Professors Douglas J. Besharov and Douglas Call
In Spring 2010, students worked with clients at the Maryland
Department of Human Resources, the Montgomery County Office of
Legislative Oversight, the Montgomery County Department of Health
and Human Services, the U.S. Government Accountability Office
(Education, Workforce, and Income Security Issues), the U.S.
Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services. All projects focused on one cross-cutting policy
question: How can performance management systems be used as a
tool for program management and improvement?
The following are the final projects prepared by the students.
They are listed in order of clients and the names of the authors
have been removed by request.
The course is required for all 48-credit (MPP) Social Policy
students. Work must be completed by graduation.
Montgomery County CountyStat
1. Montgomery County Performance
Management: Is CountyStat Helping Close the Performance Gap? The
purpose of this study is multifaceted as it seeks to describe the
previous state of performance management in Montgomery County; to
evaluate how well CountyStat has met its goals; to determine
whether after two years of CountyStat implementation, there are
identifiable culture and business process changes as a result of
the program's efforts; and to assess whether the Executive's
performance-based budgeting has moved forward because of the
implementation of CountyStat.
The author finds that CountyStat has not developed output,
outcome, proximal and distal impact performance measures, and
provides recommendations for each type of performance measure. The
adoption and use of these measures is necessary in order to
determine if there are identifiable culture changes as a result of
Montgomery County Department of
Health and Human Services
2. Montgomery County Department of Health and Human
Services: Analyzing the Performance Measurements of the
Community Health Improvement Process. This paper analyzes
the performance measures of the Montgomery County Community Health
Improvement Process (CHIP), which is a mechanism to systematically
measure and reduce health disparities in Montgomery County. The
author finds that performance measures for CHIP are lacking and
proposes a number of performance measures that could be
instituted. Because the program is in its early stages, these
performance measurements will help guide the CHIP Community on
what aspects have succeeded and are performing up to standards,
and what factors of CHIP need to be improved upon or altered to
meet the main goals.
3. Montgomery County Neighborhood Safety
Net: Performance Management. This report analyzes a new
initiative put in place by the Montgomery County Department of
Health and Human Services: the Neighborhood Safety Net. The
research question is then: Do the current measurements allow
sufficient analysis of the performance of the program? If they do
not, what needs to be changed to improve performance management?
The author demonstrates that the current performance management
system of the NSN needs to be improved to be able to measure the
results of the problem and provides recommendations in relation to
the outputs, outcomes and impacts that should be measured to assess
4. Montgomery County John F.
Kennedy Cluster Project: Program Analysis and Recommendations
for Performance Measurement. The purpose of this paper is
to analyze the John F. Kennedy Cluster Project, a multi-agency
effort of Montgomery County, Maryland, in order to provide
recommendations for performance measurement.
The author provides recommendations about measuring the results
(outputs, outcomes, and impacts) of the Project. By collecting
quality data on its activities and their results, Project leaders
will be able to accurately measure the success of the Project.
Project leaders will then be able to evaluate and analyze this data
in order to demonstrate the Project's success. This is a
crucial component of any government initiative as governments have a
responsibility to their citizens to use resources wisely in order to
achieve the greatest possible good for their citizens. It is
also critical that the Project measure its performance in order to
secure future County support, as well as funding from both the
County and outside sources.
Montgomery County Office of
5. Montgomery County
Collaboration Council for Children, Youth and Families: History
and Current Status. This memorandum report
responds to the County Council's request for information on the
background, structure, programs, and funding of the Montgomery
County Collaboration Council for Children, Youth, and Families,
Inc. The Collaboration Council is a quasi-public nonprofit
corporation that is currently designated as Montgomery County's
Local Management Board (LMB) to implement a local interagency
service delivery system for children, youth, and families.
The author finds that the Collaboration Council successfully
performs the functions of a Local Management Board, as specified by
state and county law. The author recommends that the Council approve
the extension of the Collaboration Council's designation as the
County's Local Management Board until December 1, 2010. The
author also recommends that the Council return in June 2010 to a
discussion of the future of the Collaboration Council. At that
time, there should be a much clearer picture of the state and county
resources that will be available in FY11 to support the
Collaboration Council's activities. In addition, this will
provide time for the Collaboration Council to develop its own
proposal for moving ahead as the County's designated LMB.
Maryland Department of Human
6. Maryland's Family Investment Program:
Improving Performance Measures at the Local Level. This
paper explores the effectiveness of the current Family Investment
Program performance measures of the Maryland Department of Human
Resources at the county level. The Maryland Department of
Human Resources administers the state's TANF program, which
Maryland named the Family Investment Program. DHR allows
Maryland's counties and Baltimore City to administer their own
programs that aim to increase employment, education, and job
The author recommends that DHR add additional and improved
performance measures in the FIP reports to provide explanatory data
and shift the focus of the measures from impacts to outcomes. The
author also recommends that DHR update the FIP reports monthly so
that the localities can use the reports to manage their programs
more effectively. If DHR does not have the time or resources to
implement these recommendations, it is recommended that DHR combine
the FIP Performance Measures Reports with the JobStat Reports.
