The principle-based evaluation tool, or “Rights-Outcome Lens,” was developed using a three-step process. As our starting point, we adopted the LCO principles. Although our process began with the adoption of the LCO principles, we next took a step back in order to consider the context or the theoretical framework from which the principles were derived. To that extent, the theoretical framework precedes the establishment of the principles. While the LCO outlined a broad theoretical framework upon which we largely rely, there are a number of nuances that we have further developed to address the particular issues respecting eligibility criteria for disability-related support programs. Based on a literature review of legal, policy, academic and community writing, we unpacked the context in which the principles were developed, with a particular focus on income support programs. A full discussion of our theoretical framework begins in Section III.
In step three, our analysis of the principles, together with the theoretical framework, identified a number of outcome measures that flow from the principles and form the basis of the Rights-Outcome Lens. Literature about ODSP, key informant interviews and focus groups provided additional information about income support programs that also influenced the development of outcome measures. These outcome measures provide a structure against which policy makers can evaluate eligibility criteria for disability-related support programs from a principled perspective.
To illustrate the Rights-Outcome Lens, we use it to analyze three aspects of ODSP income support eligibility criteria: 1. eligibility based on disability status; 2. eligibility based on financial status; and 3. the process and administrative factors that influence access to the program. It is important to note that ODSP legislation provides for services beyond income support, including employment supports and assistive devices benefits; however, to qualify for access to those services, an applicant would first have to establish general eligibility for income support. For the purposes of this paper, we limited our scope to consider only the primary eligibility criteria.
This paper is not, nor can it be, a comprehensive review of the ODSP program, nor can it fully assess ODSP in the context of national, provincial, municipal and private disability-related support programs, poverty reduction programs and disability policy. The application of the Rights-Outcome Lens to ODSP is helpful in assessing the degree to which its specific eligibility criteria are consistent with principled-based analyses. The Rights-Outcome Lens can also provide a starting point to the development of a comprehensive evaluation tool to assess eligibility criteria for disability-related support programs.
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