Results-Based Accountability™ Advice


  What is the purpose of this guide?


This guide is intended for those brave souls who are working to actually implement some form of results or performance accountability in their community, city, school district, county, state or nation. Implementation is no small matter. The leap from theory to practice requires courage, time, discipline and some knowledge about HOW to do the work. This guide is devoted to this last ingredient, how to do the work. It is an attempt to summarize as much of what we know about implementation as possible.


The guide is organized by question. And we have tried to find the hardest questions, the ones you might ask, and then give the best answer we could. Trying to answer tough questions is tough and trying. There is still much we don't know about this work, and, in truth, there always will be. This work is, by its nature, a process of experimentation and discovery. For that reason we also see this guide as a work in progress, where we will add new knowledge as we gather it. You are part of that gathering process. As you read this you will find that you have ideas and experience to offer. And we would like to hear from you  about this. (Use the back key to return to this page.) You may also think of tough questions you would like answered, and we would like to hear these as well. Or you may not be satisfied with the answer offered here. Write to us, tell us what you think is wrong, and we'll try again.   

The answers to the questions in this paper have two purposes: First to inform those doing the work. And second to help those doing the work explain and, where appropriate, "sell" the approach to others. Those others might be elected officials, decision makers, or new partners.


We try not to skimp on answers. The text is edited to make it readable, to present the main ideas quickly. But we have also loaded into this guide everything we can think of that may be useful, including detailed (and sometimes technical ) answers,  pictures, formats and other tools you can use. The guide incorporates significant material from prior publications but also includes much material that has not been published anywhere before.

Finally, it is important to note that the guide has a point of view. It is not a neutral summary of work in the field of Results-Based Accountability. Rather it is designed to help implement an approach to this work previously developed by the guide's principle author (with the assistance of many generous friends and colleagues) and presented in publications of The Finance Project, The Center for the Study of Social Policy,  The Foundation Consortium, the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities and the Fiscal Policy Studies Institute.  (See Author and Sponsor credits, Acknowledgements, and the publications listed in Resources and References). 

We hope you find this guide useful.  Please let us know.



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