U.S. Department of Education
7. National Center for Education
Statistics (NCES): Enhancing Performance Management. This
paper analyzes performance management at the National Center for
Education Statistics (NCES), detailing ways in which current
performance monitoring can be enhanced to more effectively measure
how well the agency is meeting its goals.
The author recommends that the NCES place greater emphasis on the
analytic processes that takes place after the performance data is
collected. By enhancing what the agency does with its performance
data, the agency can continue to make strides in the future towards
improving performance as a whole.
U.S. Department of Health and Human
8.Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program:
Analysis of Performance Measures. This report provides
analysis of the current performance measures used to evaluate the
effectiveness of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
(TANF) program in meeting its explicitly stated goals. The
focus of the analysis is centered on two main research questions:
Do the current performance metrics of the TANF program
accurately measure the program's effectiveness? And, how can
these measures be improved?
The author finds that the current performance metrics do provide
some helpful outcome-based measurements towards the programs goals.
However, there still remain two program goals, 1) reduction of
out-of-wedlock births, and 2) children being cared for in their own
hones, that are not subjected to any performance measurements.
Furthermore, the TANF performance management model should include
additional measures beyond outcomes, such as the proximal and distal
impacts outlined in this report.
9.Refugee Resettlement: Overcoming Management Challenges. Performance
management challenges outlined in this report surround the Office
of Refugee Resettlement's funding, monitoring, promoting best
practices, data collection, reporting, and strategic planning -
all of which fall under the purview of performance
Recommendations for improving the ORR's performance management will
increase incentives for improving performance through
pay-for-performance initiatives and more oversight. They will
strengthen assessments of current conditions and goals for
improvements through the inclusion of more qualitative data,
metrics, and timely reports. They will facilitate information
- sharing among partners in the program at annual conferences, so
that insight can be exchanged and applied in different
contexts. They will also help make the current model more
dynamic and proactive in recognizing potential issues. Lastly,
the creation of a well-crafted strategic plan will make goals and
objectives more clear for both ORR staff and other entities involved
in the resettlement process.
U.S. Government Accountability
10. Child Care and Development Block Grant:
Analyzing Quality Performance Measures. This paper
reviews and analyzes data from the Administration on Children and
Families on the Child Care and Development Block Grantís (CCDBG)
quality performance measures. The paper also provides an overview
of best practices regarding performance measures; the current
measurement criteria for CCDBG are weighed against these best
practices. Case studies are used to better understand how states
have added requirements to their performance measures as well as
the impact of those requirements.
The author finds that CCDBG quality performance measures are too
broad and allow for a wide range of quality improvement activities,
alternative childcare quality performance measures illustrate areas
of improvement for current measures, and that the Quality Rating
Improvement System serves as a model for states to enhance quality
11. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program:
The Use of the High Performance Bonus from 1998 to 2003. This
paper provides analysis for the U.S. Government Accountability on
the High Performance Bonus (HPB) for the Temporary Assistance for
Needy Families (TANF) program that existed between 1998 and 2003.
The questions the report sought to answer are: Was the HPB
effective? Why was the HPB discontinued? Did states
have additional measures?
The author finds that without some kind of experiment related to the
use of HPB, it's difficult to know whether tying incentives to the
performance measures has any effect on state behavior. Without
being able to isolate state efforts, the measures themselves don't
tell anything useful that can be applied to improvement of
programs. Tangentially, the data collection and analysis
process for HPB was such that rewards were given out two years after
the fiscal year in which they were earned. This further deters
any effort the federal government may have made to identify policy
12. Individual Development Accounts: Addressing Asset
Poverty. While some of the initial impact evaluations
examining Individual Development Account (IDA) programs suggest
that IDA programs may be a powerful tool in promoting asset
development, little is known about the extent to which IDA
programs receive federal support, how well IDA performance is
measured and what challenges are faced by IDA programs.
The author finds that gaps in the IDA performance measures make it
difficult to examine how effective these programs have been in
meeting short-term and long-term goals and only two programs
actually collect performance measures. While these programs' outcome
and impact measures indicate that participants are purchasing
assets, it is unclear to what extent the IDA programs are
13. Refundable State Child and Dependent Care Tax Credits
Under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Program. This paper examines child care tax credits at the
state level, focusing on credits funded using federal Temporary
Assistance for Needy Families money. These credits are examined
through the context of a logic model outlining their theory,
design, activities, outputs and outcomes. Special focus is placed
on performance measurement possibilities. The recommendations
provided are to focus on clarifying the theory and design of these
credits, creating pragmatic performance measures that can be
calculated using existing data, and considering the need to
increase the amount of the credits.
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