The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence, today announced the launch of an online Conduct and Culture Research and Policy Database. The database makes research and policies related to sexual harassment and misconduct, gender, sexual orientation, race, diversity and inclusion, and culture change more readily accessible to the public, as well as to members of the Department of National Defence (DND) and Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).
The database was created in response to Recommendation #45 in the Report of the Independent External Comprehensive Review (IECR), led by former Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbour. The recommendation stipulates that Defence “should host a public online database for all internal Defence Team research and policies relating to sexual harassment and misconduct, gender, sexual orientation, race, diversity and inclusion, and culture change.”
“Fostering a safe and respectful workplace for all Canadian Armed Forces members and National Defence employees is my top priority. As we work to build enduring culture change, we must be accountable and willing to work with experts from across Canadian society. By creating this new database, we are increasing our transparency – and we are ensuring better access to information for Canadians, stakeholders, and experts,” said Blair during the announcement.
The database lists approximately 70 research papers and provides links to 80 policies and directives. Topics currently covered in the database include sexual harassment and misconduct, diversity and inclusion, military-to-civilian transition, mental and physical health, 2SLGBTQIA+, Indigenous Peoples, gender, recruitment, women in the military, early training environments, and organizational culture.
Research products listed in the database include scientific reports, contract reports and reference documents used to support science and technology projects and programs. We will be updating the database regularly to ensure it offers the most recent and relevant information.
DND/CAF is committed to achieving meaningful and enduring culture change in the Defence Team, including by working with external experts. In her final report, Madame Arbour emphasized that scientists and culture experts working inside the organization should increase their collaboration with external experts. She also recommended that internal research should be made available online for the public to enhance transparency and accountability. In response, this database provides a simple and easy way for individuals and organizations to browse the wide range of policies and research documents related to conduct and culture, and to access this information to support their own initiatives.
Making internal research and policies more readily available will bolster DND/CAF efforts by enabling stakeholders and academics to collaborate with DND/CAF on culture change and identify areas where data or information is limited or unavailable, as well as gaps and weaknesses.
DND/CAF will continue to pursue comprehensive institutional reform in response to Madame Arbour’s report, and in line with the direction provided by the Minister of National Defence’s December 2022 Report to Parliament, which outlines the steps that the Government will take to address the IECR recommendations.