the Department’s major strategic Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture outcome and Fisheries Management sub activity which is aimed at “Conservation of Canada's fisheries resources to ensure sustainable resource utilization through close collaboration with resource users and stakeholders,” DFO’s Fisheries Renewal priority which is aimed at “developing an enabling, transparent governance system to allow resource users and those with an interest in the resource to affect or to make decisions in support of their economic prosperity, while ensuring sustainability of the resource,”  Government of Canada’s 2007 Budget Plan which is aimed at developing “sustainable, integrated commercial fisheries, in which all commercial participants fish under common and transparent rules,” and the Speeches from the Throne in 2004, 2007, 2008, and 2010 which highlighted the federal government’s commitment to “ensure that Aboriginal Canadians fully share in economic opportunities, putting particular emphasis on improving education for First Nations in partnership with the provinces and First Nations communities.”

2.  There is a need for AICFI in Atlantic region.

Available literature demonstrates that certain fisheries stocks in Atlantic Canada are rapidly declining, and the demand and prices for the still abundant stocks (e.g. lobster and shrimp) have significantly fallen over the last several years affected by the economic recession and slow recovery in the world markets. The cost of operating fisheries enterprises has significantly increased due to escalating prices of fuel. Under these circumstances most key informants view a strong, increasing need for AICFI programming that focuses on building business capacity of MMFNs to be able to run effective and efficient fisheries enterprises as well as services that facilitate MMFNs participation in co-management of the fisheries resources. The need for the business training is also crucial to ensure sustainability of the enormous public investment – fisheries access, vessels and infrastructure – provided to MMFNs under the MRI. In addition, a rapidly growing young population of First Nations in the region requires additional training, capacity building, and employment opportunities in MMFN communities.

3.  AICFI complements rather than duplicates other federal and provincial government programs.

There are other federal and provincial government programs in Canada that share objectives similar to those of AICFI. AICFI complements these other programs by providing business development and co-management services specifically tailored to the needs of MMFN communities. While other programs provide generic business, economic, skills, and community development services, AICFI is specifically designed to meet the fisheries, business and co-management development needs of MMFN communities.

4.  AICFI is viewed as successful in reaching its objectives and producing necessary outputs.

All participants, including DFO representatives, MMFN CFE members, others involved in the program delivery, and stakeholders view AICFI as successful in reaching its objectives. Between 2007/08 and 2009/10 fiscal years, the number of MMFN communities: joining the program increased from 0 to 26, preparing BDPs increased from 0 to 24, documenting governance structure increased from 0 to 12, using FMS increased from 0 to 15. The number of MMFN CFE positions supported increased from 0 to 84, and the number of co-management meetings held increased from 0 to 119. The case study reviews also demonstrated that produced outputs (e.g. BDPs, Governance Structures etc.) are of an appropriate quality and completeness. In addition, representatives of MMFNs are satisfied (14%) or very satisfied (57%) with AICFI services and support that they received and the representatives of BDT, FMS, and CFLC, who provide direct services in the communities, report their services overall have been successful (53%) or very successful (20%) in reaching the objectives.    

5.  While progress has been made in increasing MMFN participation in the program activities, awareness of AICFI among non-participating MMFNs still tends to be low. 

A review of AICFI program files and documents demonstrates that a significant amount of effort has been conducted to promote the program among MMFNs. Nevertheless, there is very low awareness of AICFI objectives among the non-participating communities, with the majority (50% n =3) of fisheries representatives from non-participating communities stating they are not familiar with the program at all. Communities chose not to participate in AICFI programming because they do not trust the official objectives of the Initiative and/or the intention of Government of Canada. However, the accomplishments of AICFI in other participating communities is encouraging some of these communities to join. Two of the non-participating communities interviewed expect they will join to the Initiative in the future. 

