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Temporary Foreign Worker Program Research Project – ESDC

GC Data Demos05-11-2021

Employment and Social Development Canada: amalgamating data to respond to important Canadian labour market questions concerning the Temporary Foreign Worker Program Research Project.


Mirna Abou-Rizk
Senior Evaluation Officer, Evaluation Directorate


Hello, my name is Mirna Abou-Rizk, I am a senior evaluation officer at the Evaluation Directorate of Employment and Social Development Canada.

I will be speaking to you about the temporary Foreign Worker Program Research Project. One of the main challenges in evaluation is data. Reliability, accessibility and timeliness are often key milestones we deal with. It is also often a challenge to bring together data from different programs and various government departments. The lack of amalgamated data makes it difficult to respond to important Canadian labour market questions. The main goal of this project was to overcome this challenge.

In collaboration with Statistics Canada and the program, we were able to integrate program data for the first time into the Canadian Employer-Employee Dynamics Database housed in Statistics Canada.

ESDC program data is now consolidated with multiple data files from various government departments, including IRCC, Statistics Canada and CRA. We face various challenges that come with the complexity of the project. The main one was the time needed to identify, prepare and transfer variables of interest while ensuring data validity and accuracy.

In addition, the time needed for the development and consolidation of data with other data files, as well as the logistics to provide secure data access are all key factors to be taken into account within the research timeline.

A large part of the success in overcoming challenges was knowing who to involve, and when. Which required us to foster collaboration between key stakeholders and to keep open lines of communication to ensure we were working towards a common goal. We also faced various challenges and delays due to COVID related restrictions. These challenges demanded flexibility, agility and a solution focused approach to adjust timelines and discuss alternative solutions. In this project, we are breaking the data silos in the federal government and we are able to put together the different pieces of the puzzle. Thank you very much.

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