Accountability and Performance Update – July 19 – 25, 2021

Centering Racial Equity in Measurement and Evaluation

Urban Institute

This brief explores how racial equity and inclusion can strengthen nonprofits’ measurement and evaluation work and how measurement and evaluation help nonprofits identify inequities and use data to improve the operationalization of REI practices. 

Interim Implementation Guidance for the Justice40 Initiative

U.S. Office of Management and Budget

Outlines a whole-of-government approach and directs agencies to develop performance targets to invest in environmental justice initiatives and spur economic development in disadvantaged communities.

Broadcasting Good News, Learning from Bad News

Public Administration

This journal article shows that “decline narratives” (bad news) lead to higher internal use (learning and control purposes) of performance information. In contrast, “increase narratives” (good news) lead to higher external use (giving account and building support purposes) of performance information.

Implementing the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

An overview of the Act, key contact officials at the department, and the role of the Assistant Secretary for Policy and Evaluation. 

Performance Highlights Newsletter – July 2021

Idaho Office of Performance Evaluations

Examples of sustained improvements, identified information gaps, improving service coordination and four upcoming evaluations to be completed by 2022.

Resource of the Week: Colorado Department of Transportation’s FY2022 Annual Performance Plan. A great example of what state agencies are doing these days re: performance transparency.

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Accountability and Performance Update – July 12 – 18, 2021

A Path Forward for Funding Relief

Richmond Times-Dispatch (Bill Leighty)

Governments at the state and local levels are faced with an unheard-of set of fiscal circumstances. That is, a financial windfall of unprecedented proportions due to the passage of the American Rescue Plan and previous COVID-19 relief packages.

Bloomberg Philanthropies Recognizes 16 U.S. Cities for Using Data Most Effectively

Bloomberg Philanthropies 

Fourth annual What Works Cities certification commends excellence in using evidence and data to improve city services, increase transparency, and promote civic engagement. Data has proved crucial to guiding city responses to COVID-19.

Strategic Planning Requirement Presents Opportunity to Transform Agency Cultures

Government Matters (Robert Shea)

Shea said he encourages people to read the OMB guidance and emphasized that the requirement has been building up over multiple administrations and is here to stay.

A Plan for America: Design a Project, Track Outcomes, Receive Matching Dollars

Deseret News (Ben McAdams)

A proposal from Results for America and Maycomb Capitol could help local governments jump-start innovated solutions to community problems.

Resource of the Week: City Health Dashboard: Explore health data in your city.

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Accountability and Performance Update – July 5 – 11, 2021

States Can Use Federal Stimulus Money to Evaluate Program Effectiveness

Pew Charitable Trusts

As states continue to respond to the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, policymakers should look to use federal stimulus money to bolster efforts to regularly evaluate the effectiveness of programs and more broadly use evidence to invest in policies and programs proved to work.

White House Tells Watchdog It Won’t Comply with Some Priority Suggestions to Improve Government

Government Executive

OMB has told the chief government watchdog it will not comply with several of its recommendations aimed at improving the performance and oversight of government, arguing the changes are unnecessary or that it had already addressed the concerns. 

How Far American Rescue Plan Dollars Will Stretch Varies by State


States have until the end of 2024 to obligate the funds; some have already allocated substantial shares or are debating proposals to do so

Why Policy Should Be Governed by Evidence


Without decisions made for the long term based on evidence, we are in danger of living with decisions that serve political agendas, not people.

The Rule Is Simple: Be Careful What You Measure

The Guardian

If there’s one management platitude that should have been throttled at birth, it’s ‘what gets measured gets managed’.  

Resource of the WeekAmerican Rescue Plan & COVID-19 Resources: This resources page shares the latest updates, including summaries of and links to new federal laws and legislation, federal agency guidance, state government resources, local government actions, as well as other tools and resources to help policymakers who are looking for evidence-based solutions to protect their most vulnerable residents.

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Accountability and Performance Update – June 28 – July 4, 2021

Closing the Data Gap: How Cities are Delivering Better Results for Residents

Results for America/The Monitor Institute

Consider the progress that cities in the What Works Cities (WWC) community, launched in 2015 by Bloomberg Philanthropies and now the leading national network for data-driven city leaders, have made across four foundational data practices in the last several years.

OMB Offers New Guidance for Implementing First Part of Evidence Act


The guidance urges agencies to focus on results, not compliance, as they craft their plans.

OMB Memo Tells Agencies to Back Up Future Budget Requests with Evidence

Federal News Network

The Biden administration is expecting agencies to back up future budget requests with evidence and program performance metrics — or at least provide a plan to gather these insights.

Webinar: Centering Racial Equity in Measurement and Evaluation, July 21

Urban Institute

Join Measure4Change for a virtual event with experts from the nonprofit sector implementing REI in their organizations’ measurement and evaluation processes.

Resource of the Week: A Four-Page Performance Management Challenges Table

John Mercer

Mercer, the Senate staffer behind the 1993 Government Performance and Results Act, has developed a framework for developing a performance planning/budgeting/management system.

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Accountability and Performance Update – June 21 – 27, 2021

New CAP Board Members Announced

Welcome to two new members appointed by ASPA President Allan Rosenbaum to the CAP Board – Monica Croskey Chaparro and Elaine Yi Lu. They join reappointed Board Chair Richard Greene and reappointed board member Patria de Lancer Julnes.

Why Evidence Should Be a Priority in Pandemic Recovery

Governing (J-PAL North America)

Billions in federal aid give state and local governments the opportunity to leverage evidence-based approaches to help disproportionately impacted communities and address long-term systemic challenges.

Global Media Agency Seeks Feedback on Next Strategic Plan

Government Executive

 U.S. Agency for Global Media is seeking public comment on what it should prioritize in its strategic plan for the next five years, after a controversial final year under the Trump administration.

Biden Is Moving “Full Speed” on Management Priorities Despite Key Vacancies

Government Executive

The President’s Management Council, is developing a process to frame and implement a management agenda “that will communicate, organize, and prioritize management efforts across the entirety of the federal government to drive further results against these goals and beyond,”

Is This the Moment to Truly Transform the ROI of Higher Education?

Arnold Ventures

There are programs that are proven to grow college completion rates. The Biden administration’s American Families Plan wants to spend $62 billion to expand them.

Pipeline Safety: Performance Measures Needed to Assess Recent Changes to Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Regulations

Government Accountability Office

Several pipeline operators said they would need to modify or replace pipelines to accommodate certain inspection tools. The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration hasn’t developed measures to assess whether the changes improve safety. 

Census Bureau Training Five Agencies to Run “Do-It-Yourself” Data Sprints

Federal News Network

The Census Bureau’s Opportunity Project matches agencies up with tech teams from the private sector to create digital projects that benefit the public and unlock new benefits from federal data.

Resource of the Week: Engaging the Organization in Effective Performance Management – Translating Vision into Results

Richard Beck and John O’Brien

A new book on how to install performance management in an organization using a holistic approach, guided by three main principles.

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