Assessment Of The Rhode Island Partnership Project
The Rhode Island Department of Community Affairs (DCA) originally proposed to develop and test a model designed to improve the productivity of smaller local governments by the direct transfer of a single innovation. DCA staff assumed that a single set of performance indicators could be developed for several universal government functions (such as public works, police, and fire), and then simply "plugged in" to a new environment. The. inaccuracy of this basic assumption became apparent approximately halfway through the project. Local governments diverged too widely on key characteristics, such as the sophistication of recordkeeping procedures, for simple transfers to occur. In addition, local officials were not interested in universal performance measures; they did not want to be compared with other jurisdictions. Instead, they wanted performance measures unique to their jurisdiction and situation. Despite these setbacks, the DCA staff was able to help local governments make substantial improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of local operations. Two major lessons were learned in this project.
This report is part of the collection of scanned historical documents available to the public.