Accountability and Performance Update – October 11-17, 2021

To Budget for Equity, Cities First Must Define Equity

Route Fifty (Anjali Chainani)

Without a clear and shared definition of equity, city leaders cannot understand the underlying conditions that create existing disparities in their community, let alone make informed budget decisions that foster equity. No one-size-fits-all definition of equity exists.

The Evidence Checklist: how to make sure your evidence is high-quality

Apolitical

It’s vital that you check whether the evidence you’re using is trustworthy, timely and reliable. To help you do this we have put together a checklist to help you identify if evidence is worth your time or worthless.

‘Evidence’ Is the Word of the Year. Neither Party Owns It

Roll Call (Ted McCann and Nick Hart)

There is more bipartisanship in Congress than most acknowledge, and no matter what they say, neither party has a monopoly on evidence. . . .A movement is underway to use better information to guide key decisions. This, in turn, yields a clearer picture of whether important programs achieve their goals and improve people’s lives.

National Science Foundation by the Numbers: New Beta Website

Provides statistical and funding information for awards, NSF-funded institutions, funding rate, proposals evaluated, and obligations by fiscal year. Great example of agency-level open data.

Biden Administration Makes Climate Information and Decision Tools More Accessible

White House

The administration has launched a whole-of-government initiative to deliver accessible and actionable information to individuals and communities that are being hit by flooding, drought, wildfires, extreme heat, coastal erosion, and other intensifying climate impacts. This effort will put authoritative and useful information into the hands of more Americans.

CAP-Sponsored WebinarImplementing the $350 Billion Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund

(Wednesday, October 20, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Eastern)

This panel of leaders on the front line of implementing this program will discuss key issues from federal, state, and local perspectives – such as allocation decisions, the role of citizen input, and reporting requirements — with special attention to performance and accountability issues.

New BookData Science for Social Good: Philanthropy and Social Impact in a Complex World

Springer Publishers (Massimo Lapucci and Ciro Cattuto, Eds.)

A collection of essays by thought leaders in the fields of computer science, complex systems, and computational social science who examine performance-related challenges in areas such as humanitarian response, public health, and sustainable development.

Resource of the Week: Andy Feldman’s Gov Innovator

The motivation behind the Gov Innovator podcast is the crucial role that public management — and, in particular, results-focused leadership — play in addressing our nation’s important challenges. The goal of the podcast is to share useful practices and insights related to evidence, data, innovation and leadership. To date, he has recorded 190 interviews.

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Accountability and Performance Update – October 4-10, 2021

Follow the Data and Tie Funding to Outcomes

Government Matters TV/American Idea Foundation

American Idea Foundation President and former Speaker Paul Ryan talked with Government Matters‘ Mimi Geerges about his work in Congress to fight poverty and expand economic opportunities. In the interview, Speaker Ryan discussed how the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act is currently being utilized by federal agencies to modernize data collection, analysis, security, and dissemination practices.

Managing the Next Crisis: Twelve Principles for Dealing with Viral Uncertainty

Katherine Barrett, Richard Greene, and Donald Kettl

Principle #12: Accountability is often the first casualty in a crisis – even when governments know the results of their efforts.

To Budget for Equity, Cities Must First Define Equity

Apolitical

Without a clear and shared definition of equity, city leaders cannot understand the underlying conditions that create existing disparities in their community, let alone make informed budget decisions that foster equity.

Collecting Data About Our Data

City of Baltimore

In Baltimore, data stewards – representatives from each agency – have been capturing and describing the data that their agency managers or uses into a template, then publishes it on Open Baltimore so city staff and residents know about the data being collected and managed.

Metrics Management and Bureaucratic Accountability: Evidence from Policing

American Journal of Political Science (Laurel Eckhouse) (gated access)

This paper concludes that “CompStat is associated with at least 3,500 additional minor arrests per city-year, substantial data manipulation, and no decrease in serious crime.”

A Meta-Analysis of the Government Performance-Trust Link

Public Administration Review (Jiasheng Zhang, Hui Li, Kaifeng Yang) (gated access)

The results imply that in order to nurture and sustain trust in government, we should pay more attention to societal cultures and the way government performance information is provided. 

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Accountability and Performance Update – September 29 – October 3, 2021

Making the Case for Insight-Enabling Analytics

National Association of State Chief Information Officers

Based on the top ten priorities that state chief information officers identified for 2021, the National Association of State Chief Information Officers published a report about the value and importance of CIO-led activities related to data analytics, such as data governance and management, boosting state analytical capabilities to drive use data insights, focusing on outcomes and measurement, and supporting evidence-based policy. (H/T to Results for America).

Two Online Tools in Minnesota Help Assess Effectiveness of Social Programs

Pew Charitable Trusts, Results First Project

Minnesota has created two public, innovative, and interactive online tools to help policymakers determine how best to appropriate public funds: the Minnesota Inventory and the Evidence Base Demographics website. (H/T to Results for America).

