It’s one thing to measure performance and accountability behind the scenes and another to post the data online for all the world to see. Transparency and regular communication are virtually standard expectations in the public sector, but sharing performance data online (especially when that data showcases the “failures” along with the “successes”) is considerably brave.
Sharing data and information about population wellbeing and program performance helps ensure communities are well informed and residents stay engaged. This transparency allows people to participate more fully in the process of improving their own wellbeing and that of their community. Including the contextual information behind the data, strategies, and action-plans leads to a more in-depth understanding of the data and prevents costly misinterpretations.
To meet the increasing demand for public communication and education, many nonprofits, foundations, and government agencies are now building performance and accountability scorecards and sharing them on their websites for partners and the public to access.
Many are choosing to build their scorecards with Clear Impact Scorecard because it provides a space to share the context behind the data, information about partners, collaborative strategies, and action plans. Organizations are also using Scorecard as a communication tool to inform the public about the status of wellbeing in their community and the factors that influence it.
Check out how these different organizations are using Clear Impact Scorecard to improve their programs and services, promote accountability and transparency, and inform the public:
1. United Way of Central Iowa Education Dashboard
In 2008, United Way took the lead in coordinating a community-wide improvement strategy to improve education outcomes in their community. After realizing they needed a system to track progress, UWCI sought out Clear Impact Scorecard to align community efforts, streamline performance reporting, and keep the community informed.
UWCI now uses Clear Impact Scorecard to manage and aggregate education performance measures across all of their funded programs. Most recently, they have also begun to use Clear Impact Scorecard in scoring applicants for potential investments.
Through the coordinated implementation of the Results-Based Accountability framework and the Clear Impact Scorecard software, UWCI, community partners, and residents were able to work together to increase Des Moines 5-year High School Graduation Rate from 83.4% in 2008 to an all-time high of 93.6% in 2016.
Teresa Taylor-Wolf, Data and Research Director at UWCI, says, “Since we had been using Results-Based Accountability, it made so much sense for us to use Clear Impact Scorecard when the community set these broad goals … It makes my job easier. Seriously.”
2. Connecticut Department of Children and Families CT Kids Report Card
See it here: https://www.cga.ct.gov/kid/rba/results.asp
The Connecticut Department of Children and Families utilizes Results-Based Accountability and Clear Impact Scorecard to improve the wellbeing of the state’s children and families and examine the contribution of programs to population-level outcomes.
In Public Act No. 11-109 (https://www.cga.ct.gov/2011/ACT/Pa/pdf/2011PA-00109-R00HB-06282-PA.pdf), lawmakers enacted policy that requires the appropriate agencies to maintain an annual report card that evaluates program contributions and the progress towards the state’s population result concerning children and families: “Connecticut children grow up in a stable living environment, safe, healthy and ready to lead successful lives.”
In response to the legislation, the Department of Children and Families built the CT Kids Report Card as a policy tool to “help legislators, service providers, and the public track the state of the ‘Connecticut’s children, and inform budget, management, and planning decisions.” (C G A. https://www.cga.ct.gov/kid/rba/results.asp)
The CT Kids Report Card consists of four separate scorecards measuring the state-level results for children, including “stable,” “safe,” “healthy,” and “future success.”
3. Lamoille Family Center Children’s Integrated Services Scorecard
See it here: http://www.lamoillefamilycenter.org/results/
Lamoille Family Center offers a host of services to families and children from birth to age twenty-four throughout the Lamoille Valley in Vermont. With the “Children’s Integrated Services Scorecard,” they share metrics on community wellbeing related to school readiness and healthy pregnancies. They also share the performance of their Children’s Integrated Services.
Lamoille ensures that each of their indicators provides the “Story Behind the Curve” where they explain why it’s important to track that metric and factors influencing current trends.
In communicating with the public, consistency is key! Lamoille works to ensure all of their data stays up-to-date, with most of their performance measures reporting yearly.
Lamoille plans to add more scorecards as interactive tools to illustrate the impact of programs and generate dialogue on continuous program improvement to ensure that services lead to families that are better off.
4. Vermont Department of Health State Health Improvement Plan
Vermont Department of Health uses Clear Impact Scorecard to share with the public live, real-time scorecards to track and report the health of Vermonters, health risks and behaviors, and progress on the Healthy Vermonters 2020 goals.
The State Health Improvement Plan Scorecard outlines Vermont’s five-year plan to achieve the Healthy Vermonters 2020 goals: reducing prevalence of chronic disease, reducing prevalence of substance abuse and mental illness, and improving childhood immunizations. The plan includes strategies designed to impact these goals.
Scorecard has also helped Vermont fulfill the performance management system requirements of the Public Health Accreditation Board, contributing to the department’s national public health accreditation in 2014.
According to department performance managers, “The Scorecard is an integral part of our ability to display and share across our network and assists programs to gauge their own progress towards achieving our population goals…as a web-based solution, the Scorecard provides an opportunity to communicate consistently with partners – in and out of the state government.”
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