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|CCAF Discusses Evolution of Public Performance Reporting|
|Wednesday, 25 March 2009 20:00|
Recently, CCAF-FCVI was invited by two provinces to discuss the evolution of performance reporting in Canada and internationally. In mid-January, senior researcher Chris Hyde presented in Toronto and Edmonton on the emergence of web-based, citizen engaged public performance reporting.
As part of CCAF-FCVI's Program for Improved Public Performance Reporting, funded by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan foundation, CCAF has been researching best practices and recent developments in performance reporting. Recently the program has begun cataloging ways that government is reporting their performance to citizens and other key stakeholders.
In Toronto, as part of a Performance Measurement/Program Evaluation (PM/PE) Network meeting, Chris spoke to room full of cross-ministry performance measurement and program evaluation experts.
“Governments in Canada and globally, are moving from a single static report on performance to constant, interactive reporting performance to citizens” Chris stated. “Governments are beginning to seriously address the need to better engage their citizens using publicly available performance information”.
The presentation cited the recent successes of web-based annual reporting, specifically focusing on the positive work shown by the British National Library over the last two years.
Some of most interesting elements of the presentation focused upon the efforts of the British National Library to bring their annual reporting to the digital generation. “The BNL, more than most other examples, shows a true commitment to telling their performance story to a wider audience. The web-based annual report uses flash animation, video and audio to facilitate navigation throughout their annual report. In essence, their web-based annual report uses technology and format to uplift their content. Ease of navigation and clarity of message are given prominence in their annual reporting.”
The front page of The British National Library's 2006-2007 annual report, a mix of highly innovative and engaging techniques
The following year's annual report and accounts from the British National Library showed improvements
in accessibility and their continued commitment to innovation and stakeholder engagement
In Edmonton Alberta, Chris and Lee McCormack, CCAF's Director of Research presented to a cross-ministry audience at a special Meeting of the Knowledge and Data Sharing ADM Committee. For the audience Lee and Chris prepared an online, interactive presentation, that hyperlinked to online best practices. The presentation debuted a catalogue of live examples from over 20 government websites that are currently using web 2.0 technologies to better report government performance to their citizens.
One of the best received initiatives of the meeting was a look at recent innovations in geospatial information and data visualization. These tools allow for greater engagement with citizens, by taking performance data and information and filtering the information into a demographically/geographically aligned format. It allows users to input their individual criteria (age, employment, postal code, specific interests) so that the performance information is filtered back to them, illustrating how government performance has impacted their immediate circumstances. It has been widely used in Australian NGO sectors, in addition to its use by other international public bodies.
This site is part of the recent push for community mapping in the United Kingdom.
This site maps crime and other user selected statistics, presenting information in meaningful context
CCAF sees these trends as part of a broader engagement strategy that is beginning to take hold. A few leading practitioners are taking steps to actively engage their citizens, specifically in regard to government performance. They are exploring new and innovative ways to inform and empower citizens with government information and statistics. When asked about the relationship between the current state of performance reporting versus these new initiatives, one leading practitioner replied; “Governments need to start asking themselves whether they are producing performance reports for citizens or they are reporting their performance to citizens”.