Roundtable: The Role of Outcome Monitoring in Evidence-Based Policymaking
(Public and Non-Profit Management and Finance)

Saturday, November 10, 2018: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
Tyler - Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Moderators:  John Kamensky, IBM Center for the Business of Government
Speakers:  Torey Silloway, Pew Charitable Trusts, Melissa Wavelet, Colorado Department of Human Services and Kathryn Vesey White, National Association of State Budget Officers

Effective performance management systems regularly track and report statewide or agency-level progress on established indicators to help determine whether government programs are working as intended. These systems are useful to various actors involved with public programs: staff and managers can use detailed performance data to monitor programs, identify problems early, and make needed improvements; policymakers can use performance data to make informed policy and budget decisions, mitigate risk, and strengthen accountability; and constituents can use performance information to hold government agencies and elected officials accountable.

Although nearly every state has some type of outcome monitoring system place, many governments face challenges in using this information to inform decision-making. State agencies frequently spend significant resources to collect and report performance data, which may not always be useful to decision-makers, while at the same time, policymakers may lack information they need to make important policy and funding decisions. Some states also face challenges in coordinating their performance management systems with other performance-related capacities, including research and evaluation, policy analysis, and implementation oversight, as well as other performance related initiatives such as Lean, which could be used together to make better decisions, but are often fragmented.

A new report from the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative which builds from interviews with nearly 20 state performance management offices, identifies four actions states can take to improve their performance management systems:

  1. Identify useful objectives, measures, and benchmarks;
  2. Refine processes to analyze and report performance information;
  3. Create regular opportunities to enable greater use of performance data; and
  4. Coordinate outcome monitoring with other aspects of evidence-based policymaking.

This roundtable will highlight ways states are currently using performance data to help improve programs and services, inform budget and policy decisions, and ensure accountability of government programs. Roundtable participants will highlight how their state has addressed the challenges mentioned above and will specifically discuss actions their state has taken to improve their performance management systems.