|dc.description.abstract||The presentation made at the conference addressed the issue of linkages between performance
information and innovation within the Canadian federal government1. This is a three‐part paper
prepared as background to that presentation.
• Part I provides an overview of three main sources of performance information -
results-based systems, program evaluation, and centrally driven review exercises
– and reviews the Canadian experience with them.
• Part II identifies and discusses a number of innovation issues that are common to
the literature reviewed for this paper.
• Part III examines actual and potential linkages between innovation and
performance information. This section suggests that innovation in the Canadian
federal government tends to cluster into two groups: smaller initiatives driven by
staff or middle management; and much larger projects involving major programs,
whole departments or whole-of-government. Readily available data on smaller
innovation projects is skimpy but suggests that performance information does not
play a major role in stimulating these initiatives. In contrast, two of the examples
of large-scale innovation show that performance information plays a critical role
at all stages.
The paper concludes by supporting the contention of others writing on this topic: that more
research is needed on innovation, particularly on its link to performance information. In that
context, other conclusions drawn in this paper are tentative but suggest that the quality of
performance information is as important for innovation as it is for performance management.
However, innovation is likely to require its own particular performance information that may
not be generated on a routine basis for purposes of performance management, particularly in
the early stages of innovation. And, while the availability of performance information can be an
important success factor in innovation, it does not stand alone. The commonality of a number
of other factors identified in the literature surveyed for this paper strongly suggests that equal if
not greater priority needs to be given to attenuating factors that inhibit innovation and to