6.  AICFI has been successful in creating a range of impacts in MMFN communities.

The results of the evaluation demonstrates that AICFI has been successful in terms of increasing MMFNs access to fishery information management systems, improving community capacity through funding various skilled fisheries positions, increasing access of MMFNs to opportunities for business development and diversification, increasing skills of MMFNs to fish safely and successfully, improving relations with DFO and other stakeholders, increasing management capacity of MMFN CFEs, and developing strong governance structures within the CFEs. The Initiative has also been somewhat successful in terms of increasing participation of the MMFNs in co-management of the resources, enhancing ability of the MMFNs to become full participants in commercial fisheries, and increasing the ability of MMFNs to contribute to conservation of the resource. AICFI has also been somewhat successful in terms of creating economic impacts such as increasing employment in MMFN communities, developing trained MMFNs specialists in fisheries, and improving economic viability of fisheries. In some communities, AICFI has also created positive motivation among the leadership to pursue other business opportunities, which was not intended by the program initially. In addition, some non-Aboriginal fisheries express dissatisfaction with the program, as they perceive it to favour MMFN fisheries and upset the competitive balance in the industry where it is hard for everyone to survive. 

The success of AICFI in generating impacts have been facilitated by the comprehensive planning and community consultations at the early stage of the program, which led to the inclusion of several innovative delivery components in its design. In addition, AICFI has a simple and clear governance structure and delivery design as well as a number of program guides, policies, and procedures, which have facilitated its success. The success has been constrained by funding limitations, limited BDT support, historic tensions between the Government and MMFNs, as well as limited involvement of the regional DFO offices in the delivery.

7.  The success of AICFI in generating its impacts can be attributed to several factors.

The success of AICFI in generating impacts has been facilitated by comprehensive planning and community consultations at the early stage of the program, which has led to the inclusion of several innovative delivery components in its design. For example, AICFI has involved First Nations organizations in direct service delivery at the community level and recruited CFLCs to represent MMFNs in co-management meetings; and created the Business Development Team (BDT) to support MMFN participation in AICFI activities. These innovations are not present in any other program serving the MMFNs in the Atlantic. In addition, AICFI has a simple and clear governance structure and delivery design, as well as a number of program guides (e.g. AICFI Application Guide for MMFNs), and procedures (e.g. A Reporting Procedures Handbook for Contribution Agreement Recipients, Component 4 Commercial Fisheries Development Opportunity Source (CFDOS) Application Procedures etc.), which have facilitated its success. The success has been constrained by funding limitations, limited BDT support, historic relationships between the Government and MMFNs, as well as limited involvement by regional DFO offices in the delivery.

8.  While there are opportunities for improvement, the overall design of the delivery structure is appropriate to achieve the intended results and contribute to effective and efficient program delivery. 

When asked to rate the design and governance structure of AICFI programming, all participants were generally satisfied. Particular strengths associated with the existing system included transparency, clarity and simplicity around delivery; step-by-step approach to ensure adequate planning and capacity building have been achieved; innovative approach that has involved First Nations organizations in direct service delivery and limited DFO role in the process; easy and understandable program policies, procedures, and guides available for everyone; and its scope that address all aspects of the fisheries enterprise development. Areas of concern that were identified tended to focus on the timing and slow process of delivery, limitations in the support available from the BDT, and limited involvement of the regional DFO offices in the delivery. No alternative delivery mechanisms were identified that would achieve the same results more effectively or efficiently.

9.  No significant modifications and changes have been implemented in AICFI design and delivery and the program have been implemented largely as planned.

The review of program materials and the results of interviews demonstrate that AICFI has been implemented largely as planned. The only changes that have been made to the design was related to the BDP requirements for CFEs, which has been viewed as positively; and the plans to fund several regional positions, which were later abandoned due to changes in regional circumstances. The changes facilitated greater CFE participation in the program by allowing them to submit preliminary plans and increased the program cost-effectiveness.

10.  The AICFI PM Strategy is adequate to measure program outcomes. 

The AICFIs PM Strategy contains sufficient qualitative and quantitative indicators to adequately measure its expected outputs and impacts described in logic model. AICFI management has developed appropriate mechanisms to collect necessary performance measurement. DFO staff members and managers are satisfied with the current PM Strategy and MMFN CFEs representatives think the reporting requirements are reasonable.

