by: Rep. Diana Urban (CT), Sr. Consultant, Clear Impact

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Glossary of RBA Terms Used in Connecticut

The Language of Accountability

The most common problem in Results Based Accountability or any similar work is the problem of language. People come to the table from many different disciplines and many different walks of life. And the way in which we talk about programs, services and populations varies all over the map.This means that the usual state of affairs in planning for children, families, adults, elders and communities is a Tower of Babel, where no one really knows what the other person is saying, but everyone politely pretends that they do. As a consequence, the work is slow, frustrating and often ineffective.

It is possible to exercise language discipline. And the way to do this is to agree on a set of definitions that start with ideas and not words . Words are just labels for ideas. And the same idea can have many different labels. The following six ideas are central to RBA. The labels for these ideas are those chosen by the Appropriations Committee in Connecticut to ensure that everyone means the same thing when they use these ideas.