The Rural and Northern Lens & A Voice for Rural and Northern Ontario

The Rural and Northern Lens was created by the AMO Northern and Rural Working Group in 2006, after noting that many of the challenges facing rural and northern communities had one commonality—a lack of forethought about the consequences of applying a one-size-fits-all approach to a specific policy area. The Lens was revised in 2011 and then in 2015. The Lens is meant to be employed by provincial ministries to assess the impacts of new policy initiatives or changes in existing programs before they are implemented. It is meant to function as a flexible tool that all ministries can use to ensure their policies are road-tested before implementation.

The Lens has a list of questions for the government to use as a way to measure the effectiveness of its programs. The questions address each phase of the development of policy and program initiatives: considerations; delivery options; communications; and measuring and reporting.

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