11.  AICFI is an efficient and economical initiative.

AICFI is being implemented by four FTEs from DFO Headquarters in Ottawa, has a relatively low ratio (10%) of overhead cost to program expenditures, and leverages significant financial and in-kind ($0.12 for every AICFI dollar) contributions from other sources. In addition, the DFO representatives as well as others involved in the program delivery largely viewed AICFI as an efficient program because it is transparent and has high accountability standards, it produces significant and tangible outcomes raising the overall return on investment, and it has a clear focus and simple structure with little administrative barriers.

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7.0 Recommendations

The key recommendations arising from the evaluation of AICFI are as follows:

Recommendation 1: AICFI should be continued since it is a response to a real need and its objectives are consistent with the federal government priorities.

The evaluation results indicate that AICFI programming complements rather than duplicates other similar programs and has been successful in reaching its objectives. In addition, the need for the types of services provided under AICFI is very high.

Recommendation 2: AICFI should intensify its efforts to engage DFO regional offices in the program delivery.

Although the program structure and governance indicate the regional offices as the main body in the delivery of the program, they have not been fully engaged in the process. This process has also been hampered high staff turnover in some regions. Nevertheless, it is recommended that AICFI management intensify their efforts to engage the regional offices in the delivery of AICFI. This engagement should not be limited to participation in various committees, and discussion and should also be extended to engagement in the program delivery, decision making, and capacity building.  More regional engagement will increase program ownership among the regional staff, increase their contribution to AICFI success, build DFO capacity in regions, and facilitate better relations between regional offices and MMFN communities.

Recommendation 3: AICFI should continue its efforts to promote the program objectives, especially among MMFN community members and Chiefs.

The results of the interviews and review of case study materials demonstrate, AICFI has implemented multiple awareness raising activities (e.g. news paper articles, newsletters, TV program etc.) to promote the program among MMFNs. Despite all efforts, a lack of awareness of AICFI among general MMFNs was noted by many key informants. It is recommended to AICFI to continue and intensify its awareness raising activities amongst MMFN community members and leadership. Success stories related to participating MMFNs should be widely developed, published and distributed. Personal contacts, community visits and presentations, face-to-face meetings should be conducted to facilitate more community support for CFEs and AICFI programming. 

Recommendation 4: AICFI should continue to engage First Nations in program delivery and ongoing consultations with the MMFNs.

AICFIs innovative approach to engage First Nations organizations in the delivery of the program has been a key component of the program success. Nevertheless, the program delivery structure remains vertical and majority of decisions are being made at higher levels. Although this rigid structure is necessary to ensure high accountability and should be maintained, it is recommended for AICFI to continue ongoing consultations with the MMFN communities to ensure First Nations aspirations and needs are being incorporated into the program delivery. AICFI management and DFO regional offices should work closely with the program services on the ground and ensure necessary program changes are being made based on the feedback from the MMFN communities.

Recommendation 5: AICFI should facilitate internal communication and engagement. 

Due to the complex delivery structure and widespread geographic location, some AICFI delivery components are yet to be fully integrated. Concerns were raised that some AICFI delivery participants are not adequately informed about the activities implemented under other components. It is recommended that AICFI develop/enhance internal procedures to better communicate program activities and/or changes amongst various program components and main people involved in delivery. For example, BDT members should regularly be updated on the types of activities undertaken by Component 3 (co-management) and Component 4 (Diversification). Accordingly, CFLCs should be updated regularly on the activities undertaken by BDT as part of Components 1 and 2.

Recommendation 6: AICFI should increase the amount of BDT support and allocate more resources into BDT.

MMFN CFE representatives indicated that more support was needed from the BDT. The DFO representatives agreed that, due to limited budget and size of the BDT, it is not possible to accommodate all of the need for business development support in a timely manner. It is recommended that AICFI attract greater resources to expand the services delivered by the BDT. AICFI should also consider expanding the size of the BDT to ensure sufficient support is available for the communities.

