Promising Practices in Grantee Performance Measurement
The public has an interest in seeing its tax dollars accomplish worthwhile ends at all levels of government. At the state and local level, ambitious and technically sophisticated performance measurement efforts are increasingly common. When federal dollars are programmed and spent locally, effective federal efforts depend decisively on the ability of state and local governments to measure and improve performance of their programs. To help community development grantees better assess the performance of their programs, the Department of Housing and Urban Development sponsored a study to identify and document promising performance measurement practices in a small number of jurisdictions.
Five communities with emerging reputations for carrying out effective performance measurement in one or more community development programs were studied: Charlotte, North Carolina; Austin, Texas; King County, Washington; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Burlington, Vermont. Each community conducts performance measurement in its own way, reflecting its unique priorities and approaches. For comparison purposes, therefore, researchers developed a generic framework for evaluating the performance measurement systems of these communities. Thus, each was examined on four dimensions: pursuit of program goals, objectives, and activities; design and implementation of performance measures; assessment of performance measurement results; and practical program decisions or choices. Researchers collected extensive background material and interviewed operating program managers, department heads, budget staff, city manager staff, and local elected officials. This report documents promising local practices in performance measurement, and it documents the crosscutting lessons drawn from these case studies that may be useful to other localities in implementing performance measurement systems.