About Impact Canada

Announced in Budget 2017, Impact Canada is a Government of Canada-wide effort that will help departments accelerate the adoption of innovative funding approaches to deliver meaningful results to Canadians.

This Impact Canada challenge platform is a core component of the initiative. It allows Government of Canada departments to issue challenges on a common site and reach a diverse group of problem solvers and innovators.

The Team

The Impact Canada Initiative is led by a Centre of Expertise housed within the Impact and Innovation Unit of the Privy Council Office, which also manages this platform in partnership with Government of Canada departments.

Meet the Team

Our Partners

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
  • Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
  • Canadian Space Agency
  • Department of Fisheries and Oceans
  • Employment and Social Development Canada
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Indigenous Services Canada
  • Infrastructure Canada
  • Global Affairs Canada
  • Health Canada
  • Natural Resources Canada
  • Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Public Safety Canada

Key Resources

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2022-23 Annual Report

Report | Impact and Innovation Unit | | Open

Since its launch in 2017, the Impact and Innovation Unit (IIU) has remained focused on working with federal departments, other levels of government, and external partners to support the implementation of inventive programs and services. Impact Canada was established with a clear goal in mind – develop new policy and program methods to better address government priorities and make meaningful impacts in the lives of Canadians. To this end, we have continued to expand our portfolio of Challenges and world-leading behavioural science programs of research in key government priority areas, including climate action, health & public health, housing & infrastructure, and trust & misinformation.

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2021-22 Annual Report

Report | Impact and Innovation Unit | | Open

Like most, our priorities in 2021-22 continued to be dominated by the global pandemic. While the work of Impact Canada remained heavily focused on supporting the government’s COVID-19 response, we saw growth and expansion in other areas of health as well new partnerships to help address the climate crisis. Impact Canada was set up within the Impact and Innovation Unit with a clear goal in mind – develop new policy and program methods to better design and implement government priorities that make a meaningful impact in the lives of Canadians. While the simultaneous global crises of COVID-19 and climate change continue, this context provided the Government of Canada the ability to both rapidly and more effectively mainstream Impact Canada methods.

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Impact Canada Challenge Guide

Report | Impact and Innovation Unit | | Open

The purpose of this practitioner’s guide is to provide a better understanding of how challenges are currently being designed and implemented in a Canadian government context based on a sound methodology. This document is part of a series of information products published by Impact Canada intended to explain and contextualize innovative approaches including case studies, blog posts and practitioners’ guides. The first section of the guide explains what challenges are and outlines their benefits from a public policy context. The second section describes the enabling mechanisms and features of the Impact Canada model. The final section provides an in-depth description of the five phases of designing and implementing an Impact Canada challenge.

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Logic model and narrative - Impact assessment of challenges under Impact Canada

Report | Impact and Innovation Unit | | Open

This document presents (in a general way) a basic theory of what Impact Canada expects to achieve with its suite of challenges. It emphasizes important processrelated outcomes that distinguish challenge approaches from traditional modes of government business and program delivery (like grant making), and that anticipate the longer-term socio-economic and environmental outcomes that challenges are designed to achieve.

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Measuring Impact by Design - A Guide to Methods for Impact Measurement

Report | Impact and Innovation Unit | | Open

Quasi-experiments are generally of more recent origins. Nevertheless, we are now seeing that they too are becoming increasingly common as impact measurement designs. With this guide, the IIU hopes to accelerate their adoption in Canadian contexts. As a category of methods, quasi-experiments provide a balance of rigour and pragmatism, and as such, they are well suited for the task of impact measurement. They are rigorous enough to give us plausible estimates of our impacts, and pragmatic in the sense that they can be deployed in circumstances where randomized methods are not feasible. A central theme of this document is that, with the right planning, most programs can find an experimental or quasi-experimental method of impact measurement that requires very little or no adjustment to its normal mode of operation.

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Terms and Conditions for Grants and Contributions - Impact Canada Initiative

Report | Impact and Innovation Unit | | Open

The Impact Canada Initiative terms and conditions are built in a flexible manner to support departments in their experimentation with prizes, challenges, micro-funding, and other outcomes-based and innovative programming approaches. Through the support of the Centre of Expertise in the Privy Council Office, new program streams as well as individual departmental projects from pre-existing Treasury Board approved programs will be co-designed with departments and will apply rigorous evaluation methods to measure their impact.

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Experimentation direction for Deputy Heads

Report | Impact and Innovation Unit | | Open

This document reinforces the Government’s commitment to devote a fixed percentage of program funds to experimenting with new approaches and measuring impact to instill a culture of measurement, evaluation and innovation in program and policy design and delivery. It provides context and directions for Deputy Heads on how to implement this commitment.