8.0 Management Action Plan

 

follow-up report update

Recommendations

Management Action Plan

Target date

Completion Date

 

Recommendation 1: AICFI should be continued since it is a response to a real need and its objectives are consistent with the federal government priorities.

The evaluation results indicate that AICFI programming complements rather than duplicates other similar programs and has been successful in reaching its objectives. In addition, the need for the types of services provided under AICFI is very high.

AICFI agrees with the recommendation.

The program was designed to develop long-term CFE business management skills and expertise, to optimize output from existing access and to prepare for future treaty negotiations.
AICFI supports the following federal government objectives, namely:

  • Protect federal investments already made under the Marchall Response Intiative.
  • Promote Mi’kmaq and Maliseet First Nation (MMFN) safe fishing operations/practices and  “peace on the water” in Atlantic Canadian commercial fisheries
  • Support MMFN communities in becoming more self-reliant from the commercial fisheries
  • Successfully engage MMFN communities in collaborative and effective co-management of fisheries resources
  • Support and advance the federal process leading to treaty negotiations

AICFI Strategy

The program focuses on capacity building through:

  • Support for human resource development of MMFN commercial fisheries enterprise (CFE) land-based staff and management personnel as well as First Nations captains
  • Co-management activities by working through AAROM bodies
  • Maintenance and upgrading of physical resources and/or access
  • Development of First Nations service provider expertise

All the above to be carried out with a focus on skills that are transferable within the MMFN CFE community and beyond. In this way, the self-sufficiency and sustainability of MMFNs and their CFEs would be strengthened and their ability to participate effectively in future treaty negotiations improved.

Activities to Date

As requested by MMFNs, AICFI has focused on assisting First Nations CFEs to build capacity in business management skills and processes needed to operate their CFEs successfully and become more sustainable. This involves:

  • Supporting CFEs in the implementation of business management tools such as the electronic Fisheries Management system (FMS) and in fully documenting and implementing Business Development Plans. (AICFI Components 1, 2.1 & 2.3)
  • Assisting communities to craft human resource development plans for both harvesters (especially in the advancement of harvesters to the level of captains/boat operators) and business operations personnel’s (especially fisheries coordinators/ managers) business management skills, and to implement these plans. (AICFI Components 2.4 & 2.3 respectively)
  • Enabling AAROM groups to identify and retain Commercial Fisheries Liaison Officers (CFLCs) to act as “eyes and ears” at fisheries management meetings for the MMFNs involved and to put forward each AAROM’s position as instructed by member MMFNs  (AICFI Component 3)
  • Assisting MMFN CFEs to build/enhance physical resource capacity through the Commercial Fisheries Development Opportunity Source (CFDOS) of AICFI’s Component 4.

As documented by the interim review, these activities have been quite successful* in engaging MMFN communities in CFE capacity building work. To date 16 communities have demonstrated sufficient progress to be successful in receiving support from CFDOS feature of AICFI Component 4.

* Note:
During program delivery activities both completed and ongoing, a number of factors (outside program control) have been identified, namely:

  • Overall human resource development, especially in relation to more formalized CFE business management and planning know-how and hands-on experience, is taking longer to achieve than had been anticipated. This is partly due to the fact that there is still a relatively high turnover of staff and/or understaffing problems in many CFEs.
  • In the past, there has been a high reliance on outside contractors to develop plans needed to meet funding requirements - often with little involvement or buy-in from the CFE. Consequently, FN CFE management skills and experience was rarely acquired/enhanced and mechanisms for mentoring and training new CFE leadership and staff to provide continuity for such management/ planning work have not developed to the extent required for CFE sustainability.
  • Often, the traditional approach to fisheries management has focused on coping with immediate harvesting requirements and more standard business management (including long-term human resource development planning and implementation) approaches have failed to develop. Now, implementation of these standard approaches is often proving to require more time that can be accommodated under AICFI.

