The Short Answer
1. Organize the presentation to match the Results-Based Accountability thinking process. Start off with the results we want, then experience, then indicators, then baselines, then the story behind the baselines, the partners, our what works strategy, and what we propose to do.
2. Include a brief (one page) summary of the thinking process that can be read and understood by a lay audience.
3. The plan should present action items which can proceed without any further deliberation.
4. The plan should be designed so that it can be updated easily to reflect new thinking.
(1) The key to presenting a results based plan is to keep it simple enough so that the basic logic of the thinking process shows through. This means:
—Organizing the presentation to match the thinking process. The plan should start off with the results we want, then experience, then indicators, then baselines, then the story behind the baselines, the partners, our what works strategy, and what we propose to do.
—A corrollary of number 1 is that there must be a brief (one page) summary of the thinking process that can be read and understood by a lay audience.
—The plan should present action items which can proceed without any further deliberation or approval and those that require approval in one form or another
—The plan should be designed so that it can be updated easily to reflect new thinking about any of the steps along the way (indicators, story behind the baselines, what works etc.) And the plan should present or suggest a reporting format to track implementation progress.
(2) There are of course other components of Results-Based Accountability that are not listed above, specifically the data development agenda and the research agenda. These can be references in the main presentation or left to later discussion in the body of the plan and appendices. It may turn out in some circumstances that the data development agenda requires considerable prominence in the discussion because of the lack of good data.
(3) Since the plan is about action, about turning curves, then the opportunity to present the plan is also an opportunity to galvanize support for action and to attract new partners. This opportunity should not be squandered. The plan and its presentation strategy should be thought of like a political campaign, with care given to media, message, timing, potential allies and likely criticism. And there should be a series of public events which bring people in, make them feel good about participating, and celebrate accomplishments. All this must be done without sacrificing the underlying discipline of thinking about results as a data driven action process.
(4) Good examples of this kind of presentation can be found in many Family and Children’s budgets (2.16). Other good examples include the Alaska Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse 5 Year Plan, the Action Plan developed by the Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council as companion to the report card, and the plan for making all children ready for school, presented to the Maryland Joint Legislative Committee on Children Youth and Families. (Exact citations pending).