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Santa Fe, New Mexico: Fiscal Policy Studies Institute and Clear Impact are excited to announce the release of the 10th Anniversary edition of Trying Hard Is Not Good Enough: How to Produce Measurable Improvements for Customers and Communities (Trying Hard).

Trying Hard is the premier Results-Based Accountability (RBA) manual; it has been used by nonprofits and government agencies around the world to improve public sector services, and help individuals get from talk to action to make a difference in their communities.

RBA (also known as Outcomes-Based Accountability in some parts of the UK) is a data-driven decision-making framework that can be used to create measurable improvements in the lives of children, adults, families and communities as a whole. It can also be used to measure and improve the performance of programs, organizations and service-systems.

“Mark Friedman’s book fills an urgent unmet need. The more readers this book reaches, the greater the chance that community groups, service providers, and governmental and nonprofit organizations at every level will be able to change lives.”

–Lisbeth B. Schorr, Author, Within Our Reach: Breaking the Cycle of Disadvantage

“Mark’s book is empowering leaders within the Promise Neighborhoods movement to hold accountability for ensuring that all of our children and their families live in communities of opportunity from cradle to career.”

–Dr. Michael A. McAfee, Director, Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink, and Vice President for Programs, PolicyLink

“This is a simple and brilliant book that I strongly recommend to anyone who wants to make a difference. In 2014, the State of Vermont incorporated the principles of RBA into law, and the process is transforming public policy.”

-Senator Diane Snelling
Vermont State Senate

Notable proponents of the framework (which span local, state, and national governments, as well as a wide range of nonprofits) include the state governments of Connecticut, Minnesota, and Vermont, the governments of Wales and Northern Ireland, and the cities of Calgary (Alberta, Canada) and Leeds (UK). Others include President Obama’s Promise Neighborhood Initiative, The National Institute of Health, numerous United Ways in the US, Canada, and South Africa, charitable foundations and their grantees like the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Anglicare Western Australia, New South Wales Family Services Inc., and hundreds more.

The new edition of Trying Hard includes important changes from older editions, including:

  • New tools for practitioners, including a new Customer Satisfaction Questionnaire and a new Tool for Choosing a Common Language.
  • New performance measure examples for Juvenile Justice Services, Adult Corrections, Transportation, Fire Departments, and Economic Development.
  • Improved instructions for key RBA exercises, including the Population and Performance Turn the Curve exercises, and the 5- Step method for identifying performance measures for any program in about 45 minutes.
  • More than 40 new references to RBA related publications.
  • New insights about how to do the work throughout the book.

While this edition replaces the 2005 and 2009 editions, all three editions are compatible with each other and can be used concurrently. Clear Impact recommends purchasing the newest edition of the book to ensure you learn from the most up-to-date knowledge and methods. Both the 2009 edition and the 10th Anniversary Edition will be available on The new edition will also be available at a discounted rate on Clear Impact website here.

Buy it at Clear Impact
Buy it on Amazon

New RBA material, including essays, implementation tools, and resources can soon be found in the RBA Accountability Companion Reader, scheduled for release in Fall 2015. This volume will bring together important new writing by Mark Friedman and selected other authors from the last 10 years. Look for an announcement in the upcoming months.

Contact Information:

Phone: 301-907-7541