NEXT STEPS

Continue to build on current achievements by:

  • Increasing MMFN community participation, at least to the level of RMAF/RBAF projections and ideally to:
  • 28 communities

30 communities

  • Taking steps to enhance co-management activities already underway (Component 3) by:
  • Organizing Commercial Fisheries Liaison Coordinators (CFLCs) with formal leader to improve experience and delivery of support to all MMFNs.
  • Increasing involvement of CFLCs with wider program activities (See Next Steps, Recommendations 2 and 5 below)
  • Through Component 2.3, increase focus on mentoring and training for CFE fisheries coordinators and staff.
  • Program Manager will send letters to MMFNs encouraging continued/expanded participation in the program and outlining program opportunities for upcoming year (noting particularly Components 2 and 4), indicating the positive results being achieved by many participants, and referring to application procedures for CFDOS/Component 4. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continuing

 

 

Continuing

 

 

 

Continuing

 

 

 

Continuing

 

 

Continuing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By March 2011
By January 2012

 

April 2010

 

 

 

June 2010

 

Starting April 2010

 

May 2010

 

 

Recommendation 2: AICFI should intensify its efforts to engage DFO regional offices in the program delivery.

Although the program structure and governance indicate the regional offices as the main body in the delivery of the program, they have not been fully engaged in the process. This process has also been hampered by high staff turnover in some regions. Nevertheless, it is recommended that AICFI management intensify their efforts to engage the regional offices in the delivery of AICFI. This engagement should not be limited to participation in various committees, and discussion and should also be extended to engagement in the program delivery, decision making, and capacity building.  More regional engagement will increase program ownership among the regional staff, increase their contribution to AICFI success, build DFO capacity in regions, and facilitate better relations between regional offices and MMFN communities.

AICFI agrees with the recommendation.

AICFI Strategy

Program strategy has included the involvement of Regional Offices in all aspects of implementation and ongoing program delivery.

Activities to Date

During program implementation, Regional Offices were involved in contributing to the creation of profiles of the 34 eligible MMFN communities in order to have available an up-to-date information base for use in the program, especially regarding appropriateness of all AICFI applications.

Regular information updates have been provided to Regional Offices and reactions/comments/feedback have been regularly solicited during program delivery to date.

Regional Offices have provided orientation sessions to CFLCs hired by AAROM bodies under AICFI to assist with co-management activities.

Regional Offices are given MMFN AICFI applications, including CFDOS/Component 4 applications (for upgrades to the CFE’s physical infrastructure and adjustments to access) for reaction, comments and other inputs.

NEXT STEPS

More actively seek and encourage feedback and input from Regional Offices in relation to CFDOS applications and Component 2.3 & 2.4 applications.
A template to focus and standardize Regional Office input relating to CFDOS applications expected during the remaining two years of the program. Template will facilitate specific responses from Regional staff on ongoing basis. Draft template to be discussed and validated with the Regions.
In the case of CFDOS (Component 4) a confidential letters of offer (including conditions) will be provided to the Regional Offices two working days prior to being released to applicants. This is to allow for final input and to provide a heads-up for possible assistance needs during implementation. Assistance could include formal monitoring of progress and provision of guidance/advice to First Nations applicants throughout the project.
An expansion of Regional Office involvement in working with CFLCs and AAROM bodies to build on orientation and information sessions and improve MMFN participation in co-management activities. (See also Next Steps, Recommendation 5.)
Regional Office representatives (and CFLCs) will be invited to attend quarterly meetings of AICFI Management Committee, to receive comprehensive updates on AICFI activities and to present feedback on their current involvement in program activities.
Continue to involve Regional Offices in the maintenance of MMFN community profiles through development of annual update schedule and identification of specific regional contacts for the work.
AICFI TAC to be in regular communication with DFO Regional offices and Transport Canada to monitor whether training offered to MMFN harvesters is appropriate and in line with current government requirements for the fishery/ fishing area involved.

