Accountability and Performance Update – Jan 23-29, 2023

Quarterly Status Update to Federal Agency Priority Goals

U.S. Office of Management and Budget

As the two-year point for completion of the FY2022-2023 agency priority goals reaches its halfway point, agencies reported not only on accomplishments made in the past quarter, but also on the goal’s overall performance over the past year.

Measuring Broadband

Barrett & Greene

As the federal government hands out money to states and localities for broadband services (and other infrastructure as well), one question has been in the back of our minds: How well are the feds measuring the performance of these investments.

Federal Program Inventory Redux

U.S. Government Accountability Office

A comprehensive listing of programs, along with related funding and performance information, would help federal decision makers and the public better understand what the government does, what it spends, and what it achieves each year.

Resource of the Week:  Government Performance Lab

Harvard Kennedy School

The Lab supports governments in building just and effective service systems by developing hands-on tools for the design and implementation of reforms. We do this by working closely with state and local governments to develop and test ways to successfully design, manage, and sustain reforms. We then spread these practices to communities across the country. It has completed more than 200 projects in 35 states.

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Accountability and Performance Update – Jan 16-22, 2023

Louisiana State Agencies Failed to Submit Performance Info

The Center Square

Numerous Louisiana agencies (8.9 percent) failed to submit quarterly performance information required by law in 2022 and many blamed staffing issues as the reason, according to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor.

10 Myths About Scenario Planning

LinkedIn (Woody Wade)

When Swiss-based Woody Wade talks about scenario planning with decision-makers, everyone instinctively understands (and wants) the benefits.  Yet hesitations still arise, often thanks to misconceptions about what’s involved. He uses this blog post to do a little myth busting.

How Is Research Evidence Used by Legislatures?

Evidence & Policy Blog (UK)

This blog summarizes the findings from a systematic review of how and for what purpose legislators use research evidence. It also examines legislators’ perspectives on enablers and barriers to using research evidence.

Resource of the Week:  Montgomery County (MD) CountyStat’s Twitter Feed

What does the County track?– 911 dispatches for fire and rescue incidents, solar installation permits, home values, surveys of quality of life, and more!

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Accountability and Performance Update – Jan 9-15, 2023

The Sisyphus Files – Repeated Issues in Performance Audits

Barrett and Greene

Episode 1: Data Quality. 

State and local auditors find themselves repeating many of the same findings over and over again, as they tackle different agencies and different issues. This article focuses on one significant issue that seems to crop up over and over again: shortcomings in data quality.

Evidence Commission After 5 Years: A Progress Report

Data Foundation

In reviewing progress on implementation of the Evidence Commission’s recommendations over the past five years, there are five clear effects to date on the evidence and data communities. The report urges action in four additional areas.

Data Sharing: A Playbook for State and Local Agencies

Benefits Data Trust

This Playbook is designed to help agencies and sectors use data sharing to illuminate who is not accessing benefits, better connect under-enrolled populations to vital assistance, and make the system more efficient for administering agencies and participants alike. 

Should the Federal Government Have More Oversight of State and Local Budgets?


A new Volcker Alliance report points out that the federal government directs more than $1 Trillion a year in grants and tax incentives to states and localities. The report argues the federal government should tighten their financing standards, including oversight of the $4 Trillion municipal bond market.

Resource of the Week:  Teaching Resources on Randomized Evaluations

J-PAL North America

This free, on-line course is comprised of seven modules that cover the expanse of Evaluation. It is presented via YouTube lectures and accompanying PowerPoint slides. J-PAL has offered this program in the past via a five-day in-person program. (last updated in 2020)

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Accountability and Performance Update – Jan 1-8, 2023

What’s Next for Evidence-Based Policy Making? 

Barrett and Greene (Elizabeth Linos)

As researchers and practitioners continue to collaborate to produce evidence on the most critical public sector challenges, it’s time to ask: What happens next? How do we go from documenting “best practice” to adoption of evidence? If we want evidence-based policymaking to meet its promise, we have to move beyond one-off demonstration projects to transformational use of evidence at scale.

 Addressing Complex and Cross-Boundary Challenges in Government: The Value of Strategy Mapping

IBM Center for The Business of Government

This report describes strategy management-at-scale, an approach to enable planning that addresses the major challenges facing governments at all levels. It is a boundary-crossing process designed to create direction, alignment, and commitment across agencies and among independent organizations at the scale of the challenge or issue to be addressed. One of the most promising techniques for facilitating strategy management-at-scale is strategy mapping, which this report details.

Trust in Public Performance Information

Public Administration Review 

The authors theorize that information characteristics, such as accessibility of raw data and the reputation of the sources of information, influence citizens’ trust in public performance information. Surveys in Austria and Germany validate their hypotheses.

Info Session on Strategic Performance Management Certificate (Tues., Jan. 10 – 6:30 p.m. Eastern)

National Center for Public Performance

Learn more about earning a certificate on performance management, strategic planning, data reporting, evidence-based decision making and more, via an 8-week on-line course. To register, email:

Resource of the Week:  Most Popular Publications, 2022

U.S. Administration for Children & Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation

This Twitter thread lists and links to OPRE’s ten most downloaded publications in 2022.

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Accountability and Performance Update – Dec 26-31, 2022

Evidence Brief #3: Collecting and Using Data

Urban Institute

Effective public management and high-quality evidence require good data. Data are turned into evidence through data analyses and well-designed research. Quality data turned into evidence can help government agencies, officials, and others decide where to focus their efforts, find ways to improve, increase adoption of good practices, and build public understanding of and trust in government 

Exploring the Shift from Output Measures to Outcome Measures of Service Delivery

Public Performance & Management Review

This article identifies organizational, individual, and support factors that could increase the probability that local officials in the Apulia Region of Italy when measuring performance, will move beyond the basic measures of output to the more advanced measures of outcome.

Broadband: USDA Should Set Performance Goals and Improve Fraud Risk Management

U.S. Government Accountability Office

Since 2019, the Department of Agriculture’s “ReConnect” program has awarded millions of dollars in grants and loans to broadband providers for expanding service in rural area. But USDA hasn’t set specific goals for what it wants this program to achieve or for how it will measure how well the program is working.

Resource of the Week:  Using AI to Navigate Data in Outcome-Based Contracts

UK Government Outcomes Lab

This tool allows you to navigate and explore data extracted from nearly 2000 academic and grey literature publications related to outcomes-based contracting.

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