Analyzing the Operation of Performance-Based Accountability Systems for Public Services

Analyzing the Operation of Performance-Based Accountability Systems for Public Services

Analyzing the Operation of Performance-Based Accountability Systems for Public Services

Analyzing the Operation of Performance-Based Accountability Systems for Public Services

Synopsis

This report describes a framework used to organize available empirical information on one form of performance-based management, a performance-based accountability system (PBAS), which identifies individuals or organizations that must change their behavior to improve an activity's performance, an incentive structure to motivate those changes, and measures tailored to inform the incentive structure.

Excerpt

This technical report presents an analytic framework for describing how a performance-based accountability system (PBAS) works and uses the framework to identify appropriate questions to ask when studying the operation and impact of PBASs. This document, which introduces a common language that can be used to discuss PBASs and compare research across sectors, should be of interest to researchers and analysts studying performance measurement and accountability.

The framework and the questions introduced here were used by RAND to analyze the development and effects of PBASs in child care, education, health care, public health emergency preparedness (PHEP), and transportation. A separate document directed toward policymakers and agency administrators reports the findings of that analysis, including recommendations for future research on the development and effects of PBASs related to public services (Stecher et al., 2010).

This research has been conducted by RAND Education, a unit of the RAND Corporation, under a grant from a private philanthropic foundation. Questions and comments regarding this research should be directed to Frank Camm at Frank_Camm@rand.org or Brian Stecher at Brian_Stecher@rand.org.

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