Policy, Performance and Management in Governance and Intergovernmental Relations Transatlantic Perspectives
Edited by Edoardo Ongaro, Andrew Massey, Marc Holzer and Ellen Wayenberg
Chapter 12: The State of the Practice of Performance Measurement in Intergovernmental Arrangements in the United States
12. The state of the practice of performance measurement in intergovernmental arrangements in the United States Marc Holzer, Etienne Charbonneau and Alexander Henderson Though performance measurement systems are gaining favor at all levels of government in the United States, the very individualistic evolution of these systems has created a fragmented and disjointed pattern of data collection and use. State systems of performance measurement are plentiful. These include, among others, Alaska 20/20, Oregon Benchmarks, Minnesota Milestones, Results Iowa, North Carolina 20/20, Social Wellbeing of Vermonters, and Maine’s Measures of Growth. Likewise, performance measurement systems at the local level, including Baltimore’s Citistat, Chicago Metropolis 2020, Dallas Indicators, Jacksonville’s Indicators for Progress, and Sustainable Seattle, have been developed and implemented at an increasing pace. The characteristic diversity and flexibility of these programs, a result of their voluntary development and a lack of standardization of data collection and use, has been described as ‘. . . the inherent strength of the current United States system’ (US GAO 2003, p. 21). With this diversity and flexibility, however, comes a noticeable absence of a national indicator system in the United States (US GAO 2003, p. i). In contrast, performance measurement initiatives in many developed countries display an orchestrated coherence that allows for system-wide sharing of information for improvement of internal management and evaluation of external perceptions of performance. These include programs such as Canada’s Performance, Germany’s Datenreport, or Measures of Australia’s Progress, with other systems found in the United Kingdom, France, and Australia. The characteristic sharing of information and...
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