Accountability and Performance Update – Feb 13-19, 2023

Measurement Tools Help Cities

Public Administration Today

On November 30, 2022, the National League of Cities and the International WELL Building Institute co-hosted a webinar on “Tools to Measure Health & Well-being for Infrastructure Development,” as part of their ongoing partnership to help city leaders improve the health and wellbeing of their communities. This article summarizes the event.

Measures Should Focus Measures on What Matters

Public Administration Today

Governments need quantitative metrics to gain a sense of how things are going. This makes government performance measurement an essential part of city leadership. But prioritizing the wrong metrics can lead decision-makers astray and cause people to lose sight of their goals.

CDOs Seen as “Game Changer” for Equity and Customer Experience

Federal News Network

The Biden administration is calling on the expertise of more than 90 chief data officers across the federal government to accelerate progress on two of its top management priorities.

Quasi-Experimental Evidence of the Effects of Performance Feedback

Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory (paywalled)

This article examines how the use of an “honor list” and “shame roll” as a means of performance feedback can influence governments’ future performance improvement, focusing on a prominent performance management reform implemented in Chinese local governments.

Does Ranking Stimulate Government Performance?

Social Indicators Research (paywalled)

With the air quality ranking of China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment as a case, this paper examines whether the public ranking could stimulate the ranked cities to improve performance. The results show that the horizontal ranking, i.e., the relative position among the cities, significantly stimulates the cities to improve air quality.

New Leader for Federal Workforce and Agency Performance Issues

Government Executive

Loren DeJonge Schulman this week began her tenure as associate director for performance and personnel management within the Office of Management and Budget. She joined the White House after spending nearly three years at the Partnership for Public Service as the vice president for research, evaluation and modernizing government.

Futures Planning: 8 Ways to Enhance Strategic Planning


Researchers developed a model to measure the future preparedness of firms in 2008. They then followed up to see if a company’s corporate foresight had a positive impact on performance in 2015. . . . Their findings revealed a strong correlation with performance and long-term thinking, showing that organizations that recognize the future might change the very foundation of their businesses are 33% more profitable and achieve a 200% higher growth rate than the average company that does not.

CEOs Ditch Decades of Forecasting Habits

Financial Times

Instead of setting out specific goals for the year, Ikea has a set of “scenarios” to give the business wiggle room as the outlook changes. It means acknowledging that widely different outcomes are possible. It teaches agility in how the company operates.

Webinars This Week:

Setting Up and Evaluating Programs with an Eye on Equity

Center for Accountability & Performance (Tuesday, Feb 21st @ 1:00 p.m. Eastern)

The drive toward creating diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) in the public sector is a significant issue for many governments — as well as the people they serve. But how can they establish an environment that fosters these goals and then be held accountable for their success or failure — and how can they achieve better measurement toward improved outcomes? Panelists from GAO, San Diego, Oakland, CA, and Berkeley.

“Let’s Talk Performance” 

National Center for Public Performance (Webinar: Wednesday, February 22nd @ 11:00 EST)

Prof. Elaine Yi Lu  (City University of New York) and Prof. Katherine Willoughby (University of Georgia) will discuss their award-winning book “Public Performance Budgeting: Principles and Practice” moderated by Greg Useem, Chief Performance Officer for the City of Alexandria, Va.

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Accountability and Performance Update – Feb 6-12, 2023

New OMB Performance Leader

Federal News Network

Loren DeJonge Schulman is starting as the new associate director for performance and personnel management today. She replaces Pam Coleman, who left in August after 20 months in that role.She joins OMB from the Partnership for Public Service where she was vice president of research, evaluation and modernizing government for the last two-plus years.

IG Finds Issues with GSA’s Performance-Based Contracts


The General Services Administration is failing to properly manage performance-based service contracts while struggling to resolve longstanding contract administration challenges, according to an inspector general’s audit published Thursday.  The report claims GSA contracting personnel are not adequately fulfilling performance-based contract oversight, which could result in underperforming contractors and wasted government funds. 

