Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 12:00 AM
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.
CSG, in partnership with the Urban Institute, developed the State Comparative Performance Measurement Project. Funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, this national initiative collects, analyzes and publishes comparative service outcome data so states may better set goals and evaluate progress.
The data provide a basis for each state to compare its outcomes to other states, using information that can be considered reasonably comparable across states. States can compare their results to other states, which may identify where they can make improvements.