During consultations on this Strategy, the City heard repeatedly that making recommendations is the easy part. Producing real improvements in the lives of Torontonians is what matters. An accountability and monitoring plan is key to making these improvements happen.
That is why the recommended actions in this Strategy contain three key elements for accountability and monitoring:
- a clearly identified lead program area with responsibility to implement;
- a timeframe for implementation; and
- an identified measure by which the status of each action will be reported to the public through City Council.
These elements mean that responsibilities for action are clearly assigned, a timeframe to get started on the work is clear, and expectations for reporting are well defined. Where possible, the Strategy identifies specific targets for successful implementation. If a target is not possible, then a measure of progress will be reported. These progress measures will show how well this Strategy is being implemented.
It is also important to know whether there are measurable improvements in the wellbeing of older adults in neighbourhoods across Toronto. To answer this question, the Social Development, Finance & Administration division will work with other City and community partners to build a place-based monitoring framework using the Wellbeing Toronto tool.
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This framework will consist of indicators reflecting the key issues and themes identified in our public consultations. By updating these indicators on a regular basis, it will be possible to see improvements in the age-friendliness of Toronto's neighbourhoods.
The Strategy proposes to first report back to City Council on progress in 2015. The report will evaluate the implementation status of each recommended action. If an action has yet to begin implementation, the report will include an explanation as to why. If an action is in progress, the report will include an anticipated completion date. If an action is completed, the report will include progress measures to assess its impact on the wellbeing of Toronto's diverse older adult population.
Staff from each of the City's participating Agencies, Boards, Commissions, Corporations and Divisions will review the evaluation in partnership with leaders from community, academic, medical and seniors' advocacy organizations. City staff will also present the evaluation to the Toronto Seniors' Forum.
Together with community partners, City staff will refine the Strategy by identifying adjustments, additional actions, and/or opportunities for partnerships for the ongoing implementation of the Strategy.
Staff will report on the evaluation of the Strategy and present refinements to Council for approval.
Continual monitoring and evaluation by City staff and community partners will ensure that The Toronto Seniors Strategy remains a living document, one which is responsive to the evolving needs of older Torontonians.
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