A Government Practitioner’s Guide to Better Success Metrics

Centre for Public Impact (Marc Hebert)

Success metrics (key performance indicators, data dashboards, audits, evaluations, etc.) are frequently used to manage and control what we do and how we do it. As a result, we can fixate our attention on meeting the metric (e.g., # of people served) rather than its intended result (e.g., # of lives saved).

Resource of the Week: List of U.S. Government Accountability Office Reports on Performance Management

Center for Accountability & Performance

This link provides a curated list of about 100 U.S. Government Accountability Office reports between 1992 and 2021 on the topic of performance management.

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Accountability and Performance Update – September 20-28, 2021

Government Performance Management: Key Considerations for Implementing Cross-Agency Priority Goals and Progress Addressing GAO Recommendations (GAO-21-104704)

U.S. Government Accountability Office

In this report, GAO identified key considerations to facilitate CAP goal implementation. In addition, it notes that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and agencies have made notable progress in implementing 82 of 106 GAO GPRAMA-related recommendations made since 2012.

An Analysis of Florida Contract Performance

Public Administration Review (pre-publication)

Analyzing more than 20,000 Florida contracts over a three-year period, this research explores whether competitive sourcing procedures lead to improved contractor performance. The authors found that existing relationships, and lower transaction costs, are more likely to lead to better performance than competitive sourcing.

Data Science and the Art of Persuasion

Harvard Business Review

This article proposes a way for those that aren’t getting the most out of their operations to free data scientists from unreasonable expectations and introduce new types of workers to the mix.

Oakland, Calif., Housing Dashboard

The city of Oakland, California, is committed to producing, protecting, and preserving affordable housing, with a focus on the delivery of homeless housing. This dashboard identified key metrics and progress towards that goal, by Zip Code, within the community.

State, Commerce Data Strategies Underpin Broader Agency Goals

Federal News Network

The State Department and Commerce Department are both launching strategies to maximize the use of their data.

Webinar: Applying Evaluation in the Justice40 Initiative – October 14, 2021, 2:00 p.m. Eastern

Data Foundation

Based on past efforts at the Environmental Protection Agency and ongoing implementation of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act across the federal government, this 90-minute webinar will discuss opportunities for prioritizing evaluative thinking and practice in implementation of the Justice 40 Initiative.

Resource of the Week:  List of IBM Center for The Business of Government Reports on Improving Government Performance – ASPA Center for Accountability & Performance

This link provides a curated list, and thumbnail summaries, of over 60 IBM Center reports between 2000 and 2021 on the topic of performance management.

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Accountability and Performance Update – September 13-19, 2021

A Framework for Customer-Focused Leadership in Government

Partnership for Public Service

To deliver results and restore public trust in government, federal employees need to lead with a customer focus. . . This report outlines what those approaches look like—with specific examples of how leaders have employed them.

Americans’ View of Government: Low Trust, but Some Positive Performance Ratings

Pew Research Center

Just 20 percent of U.S. adults say they trust the government in Washington to “do the right things” most of the time.  Yet majorities in both parties say the federal government should play a major role on public health, the economy, and other areas.

When PerformanceStat Comes to the State Legislature

Governing

A New Mexico legislative committee is believed to be the first to try the management approach in a lawmaking context. It’s an effort that bears watching, and some lessons are being learned.

A New Culture of Engagement: Insight & Data-Driven Decisions

PublicInput.com

What does it mean to create agility in public engagement and using a unified approach? How do you adjust the culture of engagement to accelerate trust-building, efficiency, effectiveness, and true data-driven decision making?

States and the Fiscal Experiment Flowing from Washington

Governing

Despite predictions that COVID-19 would crush state tax revenues, most of them didn’t need megabillions in pandemic aid to balance their budgets. But for the most part they seem to be spending the money wisely.

Putting Evidence to Use

Stanford Social Innovation Review

Research does no good if its insights are irrelevant or not applied. Ensuring that evidence influences policy requires developing the right ecosystem and levers for accountability.

Transforming Service to Veterans: How I Pursued Performance Excellence at the Veterans Benefits Administration in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Paul Lawrence

Transforming Service to Veterans presents Lawrence’s journey from a business executive to political appointee charged with providing benefits to Veterans and implementing high-profile Veteran-focused legislation. He describes how he and his executive team assessed VBA’s performance, identified problems and solutions, and determined an effective path forward. A key part of his work was hands-on management and a relentless focus on performance improvement.

Webinar:  How Are Innovative Cities Using American Rescue Plan Act Funds? Sept 21, 2 p.m. (Eastern)

Results for America

How are cities using funds t address local challenges with data and evidence? Speakers include head of the White House ARP Implementation Team and director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs along with three mayors.

Resource of the Week:  The Center for Accountability, Modernization, and Innovation

Provides thought leadership designed to help government work better for the American people via partnerships that drive innovation in and enhance the performance of federally funded public assistance programs, while also improving the quality of service to beneficiaries.

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