 

 

 

 

 

Continuing

 

 

Continuing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 2010 forward

 

Template to be applied from June 2010 to March 2012

 

 

May 2010 forward

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st meeting in June 2010 and quarterly to March 2012

 

Immediately -Confirm schedule & regional contact names by September 2010

Immediately

 

 

Recommendation 3: AICFI should continue its efforts to promote the program objectives, especially among MMFN community members and Chiefs.

As the results of the interviews and review of case study materials demonstrate, AICFI has implemented multiple awareness raising activities (e.g. news paper articles, newsletters, TV program etc.) to promote the program among MMFNs. Despite all efforts, a lack of awareness of AICFI among general MMFNs was noted by many key informants. It is recommended to AICFI to continue and intensify its awareness raising activities amongst MMFN community members and leadership. Success stories related to participating MMFNs should be widely developed, published and distributed. Personal contacts, community visits and presentations, face-to-face meetings should be conducted to facilitate more community support for CFEs and AICFI programming. 

AICFI agrees with the recommendation.

AICFI Strategy

Make program sufficiently flexible to be of benefit in CFE capacity building for all MMFNs. Promote awareness of AICFI amoung eligible MMFNs and assist with an understanding of what capacity building benefits could be realized through participation.

Activities to Date

In addition to sending letters and full program information to all eligible MMFN communities, the Program Director visited each community, at least once, and met with the Chief or his/her representative to explain the program and support available to the CFE through AICFI. Program interest and some participation spiked after these visits.

When individual Components of the program were being implemented, targeted program awareness campaigns were carried out by: KN/FMS team (Component 2.2), TAC/ APC’s KN (Component 2.4), Business Development Team (Component 1, 2.1, 2.3), and Program Authority (Components 3 and 4).

The TAC has worked with individual MMFNs to develop training plans for harvesting personnel.

Almost all MMFNs have been visited by the BDT to explain what kind of assistance was available to CFEs under AICFI Components 1, 2.1 and 2.3. Subsequently, BDT members made frequent visits to CFEs to facilitate business development plan and CFDOS/ Component 4 application preparation.

Periodic meetings with MMFNs have been arranged by the FMS team to facilitate FMS implementation, and training for its use is available online with troubleshooting assistance provided by phone.

It was, and still is, believed that this intensity of contact at various levels within MMFN communities would/should lead to widespread program awareness.

As a result of Program Team efforts, several articles have appeared in the Micmac Maliseet Nations News highlighting activities and successes achieved under AICFI, e.g. involvement of CFLCs in FN fisheries.

NEXT STEPS

Senior team members to review activities to date, identify opportunities for strengthening and implement as appropriate.

Train all Team members to efficiently redirect questions outside their area of expertise so that MMFNs will be contacted with the information requested in a timely manner. (“One-stop-shopping” approach.)

Expanded monthly (NHQ) updates on AICFI activities and contact information to all Program Team members.

Move towards a better informed Program Team through involving Team in quarterly AICFI Management Committee meetings.

Initiate annual award, to be widely publicized, for recognizing fisheries business development achievements by FN CFEs participating in AICFI. Prepare proposal for broad circulation and approval.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continuing

 

 

Continuing

 

 

Continuing

 

 

Continuing

 

 

Continuing

 

By July 2010

 

June 2010 through March 2012

 

 

June 2010

 

Starting June 2010

 

Draft proposal by August 2010

 

 

Recommendation 4: AICFI should continue to engage First Nations in program delivery and ongoing consultations with the MMFNs.

AICFI’s innovative approach to engage First Nations organizations in the delivery of the program has been a key component of the program’s success. Nevertheless, the program delivery structure remains vertical and a majority of decisions are being made at higher levels. Although this rigid structure facilitates high accountability and should be maintained, it is recommended for AICFI to continue ongoing consultations with the eligible MMFN communities so that First Nations aspirations and needs are considered for incorporation into the program delivery. AICFI management and DFO regional offices should work closely with the program services on the ground to oversee program changes that are made based on the feedback from MMFN communities.

