Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Opinion: Measuring Success of Services

Post from Jonathan Walters, Executive Editor of

Jonathan Walters
The importance of performance measurement in tough fiscal times can't be overstated, but I also don't think there's any more important policy area to which it applies than human services.
Recently, I spoke at a conference for the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS) on the fiscal outlook for 2013. Joining me was Bill Pound, executive director of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Both of us predicted that Congress would ultimately cobble together some unsatisfying, short-term gimmick for avoiding the so-called "fiscal cliff," and we both suggested that whether we went off the cliff or not, folks in human services -- including those focused on developmental disabilities -- were going to continue experiencing the big fiscal squeeze. I went on to suggest that anyone not focusing more tightly on results-informed budgeting and policy would wind up in even worse shape.

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