Accountability and Performance Update – Mar 20-26, 2023

Webinar: Federal Management & Performance Priorities for 2023. Wed., Mar. 29, 1 p.m. Eastern)

ASPA Center for Accountability & Performance

President Biden released his proposed fiscal year 2024 budget in earlier this month. It was accompanied by his management priorities – both government wide and agency specific. This session will be an update on progress over the past year along with a summary of new initiatives for the coming year, with an emphasis on the status of the first-ever set of governmentwide and agency level learning agendas.

Webinar: 21st Century Budgeting: From Line Items to Priority-Based Budgeting

International City/County Managers Association (ICMA)

This three-part workshop uses interactive sessions to teach the process of implementing PBB and applying the data to budget creation and decision making. April 6-20, 2023.

Opportunity to Expand Smart Budgeting


An initiative to help policymakers use evidence to inform spending – the Pew-McArthur Results First initiative begun in 2010 — is coming to a close after more than a decade, but it should be just the beginning of state governments’ efforts to bring analytical tools to bear to produce better outcomes.

White House Report on Implementation of Equitable Data Initiatives

National Science and Technology Council

The report highlights progress on making disaggregated data the norm (while protecting privacy). Federal agencies are collecting, generating, and analyzing disaggregated data – reflecting race, veterans status, income level, rural & urban, etc. – and are hiring data practitioners to analyze these data.

How to Spend Your City’s Money

New Yorker

In participatory budgeting, much depends upon the details: how much funding is allocated, what types of projects are eligible, how they are sorted, who actually participates, and so on. But the system, when it’s executed well, promises to do more than simply allocate funds. It can improve the quality of public works and services; by strengthening civil society and increasing transparency and trust in government.

Is Participatory Budgeting Coming to a Community Near You?


Participatory budgeting has slowly been growing since it was first introduced in the U.S. in Chicago in 2009. Many anticipate it is about to see a boom as billions of federal dollars continue to pour into local communities.

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Accountability and Performance Update – Mar 13-19, 2023

Auditors: Attack on Auditor Independence in Iowa


The Iowa Senate passed a bill that would effectively neuter the state auditor. If the House approves the bill, the ramifications could be debilitating for the state’s fiscal health.

Legislators: New Bill on Using Evidence in Policymaking


Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., says he will soon introduce legislation that would create a commission on “evidence-based policymaking” within Congress to ensure policymaking is based more on federal data and facts rather than opinions.

Academics: 2023 Marc Holzer Public Performance Symposium (March 24)

National Center for Public Performance/ASPA

This all-day symposium is part of the conclusion of the annual conference of the American Society for Public Administration. Its theme is “the use of performance data in promoting good governance” and includes speakers from around the globe involved in using performance information to make a difference. Register via the ASPA conference site for “symposium only.”

Resource of the Week:  Bernilollo County, NM Office of Operations Excellence

In a community of 675,550 and a budget of $539 million, this is a great example of how a community can create a performance management framework with public transparency. Here’s an interview with office director Maria Zuniga.

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Accountability and Performance Update – Mar 6-12, 2023

Beware: The Statistics from Nowhere

The Atlantic

Unfortunately, the very pervasiveness of meaningless numbers undercuts the credibility of statistics more generally, even when the numbers never make it into anyone’s financial calculations. . . . Audiences should be skeptical of numbers that get thrown around without sufficient explanation of their provenance. 

Are We There Yet? Evolution of the U.S. Federal Performance Management Framework: 1993-2022

International Journal of Public Administration (un-gated article)

The adoption and use of organizational performance management techniques has evolved in the US federal government over the past three decades. Recent movements to develop more sustainable uses of data and evidence may hold lessons for the future of the federal performance movement.

The 4 Stages of Data-Informed Local Government

What Works Cities

 What Works Cities equips and empowers city leaders to develop a data culture that delivers for residents. But what does the undertaking actually look like?

Buffalo’s Open Data Help Prevent Lead Poisoning

What Works Cities

During the last five years, Buffalo has successfully relaunched efforts to remediate toxic lead water pipes in no small part due to its strong commitment to data-driven decision making, open data, and stakeholder outreach.