AICFI agrees with the recommendation.

AICFI Strategy

In response to MMFN feedback from earlier programs and to the extent possible with AICFI resources, involve MMFN organizations (APC’s KN, AAROMs) in program delivery (service provider function) to build First Nations capacity. Maintain level of FN service provision actively established under AICFI.

Actively seek MMFNs’ input to program needs/delivery through advisory committees, formal and informal meeting opportunities.

Activities to Date

APC’s Knowledge Network (KN) engaged early on to act as service provider through:

  • Continued support for FMS implementation and training.
  • Facilitate provision of in-class/at-sea training for MMFNs.
  • Collaborate with Ulnooweg Development Corporation to oversee Business Development Team activities regarding provision of advice and mentoring to CFE coordinators towards business plan preparation and business cases for CFDOS applications.

FMS Advisory Committee formed, reporting to service provider, to give advice on system requirements and implementation issues.

NEXT STEPS

Expand current program delivery structure (without jeopardizing high accountability) specifically through advisory committees, specifically:

  • Set up Advisory Committee of fisheries coordinators to advise on implementation of training program for business management training for fisheries coordinators
  • Strengthen FMS Advisory Committee

Strengthen the ability of APC/KN to maintain First Nations service provider activities through hiring new Fisheries Advisor staff.
Complete integration of FMS with business development planning/implementation activities to enhance CFE operations, management and planning. Involve both new Fisheries Advisor staff and Business Development Team leader in this initiative.
In response to FN input, prepare FMS Version 2 to enhance, e.g. quota management capabilities. First Nations service provider opportunity to implement and manage completion of this work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 2010

 

April 2010

April 2010

 

 

Starting May 2010

 

Starting May 2010

 

 

 

Recommendation 5: AICFI should facilitate internal communication and engagement.

Due to the complex delivery structure and widespread geographic location, some AICFI delivery components are yet to be fully integrated. Concerns were raised that some AICFI delivery participants are not adequately informed about the activities implemented under other components. It is recommended that AICFI develop/enhance internal procedures to better communicate program activities and/or changes amongst various program components and main people involved in delivery. For example, BDT members should regularly be updated on the types of activities undertaken by Component 3 (co-management) and Component 4 (Diversification). Accordingly, CFLCs should be updated regularly on the activities undertaken by BDT as part of Components 1 and 2.

AICFI agrees with the recommendation.

AICFI Strategy

Implement “one-stop-shopping” approach by increasing the entire Program Team’s understanding of all aspects of AICFI - sufficiently to effectively respond/redirect First Nations questions and requests.  Encourage team pro-activity so that First Nations clients encounter a nearly seamless response mechanism that encourages participation. For example, when contacted concerning an item outside a specific team member’s expertise, that team member proactively connects the appropriate team member with the First Nations client.

Activities to Date

AICFI year 1 and 2 focused on design/revision and implementation of the program, engaging the service provider and hiring necessary personnel.

Program activity summaries with updated contact information produced monthly.

Wide range of Team members attend annual meeting of MMFN fisheries coordinators.

Orientation sessions organized for categories of Team members as they became involved.

Establish Business Development Team Management Committee with meetings every 6 weeks.

NEXT STEPS

Move towards a better informed Program Team by involving entire Team in quarterly AICFI Management Committee meetings.  All Team members should understand goals of each of the program’s Components/Subcomponents

Train all Team members to efficiently redirect questions outside their area of expertise so that MMFNs will be contacted with the information requested in a timely manner. (“One-stop-shopping” approach.)

Provide monthly updates on AICFI activities, to provide a clear snapshot of AICFI work currently underway, and contact information to all Program Team members. (This is an expansion of the current monthly update.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 2010

 

 

By June 2010

 

 

Beginning July 2010

 

 

Recommendation 6: AICFI should increase the amount of BDT support and allocate more resources into BDT.