The End Is Near for Outdated Government Financial Reporting


By way of a few paragraphs inserted into the recently enacted 4,000-page 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress mandated that state and local governments prepare their annual financial statements in a standardized format that is electronically searchable. The provision effectively drags state and local governments kicking and screaming into the 20th century, if not the 21st.

How Results-Driven Contracting Improved Outcomes in Chicago

GovInnovator (Andy Feldman; podcast: 11:48)

In an interview with Lisa Morrison Butler, former commissioner of Chicago’s Department of Family and Support Services, she describes a five-step organizational transformation of the department’s approach to contracting with non-profits and other contractors.

Data for Equity

Centre for Public Impact

Data for Equity is a collaborative network of city governments working together to close wealth and opportunity gaps. Cities include: Atlanta, Baltimore, Birmingham, Dayton, Louisville, Salt Lake City and St. Louis.

Follow the Evidence

The Hill

Nine new governors are taking office. These first few weeks mark a critical window of opportunity to set their policy agenda for the next four years. Regardless of political leaning, new governors have a sure-fire way to strengthen the states they will soon lead: invest in evidence-based policymaking.  

Overseeing Money That’s Hard to Track

Government Executive (Podcast 22:39)

The Project on Government Oversight recently posted a report outlining 13 issues that policymakers can tackle to increase efficacy and oversight in government. Dylan Hedtler-Gaudette is a Government Affairs Manager at the Project on Government Oversight and one of the authors of the report. He joined the podcast to discuss government oversight.

Understanding Brokers, Intermediaries, and Boundary Spanners

Evidence & Policy Journal

Jennifer Neal, et al, characterize the strategies, skills, and outcomes of Brokers, Intermediaries, and Boundary Spanners across the literature in education, environmental, health and other relevant sectors. They identify five key strategies used by these actors, including use of evidence.

Resource of the Week:  A Re-Designed Website

Baltimore Mayor’s’s Office of Performance & Innovation

The new web page brings together the city’s CitiStat, InnovationTeam, and Data Fellows’ initiatives on one page. And it will soon be adding info on its Performance Management team!

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Accountability and Performance Update – Jan 30 – Feb 5, 2023

Data Visualizations Bring Transparency

Office of Management and Budget

OMB released updated data pages for each of the three priority areas in the President’s Management Agenda. These pages feature data visualizations of key progress metrics that are being monitored to help the public better understand how performance is being tracked.

Measuring for Management

FCW (Steve Kelman)

 Performance measures can constitute perhaps the single most-important tool available to government managers. They can motivate employees to work harder, focus employees on a few important things, and help employees learn which techniques aid them to do a better job.

“Let’s Talk Performance” (Webinar: Wednesday, February 22nd @ 11:00 EST)

National Center for Public Performance

Prof. Elaine Yi Lu  (City University of New York) and Prof. Katherine Willoughby (University of Georgia) will discuss their award-winning book “Public Performance Budgeting: Principles and Practice” moderated by Greg Useem, Chief Performance Officer for the City of Alexandria, Va. Email for a registration link.

Wither Evidence-Informed Governance?

PATimes (Gary VanLandingham)

Experience has also shown that developing effective and lasting evidence-informed governance systems is extremely challenging. It is hard to implement evidence-informed governance approaches in a single policy area, let alone government-wide.

How Accessibility of Data Can Impact Mission Deliverables

FedScoop (YouTube Video)

Laura Biven, data science technical lead in the Office of Data Science Strategy at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and John Auerbach, senior vice president for public health at ICF, joined FedScoop for a discussion on best practices in capturing greater intelligence from data.

Foresight: Humans Are Terrible at Planning for the Future

CNN Opinion (Patrick Noack)

The Dubai Future Forum  hs convened hundreds of futurists and has articulated guidelines – principles – that help in this process. There are eight principles in all, but three are really important if we want to shift quickly and inclusively toward a longer-term mode of thinking and acting.

Resource of the Week:  Foresight Toolkit for Decision Makers

California 100

This Toolkit provides a brief introduction to strategic foresight and how it can be used to support decision-making. It contains suggestions about how to get started applying foresight for impact.

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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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