Clear Impact Australia (Clear Impact AU) supports the Brotherhood of St. Laurence with Results Based Accountability and Clear Impact Scorecard implementation. Brotherhood of St. Laurence (BSL) is a large organisation, based in Victoria, that focuses on people who are at risk at four critical stages (transitions) in their lives:
- children and families in the early years, both at home and in school
- young people in the years through school to work and further education
- adults seeking work and learning opportunities
- older people facing the challenges of retirement and ageing.
BSL delivers a wide range of services through a large number of programs to ensure better outcomes for people they serve. After going through a review of available outcomes frameworks, they decided to implement Results Based Accountability. They have decided to do pilot programs in order to test the framework before doing an organisation-wide implementation.
Amanda Pagan, Senior Manager of Performance and Outcomes Measurement, explained why BSL has chosen RBA and why they would recommend it to others:
“We wanted a framework that could tell us how well we are doing and the outcomes of our programs in time for us to make change and adapt our programs to get better outcomes. We felt that is where RBA could sit alongside our services and evaluations to support continuous improvement as well as maintain the focus on what we are trying to achieve. Another reason why we chose RBA is because it delineated between Population and Performance outcomes. This is very important to us because as an advocacy-oriented organisation, we want to do a great job in our programs and demonstrate how our programs might influence broader policy and population change. We did a lot of research around the world to make our decision, and RBA came up as a consistent solution for what we were looking for.”
The pilots were chosen from all 5 transition areas and included the HIPPY program, Youth Transition Program, Workforce Solutions, VCAL, and Retirement and Aging. The first step in the implementation process of RBA included introductory sessions into the RBA framework for all the pilot programs. The goal of these workshops was to ensure that team leaders and managers understood the RBA process, as well as to illustrate why it was chosen. The response was positive, which confirmed buy-in from staff. With 98% of participants finding the
workshop useful and 89.7% reporting they have confidence to implement RBA following the workshop, this was found this to be a beneficial approach. Following this, Maya Romic, Capacity Building Consultant for Clear Impact AU, facilitated half-day workshops with each of the pilot programs to develop performance measures. In order for the teams to develop strong, relevant performance measures, Maya emphasised the purpose of each program and identified the key activities performed to ensure measures reflected the core function of the program. The measures were developed by the teams themselves with Maya Romic facilitating the process.
The pilots also included the implementation of the Clear Impact Scorecard software. Amanda stated the reason behind this decision:
“It [Clear Impact Scorecard] will be a great tool for us to standardise reporting and focus our teams on a tool that really supports very targeted continuous improvement and accountability.”
Maya spent time with Amanda coaching her how to build the Scorecard herself to encourage proficient use of the software and sustainability within the programs.
Next steps for BSL’s RBA implementation include collecting the data on the selected performance measures, going through the Turn the Curve process, and then bringing all pilots together into a workshop to reflect on their practice and develop next steps.
Of Clear Impact Australia’s service and working with Maya Romic, Amanda said:
“Maya was great to work with. She was very knowledgeable, an excellent presenter, friendly, supportive and flexible -which is important when you are scheduling busy program staff into workshops! I think that when you are starting out, it’s great to learn from those who have done it all before.”
Both Clear Impact’s Maya Romic and BSL’s Amanda Pagan will be presenting at this year’s RBA Australia Summit. Maya will be co-delivering a Clear Impact Scorecard Training as part of the Pre-Conference workshops on September 29th. She will also be co-presenting the session “Driving the Implementation of RBA with Technology” in which she will discuss the importance of technology in RBA implementation and achieving an outcomes-focused culture in organisations and teams. Amanda Pagan will be presenting along with Desiree Nangle, Research and Evaluation Manager, Anglicare WA, in the session “Nonprofits Getting Results.”
For more information and to register, please visit rba-australia.com.