Performance Measurement

States Perform, CSG’s interactive performance measurement website, has been updated with additional measures in the Energy and Environment and Public Safety and Justice areas.  The energy and environment measures illuminate green building, alternative fuel vehicles, and renewable energy utilization in the states.  The public safety and justice measures provide an up-to-date picture of state prison populations and criminal recidivism.  Read on for sample insights from the new data. 

A new Pew Center on the States study argues that states should embark on a new path when it comes to transportation policy and financing — one that is guided by clearly defined goals and relies on performance measures and data.

Seeking greater efficiencies in state government operations, Ohio lawmakers are turning to the power, expertise and resources of the state auditor for help. 

e-Newsletter, Issue #51, July 22, 2010

Over the last three years, The Council of State Governments has helped shape the conversation around performance measurement and performance management in the states. With revenues significantly down and state budgets reflecting this fiscal turmoil, state leaders are searching for real-world tools that can aid in their programmatic funding decisions.

Would you like to know how the condition of your state’s bridges compare to those of neighboring states? Or how affordable the housing is in your state compared to states with similar characteristics?  States Perform—a new Web site from The Council of State Governments—will help you do just that. States Perform provides access to interactive information on how states are performing across six key policy areas: education, public safety and justice, energy and environment, economic and fiscal policy, health and human services and transportation.

States are experiencing the full force of the most dramatic economic downturn since the Great Depression. In 2010, governors have come up with novel ways to present their budget managing strategies they believe are required for survival in this environment—from elaborate analogy to elementary comparisons with neighboring states. In general, though, governors paint a dark fiscal picture for residents; most push no new taxes and lots of credits to spur job growth. It is not surprising, then, that these state leaders advocate spending down reserves and advancing performance and efficiency measures along with continued state retrenchment back to core functions. This research examines the governors’ 2010 state of the state addresses to understand how they are coping in the current economy and how their collective attention has changed over the last few years.1 Findings indicate contradictions. For example, while the governors are much more likely than last year to talk about performance, accountability and even ethics reform, they are much less likely than in 2009 to bring up transparency.

Measuring how well states are performing is increasingly important as states face shrinking revenues and rising demand for services.  Citizens want and expect results from their governments, even in the face of fewer resources.  Measuring performance and using performance data to strategically place resources is key to implementing the accountable, transparent and results-focused governance policies that citizens demand.  Comprehensive, state-wide performance management initiativesare one of the newest strategies states are taking to ensure services are delivered efficiently and outcomes are being achieved. 

Over the past decade, governments at all levels have increased tracking results of government services—from the federal tracking of social benefits to states closely monitoring child protective services to cities filling potholes. No attempt has been made, however, to launch a comprehensive effort to compare state service outcomes in multiple services. This report provides data and analysis of outcome measures in the area of public assistance as part of the State Comparative Performance Measurement Project.

Over the past decade, governments at all levels have increased tracking results of government services—from the federal tracking of social benefits to states closely monitoring child protective services to cities filling potholes. No attempt has been made, however, to launch a comprehensive effort to compare state service outcomes in multiple services.

Efforts across the state government community to date are piecemeal and limited to narrow issues or single service areas. Regular comparison of outcomes of individual state services across states has not been done. A new project from The Council of State Governments is intended to fill that gap. 
 

This report includes bar charts for outcome indicators for two major child welfare programs administered by states—adoption and foster care.  This includes the nubmer of children per thousand in the foster care system who were victims of maltreatment by a foster parent or facility staff member; the percent of children reunited with their families in less than 12 months; the median time to adoption from time of latest removal from the home; the percent of children in the foster care system for less than 12 months that had two or fewer placements; the percent of children in the foster care system for 12 to 23 months that had two or fewer placements; the percent of children in the foster care system for 24 or more months that had two or fewer placements; and the percent of children that re-entered foster care in less than 12 months of being reunited with their families.

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