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Results-Based Accountability

AHS is committed to embedding a Results-Based Accountability approach into how we work with communities to improve quality of life for Vermonters, and how we manage our programs and services to most effectively meet the needs of those we work with – ensuring that children, adults, and families are “better off” for our work.  A focus on “results” is one of the AHS Four Key Practices, and supports the achievement of our One Agency Strategic Plan Goal to reinforce accountability throughout our organization in order to become more efficient and effective in pursuit of our goals.

Results-Based Accountability™ (also known as RBA) is a disciplined way of thinking and taking action used to improve the quality of life for whole populations in a geographic area, and to improve the performance of programs, agencies, and service systems.  It starts with what we want to achieve, and works toward what to do to get there.  Mark Friedman developed RBA which is detailed in his book Trying Hard is Not Good Enough.  RBA is being used across the USA in all 50 states, and in countries around the world to make measurable impact. 

Results-Based Accountability describes two levels of accountability in which we can work to improve outcomes: Population Accountability and Performance Accountability.
To improve outcomes of well-being for a whole population in a geographic area, many partners need to share accountability for strategies that work. This shared accountability is called Population Accountability and requires many partners working together to establish the outcomes we want to achieve and the indicators we will use to measure progress toward quality of life for all children, adults, and families in communities.

Performance Accountability is about the role that individual programs, agencies, and service systems play as the means toward those ends. Unlike Population Accountability where accountability is shared by many partners, Performance Accountability is about the role of managers to improve the performance of their programs to benefit the people they serve. Performance measures help managers understand “how much” they are doing, “how well” they are doing it, and to what extent clients are “better off.”

 

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The performance of many different programs contribute to achieving measurable improvements for whole populations.  We can see this contribution clearest when the customer outcomes we measure align with the indicators we monitor for whole populations. We can support programs that work for the people we serve by holding managers of programs appropriately responsible for the quality and impact of programs – asking “how well are doing?” and “is anyone better off?”

 

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There are seven common sense questions that groups of partners can ask to “turn the curve” for population well-being, and that managers and staff can ask to “turn the curve” in the performance of their programs.  These questions start with the ends we are trying to achieve, and work backward toward identifying strategies to get there.

 

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Turning the Curve for Whole Populations:

  1. What are the quality of life conditions we want for children in VT?
  2. What would these conditions look like if we could see them?
  3. How can we measure these conditions?
  4. How are we doing on the most important of those conditions?
  5. Who are the partners that have a role to play in doing better?
  6. What works to do better? (Including no-cost and low cost ideas)
  7. What do we propose to do?

 

Turning the Curve for a Client Population:

  1. Who are our customers?
  2. How can we measure if our customers are better off?
  3. How can we measure if we are delivering service well?
  4. How are we doing on the most important of those conditions?
  5. Who are the partners that have a role to play in doing better?
  6. What works to do better? (Including no-cost and low cost ideas)
  7. What do we propose to do?

 

Explore our AHS Community Profiles of Health and Well-Being to learn more about how Vermonters are doing across the state in relation to the outcomes we want to achieve.

Explore our AHS Scorecards to learn more about how we contribute to improving conditions through the quality and impact of AHS programs.