2016 Federal Index
Performance Management / Continuous Improvement
Did the agency implement a performance management system with clear and prioritized outcome-focused goals and aligned program objectives and measures, and did it frequently collect, analyze, and use data and evidence to improve outcomes, return on investment, and other dimensions of performance in FY16?
Administration for Children and Families (HHS)
- ACF’s performance management framework focuses on outcomes and aims for coordinated and results-oriented management and operations across all ACF ACF’s Strategic Plan establishes five priorities, which align with the HHS Strategic Plan. ACF formally reviews progress toward its Strategic Plan goals every quarter. ACF’s Strategic Plan establishes five priorities in support of the agency’s mission of fostering health and well-being by providing federal leadership, partnership, and resources for the compassionate and effective delivery of human services. The five priorities are: 1) Promote economic, health, and social well-being for individuals, families, and communities; 2) Promote healthy development and school readiness for children, especially those in low-income families; 3) Promote safety and well-being of children, youth, and families; 4) Support underserved and underrepresented populations; and 5) Upgrade the capacity of ACF to make a difference for families and communities.
- ACF aims to develop performance measures that are meaningful and can be used by program managers, leadership, outside stakeholders, and Congress to assess and communicate progress. Results for these metrics are reported annually in the ACF Congressional Budget Justification. ACF reports on a total of 156 performance measures (94 outcome measures and 62 output measures) in the FY17 Congressional Budget A selection of ACF performance measures is also highlighted as part of the FY 2017 HHS Annual Performance Plan and Report, which describes HHS’ progress toward achieving the goals and objectives described in the FY 2014-2018 HHS Strategic Plan. This report includes the most recent results available at the end of FY15 for HHS, including ACF.
- As part of the FY17 President’s Budget request, HHS announced the FY16-17 HHS Priority Goals. ACF is the lead agency for the goal to “Improve the quality of early childhood programs for low-income children” in collaboration with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). On a quarterly basis, ACF provides updates on this Priority Goal on gov. ACF also participates in the GPRAMA-required Strategic Objective Annual Review process. HHS maintains an internal performance dashboard where ACF provides regular performance updates on the 156 performance measures included in the annual ACF Budget Request.
Corporation for National and Community Service
- CNCS’s performance management framework is described in the Congressional Budget Justification for Fiscal Year 2016 (p.3) and Fiscal Year 2017 (p.6).
- CNCS has a focused set of Agency-Wide Priority Measures derived from the 2011-2015 Strategic Plan. Every CNCS Program contributes to the Agency-Wide Priority Measures. There are also specific grantee/sponsor measures that roll up into the Agency-Wide Priority Measures, which can be found in the Agency-Wide Priority Measures chart. Grantees are required to select at least one national performance measure, and they are required to report performance measures data. CNCS encourages grantees to use these measure for continuous program improvement. CNCS uses the agency-wide priority measures to assess its own progress toward attaining the goals and objectives of its strategic plan.
- Additionally, CNCS produces state profile reports, which provide a picture of agency resources in each state at a given point. These reports contain a number of priority indicators, including the number of participants engaged in national service activities as well as the amount of non-CNCS resources generated by the agency’s programs. Along with its stakeholders, CNCS uses this information to understand the capacity of service available in different geographic regions and discuss related implications with key service partners.
- CNCS’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) is currently piloting a proof of concept performance framework that aligns with GPRA. The COO is finalizing their objectives, measures, and targets, and they will be conducting quarterly performance reviews starting in the fourth quarter of FY16. The goal is to establish an effective performance framework within the COO, work agency-wide to implement a similar process, and have an enhanced performance management framework in place as CNCS begins its new Strategic Planning process in 2017.
Millennium Challenge Corporation
- MCC monitors progress towards compact results on a quarterly basis using performance indicators that are specified in the Compact M&E Plans. The M&E Plans specify indicators at all levels (process, output, and outcome) so that progress towards final results can be tracked. Every quarter each country partner submits an Indicator Tracking Table (ITT) that shows actual performance of each indicator relative to the baseline level that was established before the activity began and the performance targets that were established in the M&E Plan. Some of the key performance indicators and their accompanying data by country are publicly available. MCC reviews this data every quarter to assess whether results are being achieved and integrates this information into project management decisions.
- MCC also supports the creation of multidisciplinary ‘compact development teams’ to manage the development and implementation of each Compact program. Teams usually include the following members: Coordinator, economist, private sector development specialist, social inclusion and gender integration specialist, technical specialists (project specific), M&E specialist, environmental and social performance specialist, Legal, and financial management and procurement specialists. From the earliest stages, these teams develop project logics and M&E frameworks supported by data and evidence, and use them to inform the development of the projects within each Compact Teams meet frequently to gather evidence, discuss progress, make project design decisions, and solve problems; and they are encouraged to use the lessons from completed evaluations to inform their work going forward.
- MCC hosts regular “colleges” in which MCC counterparts from partnering countries are invited to a weeklong set of meetings and workshops to discuss best practices, strengthen collaboration, and improve strategies for effectively implementing projects.