Baltimore’s Use of Data to Support Neighborhood Reinvestment

What Works Cities

To address pressing housing challenges, the City of Baltimore is designing interventions customized to neighborhoods’ specific needs. Decisions about how to make these targeted investments are supported by a strong foundation of open data and stakeholder engagement.

Principles and Practices of Performance Budgeting

National Center for Public Performance

This YouTube recording of a recent webinar features Prof. Elaine Yi Lu  (City University of New York) and Prof. Katherine Willoughby (University of Georgia) who discuss their award-winning book “Public Performance Budgeting: Principles and Practice.” Their presentations are moderated by Mr. Greg Useem, Chief Performance Officer for the City of Alexandria, Va.

Resource of the Week:  Mapping Civic Measurement

Institute for Citizens & Scholars

Mapping Civic Measurement is a comprehensive civic measurement landscape review and a first-of-its-kind framework for mapping civic readiness and opportunities. This report features a collection of measurement tools, rubrics, and more than 200 resources in use by practitioners across education, business, philanthropy, community institutions, media, government, and civil society. 

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Accountability and Performance Update – Feb 27-Mar 5, 2023

When Data-Based Decision-Making Is Flawed


There may even be an inverse correlation between increased use of data and the likelihood that it is accurate, timely and useful. . . . “The more you rely on data, the more incentive there is for people to be careless with it, because they’re in a hurry,” says Mark Funkhouser, the former mayor of Kansas City.”

Getting Legislatures Interested in the Future

International Political Science Review

Gradually, countries throughout the world have established state-level foresight mechanisms. Most operate under the executive branch, but increasingly such institutions have started to emerge also in legislatures, expanding anticipatory governance towards democratic publics. This article sums up a global survey on progress.

Upcoming: 2023 Marc Holzer Public Performance Symposium

ASPA/National Center for Public Performance

Day-long web-based symposium on the use of data for government performance. It brings together researchers and professionals to discuss key issues and trends. The symposium features a keynote lecture and three panels with 24 experts in the field. March 24, 2023, 8:45 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Eastern.

N. Carolina: A Commitment to Impact

Pew Charitable Trusts, Results First (Video – 5:07 min.)

This video provides a snapshot of the partnership between Results First and North Carolina. In it, North Carolina leaders talk about their initial experiences with the project. It concludes with North Carolina leaders’ thoughts on the future of evidence-based policymaking in their state.

Resource of the Week:  The Elements of a Randomized Evaluation

J-PAL North America

This resource provides a high-level overview of the steps of a randomized evaluation. The reader will find written resources, video lectures, and case studies about different aspects of a randomized evaluation, derived from J-PAL’s professional education programs.

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Accountability and Performance Update – Feb 20-26, 2023

A Tribute to Harry Hatry

Barrett & Greene

Harry Hatry, 92, a pioneer of great renown in the field of performance management died on February 20th from complications resulting from pneumonia. His career spanned over 60 years, during which time he worked with a wide range of local state and federal agencies – internationally and nationally – to help provide them with the capacity to measure the success and failure of their efforts.

More Federal Agencies Defining Their Risk Appetite, Integrating into Decision Making

Federal News Network

Agencies are managing their enterprise risks to drive decision making in a much more integrated and strategic way. That’s one of the most significant trends in the 8th annual federal enterprise risk management survey.

How to Engage Managers to Measure Performance

Stacey Barr’s Blog

Here are three tips to strike up a chat that might just plant the seeds for your managers to see measurement as a fertile idea.

UK’s Performance Tracker: Spring 2023 Update

Institute for Government

Performance Tracker reviews the state of nine UK public services – general practice, hospitals, adult social care, children’s social care, neighbourhood services, schools, police, criminal courts and prisons. 

Enhancing State & Local Use of Data Analytics

State Tech Magazine

In a survey by MeriTalk, state and local IT leaders see data analytics as an integral part of modern digital government, they say they are facing many hurdles to maximizing their use of analytics tools.

Resource of the Week:  Community Indicators Project Development Guide

Chantal Stevens, et al (2019)

The Community Indicators Project Development Guide sets out to provide a comprehensive resource, based on literature search, interviews, and personal experience, on how to start, implement, and sustain a community indicators project that will help create those favorable conditions for a community, and its families and children, to thrive. 

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