CTData Collaborative
Nonprofit Platform

Results-Based Accountability™ and Community Indicators

Results-Based Accountability™ (RBA) is an accountability, planning, budgeting and performance measurement system. This section of the Platform provides nonprofits with educational support in understanding and using RBA for planning and performance measurement.

Adoption of RBA™ by the Connecticut General Assembly's Appropriations Committee

RBA has been adopted by the Connecticut General Assembly Appropriations Committee and is now the way in which the Appropriations Committee conducts all its business. State agencies have been informed that they must be fully conversant with RBA and must be able to respond to RBA questions about any and all programs which come before the Committee. As the State moves towards performance contracting, RBA is likely to be the framework and language used in all state contracts. RBA is also increasingly being used by foundations, community groups, and nonprofits. Nonprofits that seek funding from the State of Connecticut should become familiar with RBA now and begin to incorporate it into their planning and performance measurement.

About Results-Based Accountability™

RBA is an approach to measurement that starts with the ends, the quality of life results for a population, and then works backwards to the means, the programs or systems we fund to achieve the results. Developed by Mark Friedman of the Fiscal Policies Studies Institute, RBA is characterized by:

  • Simplicity
  • Common Sense
  • Plain Language
  • Minimum Paper
  • Usefulness

RBA enables policy-makers and funders to identify how the state or a community is doing in achieving a particular quality of life result and where they might need to make changes in investments or strategy. Programs that are funded to help achieve these desired results are measured based on how much they did, how well they did it, and whether their customers are better off. Programs are not accountable for achieving results at the population level, but must be able to demonstrate how they contribute to the results and what impact they are having.

"If you keep doing what you are doing, you will keep getting what you are getting." If the projected performance is not acceptable, the RBA methodology helps programs and stakeholders identify what changes will be needed to "turn the curve," that is, move the trend line in a positive direction.

Starter RBA Learning Resources

What we have provided here are beginning resources to help you, your agency and collaborative partners learn and use RBA while this site is being developed. Here are three helpful sources:

  • RBA Overview for Connecticut Nonprofits and Communities
    This PowerPoint presentation by the Charter Oak Group is based on Friedman’s slides but is customized for CT nonprofits.
  • Connecticut RBA Practitioners Network.
    The Connecticut RBA Practitioners Forum is a free association of nonprofit, philanthropic and state agency professionals currently learning and using RBA in their organizations. The Network sponsors free half-day RBA 101 classes throughout Connecticut and other learning events on RBA. The Network is free and meets quarterly. It is a wonderful resource for novices to RBA and the advanced user. The Network is convened by the Charter Oak Group, RBA consultants to the General Assembly and many communities and nonprofits. Their RBA site is at http://www.charteroakgroup.com/resources/index_rba.shtml. Contact Bennett Pudlin of the Charter Oak group for more information.
  • The Charter Oak Group
    Advisors to the Connecticut General Assembly Appropriations Committee in the incorporation of RBA in the State processes.
  • Trying Hard Is Not Good Enough: How to Produce Measurable Improvements for Customers and Communities
    By Marc Friedman. Trafford Press, 2005. It is the definitive book on Results-Based Accountability. Most online booksellers carry the book and DVD.
  • Mark Friedman's RBA PowerPoint Presentations
    These presentations highlight the core concepts of Results-Based Accountability, as presented by the designer of RBA, Mark Friedman.
  • Watch the RBA Demo Video
    Results Leadership Group
    The Results Leadership Group is an international leader in the development of tools and usage of Results-Based Accountability, especially the Results Scorecard.

State of Connecticut RBA Resources

Several state agencies and commissions are heavily engaged in the work and usage of RBA in state public policy and planning:

Connecticut General Assembly Appropriations Committee
As mentioned above, Appropriations Committee now uses the RBA method as means to assess funding decisions in its purview. Here are some resources provided by the Appropriations Committee:

Connecticut RBA Glossary
This glossary provides the key RBA terminology used by the Connecticut legislature and other organizations using RBA in Connecticut.

Eight Standard RBA Program Questions
These are key questions used by the Connecticut General Assembly's Appropriations Committee to frame decisions on spending.

Explanation of RBA Report Card Template
Provides Results-Based Accountability guidelines for state agencies developing a Report Card.

RBA Program Report Card Template
This glossary provides the key RBA terminology used by the Connecticut legislature and other organizations using RBA in Connecticut.

Sample State Agency Report Card
Nonprofit Agency RBA Report Card Guidelines
Provides guidance in developing a Report Card specific to nonprofit agencies.

Office of Program Review and Investigations Committee

Assists the Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee in providing the General Assembly with objective information and analysis needed to make decisions about state programs and policies in the best interests of Connecticut citizens. (Search for "RBA".)

Governor's Cabinet on Nonprofit Health and Human Services
Common Cross-Agency Population Results Work Group

This work group of the Governor's Cabinet on Nonprofit Health and Human Services is charged with examining common cross-agency outcome results using a Results-Based Accountability framework. The goal is to provide a framework for the development of a coordinated health and human service delivery model, focused on common population outcome goals, across all state of Connecticut agencies.

Several State Agencies and Legislative Committees have moved forward using RBA:

How Connecticut Funders Are Using RBA

Here are examples of Connecticut funders using RBA:

Community Indicators at CTData.org

A key aspect of the Results-Based Accountability strategic process is to determine desired population outcomes. To do this it is beneficial to have base-line and historical data on social/economic trends that impact population goals. To assist in this area the Connecticut Data Collaborative has designed CTData.org.

The Connecticut Nonprofit Strategy Platform and CTData.org are programs of the Connecticut Data Collaborative. The Connecticut Data Collaborative is a collaborative public/private effort to improve the quality of and access to policy-related data in the state.

Social indicator data from federal, state, local and private sources relating to the health, well-being and economy of the residents of the State of Connecticut can be accessed through the www.CTData.org. The portal features innovative web-based visualization tools, Weave, to help users analyze the data. The Collaborative is building relationships with state agencies, nonprofit think tanks, and issue-based coalitions to make their data publicly available at this site.

Do you have ideas for what you would want included on the RBA & Community Indicators section of the Platform? Please click here and send them.