Results-Based AccountabilityTM (RBA) / Outcomes-Based AccountabilityTM (OBA)
Intellectual Property Licensing for Consultants

The RBA/OBA intellectual property is free for use (with attribution) by government and nonprofit or voluntary sector organizations.

For-profit organizations are required to pay an annual fee for use of RBA/OBA intellectual property based on the size of the organization.

Results-Based Accountability

Purchase Large Org. License
Purchase Small Org. License
Ask a Question

Licensing Details & Fees

This document sets out licensing and fee requirements for the use of Results-Based Accountability TM  (RBA) / Outcomes-Based Accountability TM (OBA) intellectual property. RBA/OBA intellectual property includes material authored by Mark Friedman, including the book “Trying Hard Is Not Good Enough,” the websites and, and numerous papers on the topics of management, budgeting, planning and accountability dating back to 1993.

Public Good

  •  The single most important purpose of RBA/OBA is to improve the lives of children, adults, families and communities. For this reason, RBA/OBA has been and always will be free for use by government and nonprofit/voluntary sector organizations.
  • Small consulting organizations often provide services to community-based organizations that would not be affordable at the rates charged by larger organizations.  Such small organizations are an important to the growth and development of RBA/OBA around the world. Such organizations will typically have less ability to pay licensing fee.s And the transaction costs involved in collecting the fees would be disproportional to the amount of the fees. For this reason, small for-profit organizations should also have free access to the use of RBA/OBA.


  • Large for-profit organizations that use RBA/OBA to generate revenue should pay a fair share of their profits for the use of RBA/OBA intellectual property.
  • Nonprofit organizations that charge a fee for consulting services are essentially indistinguishable from for-profit organizations and should be treated as such.


  • Licensing fee agreements should promote the quality of RBA/OBA practice and should not restrict competition.
  •  In order to assure quality of RBA/OBA work, Clear Impact must retain the right to refuse to permit any organization to use RBA/OBA intellectual property.

Clarity and Simplicity

  • To the extent possible, any licensing arrangement should be easy to understand. The easiest things to count in any organization are number of people and gross revenues. There is a tradeoff between simplicity and precision. It is better to err on the side of simplicity.

Small organizations:

  • The general purpose of the exemption for small organizations is to protect small consulting groups from any fee obligation.  For purposes of clarity and simplicity this is converted into a gross revenue amount of US$500,000 per year. (Note: all dollar references are US dollars or their converted equivalent.)  Purchase License Now.

Large organizations:

  • Larger organizations are those with gross revenues above $500,000 per year. Larger for-profit organizations should pay fees in relationship to their ability to pay. This is based on a stepped graduation in size above $500,000. The size of the organization is based on the size of the largest parent organization within which the actual consulting practice is located.  Purchase License Now.
The annual fee obligation for a consulting organization will be determined by two factors:

  • Gross revenue and
  • The number of employees who spend the equivalent of two full days (16 hours) or more using RBA/OBA intellectual property in their work during the year.

Licensing fees will be paid on a “look back” basis, that is on revenue and employee counts from the year ending December 31st or the end of the fiscal year of the organization. Licensing fees will be payable 45 days after the end of the calendar or fiscal year.

Open Enrollment Workshop Exception: Any organization that delivers an RBA/OBA open enrollment workshop that requires payment for registration must pay an additional licensing fee of $1000 per workshop.

Annual Revenue Annual RBA Licensing Cost
Up to $500,000 USD $250
$500,000 – $1,000,000 USD $1,000 per employee*
$1,000,000 – $5,000,000 USD $2,000 per employee*
Over $5,000,000 USD $4,000 per employee*

Employees who spend the equivalent of two full days (16 hours) or more using RBA/OBA intellectual property in their work during the year.

Organizations entering into a licensing agreement will receive:

  • Permission to use the phrase “Licensed to use RBA/OBA” in their promotional material.
  • A listing on the Clear Impact websites of licensed organizations or individuals along with contact information. Such listing is not an endorsement of the organization or its work.
  • 10% discount on book and DVD orders from Clear Impact.

RBA Intellectual Property Licensees agree to: 

  • Give full attribution of all RBA/OBA ideas to Mark Friedman and the book “Trying Hard Is Not Good Enough.”
  • Maintain the intellectual integrity and coherence of RBA/OBA. This means that RBA/OBA ideas may not be combined with ideas from other frameworks and used under the name RBA/OBA or a separate name.
  • Licensing agreements will automatically renew annually on January 1st unless terminated prior. Annual payment amounts may vary as organizational gross revenue or employee counts change.

Denial or Termination of Permission to use RBA/OBA

  • Clear Impact may at its sole discretion refuse to enter into a licensing agreement or renew a licensing agreement with any organization.
  • Clear Impact may terminate a licensing agreement during the period of the agreement for cause.
  • Clear Impact may at its sole discretion withdraw permission to use RBA/OBA intellectual property from any organization, including government and nonprofit organizations.
  • Clear Impact reserves the right to refuse voluntary registration or to prohibit the use of RBA/OBA intellectual property by any small for-profit organization.