MMFN CFE representatives indicated that more support was needed from the BDT. The DFO representatives agreed that, due to limited budget and size of the BDT, it is not possible to accommodate all of the need for business development support in a timely manner. It is recommended that AICFI attract greater resources to expand the services delivered by the BDT. AICFI should also consider expanding the size of the BDT to provide sufficient support for the communities.

AICFI agrees with the recommendation – within scope and goals of AICFI program and for specific, clearly identified purposes.

AICFI Strategy

Based on MMFN feedback after earlier programs, First Nations CFEs want help with mastering fisheries business management and planning skills. Strategy is to make available a Business Development Team (BDT) to discuss, mentor and advise First Nations CFE staff on preparation of business development plans and CFDOS applications (at no additional cost to the MMFN) in order to build business management and planning capacity in Fist Nations CFEs. For First Nations CFEs wanting special expertise, provision is made for obtaining this outside assistance through Component 2.3

Activities to Date

Responding to interest, BDT visit communities and work with CFE staff to prepare business plans, business development plans and CFDOS applications, assuming a supportive mentoring role, rather than simply performing the tasks.

In a few cases, outside personnel have been retained by CFEs to prepare these documents.

In practice, BDT undertook more detailed document preparation work than had been anticipated, much of which seems to have resulted from CFE understaffing/lack of experience.

NEXT STEPS

Realign staffing allocations and refine schedule of delivery/meetings/support to optimize community contact with existing BDT. BDT leader to oversee Team deployment on ongoing basis and report regularly to Management Committee.

BDT to be augmented, as needed, for specific tasks in individual MMFN communities.

Any direct increase to BDT to be linked to additional participants’ mentoring needs. Care to be taken not to encourage CFEs to expect BDT to prepare plans and applications at the CFE’s direction.

Situation to be reviewed by Management Committee on a quarterly basis with BDT leader.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starting immediately

 

Starting immediately

 

Starting immediately

 

June 2010 through March 2012

 

 

 


1When asked to rate the extent the program was successful in achieving its objectives using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is not successful at all, 3 is somewhat successful, and 5 is very successful: DFO representatives provided an average rating of 4.2 (n=19), the others involved in the program delivery provided an average rating of 4.1 (n=16), the representatives of MMFN CFEs provided an average rating of 3.7 (n=20), other stakeholders provided an average rating of 3.2 (n=6), and the representatives of the MMFN communities who do not participate in AICFI programming provided an average rating of 2.5 (n=6).

2This was assessed with an average rating on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is ‘no impact at all’, and 5 is a ‘major impact’.

3DFO plans and priorities

4Ibid.

5Speech from the Throne, The First Session, Fortieth Parliament of Canada. 2008.11.19, vol. 143, p. 13

6Speech from the Throne, 3 March 2010, Ottawa, Ontario

7Speech from The Throne The First Session Thirty-Eighth Parliament of Canada. 2004.10.05, vol. 140, p. 15

8Speech from The Throne The First Session Thirty-Ninth Parliament of Canada,2007.10.16, vol. 142, p. 3

9Government of Canada. The Budget Plan. 2007.

10Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Departmental Performance Report 2006-2007

11DFO. An Integrated Aboriginal Policy Framework 2006-2010

12http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/aboriginal-autochtones/index-eng.htm

13DFO. An Integrated Aboriginal Policy Framework 2006-2010

14For more detailed description DFO programs, see Annex II.

15http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/ae-ve/evaluations/07-08/6b053-eng.htm

16APC. 2009. Marshall 10 years later: Atlantic and Gaspe First Nations Participation in Fisheries

17Ibid.

18Ibid.

19Pierre-Marcel Desjardins. 2008. Fully integrated First Nations commercial fisheries in DFO’s Gulf Region.

20CFE members provided the ratings for each impact area based on their level of participation. Therefore, each impact area is only rated by the CFE that has participated in the relevant AICFI component. For example, ratings for business development and diversification impact area have only been provided by the CFEs which participate in AICFI Component 4.

21Since the proportion contributed by communities has been rounded to the nearest cent, the two methods of calculating the total community contribution will not agree exactly.