U.S. Agency for International Development
- USAID partners with the S. Department of State to jointly develop and implement clear strategic goals and objectives. USAID’s Performance Improvement Officer (PIO) leads Agency efforts to use data for decision-making and improve performance and operational efficiency and effectiveness. The Assistant Administrator for the Management Bureau, Angelique M. Crumbly, also serves as the Performance Improvement Officer. The Office of Management and Budget’s circular A-11 “Preparation, Submission, and Execution of the Budget,” Part Six describes the role of the PIO. Specifically, the PIO coordinates tracking of Cross Agency Priority (CAP) and Agency Priority Goal (APG) progress; leverages stat reviews, such as PortfolioStat, HRStat, and CyberStat, to conduct deep-dives into evidence; and oversees business process reviews and other assessments to ensure that the Agency more efficiently and effectively achieves its mission and goals.
- USAID’s strategic plan, annual performance plan and report, and other performance reports are publicly available:
- USAID reports on three Agency Priority Goals and nine Cross Agency Priority Goals on performance.gov. These goals help the Agency improve performance and cut costs, while holding the Agency accountable to the public. USAID assesses progress and challenges toward meeting the goals annually during data-driven reviews with Agency leadership. USAID also measures progress toward its USAID Forward reform agenda through eight public indicators, which help the Agency adapt business processes to improve performance.
- USAID field missions develop Country Development Cooperation Strategies (CDCS) with clear goals and objectives and a performance management plan that identifies expected results, performance indicators to measure those results, plans for data collection and analysis, and periodic review of performance measures to use data and evidence to adapt programs for improved outcomes.
- In addition to measuring program performance, USAID measures operations performance management to ensure that the Agency achieves its development objectives; aligns resources with priorities; and institutionalizes USAID Forward reforms.
U.S. Department of Education
- ED develops a four-year strategic plan and holds quarterly data-driven progress reviews of the goals and objectives established in the plan, as required by the Government Performance and Results Act Modernization Act (GPRAMA) of ED’s FY14-18 Strategic Plan includes a goal on the continuous improvement of the United States education system with objectives focused on enhancing the use of data, research, evaluation, and technology (see pp. 37-43). GPRMA also requires agencies to develop agency priority goals (APGs) and submit information on those goals to OMB on a quarterly basis. APGs reflect the top near-term performance priorities that agency leadership aims to accomplish within a two-year period. ED established an APG on enabling evidence-based decision-making (see Performance.gov for quarterly reporting on the APGs) and, in March 2016, decided to continue its work on this APG for FY16-17. Once established the metrics for the APGs are included in the strategic plan. For example, strategic objective 5.3 in the Department’s current four-year strategic plan, which is part of the continuous improvement goal referenced above, includes the metrics for the evidence APG. Although many of the metrics in the strategic plan are annual, the Department uses the quarterly reviews to discuss data available and milestones achieved.
U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development
- HUD conducts regular data-driven performance reviews—“HUDStat” meetings—that focus on quarterly progress toward achieving each of HUD’s priority goals. The HUD Secretary and senior leadership from throughout the agency, and sometimes from partner agencies, attend these meetings to address challenges, review metrics, improve internal and external collaboration, and increase performance. Strategic goals and two-year priority goals are publicly posted. HUD documents alignment between strategic goals and supporting objectives and metrics in the consolidated Annual Performance Plan-Annual Performance Report, and identifies the staff assigned lead responsibility for each objective.
U.S. Department of Labor
- DOL’s Performance Management Center (PMC) is responsible for the Department’s extensive performance management system, which includes over 400 measures whose results are reviewed quarterly by the Deputy Secretary. PMC’s activities are intended to improve DOL’s program performance through data-driven analysis, sharing best practices, and implementing activities associated with the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010 (GPRA). Using a PerformanceStat-type reporting and dashboard system, PMC coordinates quarterly meetings between the Deputy Secretary and each agency head, to review performance results and analysis of the priority performance measures contributing to DOL’s strategic goals, to make commitments related to performance improvement, and to follow up on the progress of previous performance improvement commitments. PMC also oversees the Strategic Planning process and analyzes performance data in collaboration with agencies to achieve continuous performance improvement. CEO actively participates in the quarterly performance reviews to incorporate findings from evaluations as appropriate.
- One of the most important roles that DOL’s CEO plays is to facilitate the interaction between program and evaluation analysts, and performance management and evaluation. Learning agendas updated annually by DOL agencies in collaboration with DOL’s CEO include program performance themes and priorities for analysis needed to refine performance measures and identify strategies for improving performance. The quarterly GPRA meetings with the Deputy Secretary routinely include specific discussions about improving performance and findings from recent evaluations that suggest opportunities for improvement.
- To promote the use of evidence based strategies DOL’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) also continues to manage the Workforce Systems Strategies website, which identifies a range of potential strategies informed by research evidence and peer exchanges to support grantees in providing effective services to customers.