Measurements Show Whether Programs Are Working or Aren’t
Different levels of government are often provided some leeway when developing a program in response to a mandate. For example, California counties were able to set up their own ways to help people on welfare find and keep a job. Some counties showed success, others didn’t. Getting these programs to work requires reliable data to understand what is working and what isn’t, then taking the extra step toward making improvements.
As suggested in “Need Help Getting More Bang for Taxpayers’ Buck?,” posted by Amber Tong on Governing.com, government agencies may not always have data to show whether a policy or program is successful before or after implementation. Such large unknowns can lead to wasteful spending, not to mention time, which can further erode citizen and community trust. In California, one county made participation in a welfare-to-work program mandatory and was able to increase the earnings of the single-parent welfare recipients by 55% over a short two years. Another county chose to focus on education and training, which lead to a meager 4% increase in income for welfare participants. After changing tactics to model the more successful program, this county was able to get twice as many people employed in the next two years than they had in the previous six. By measuring and monitoring the data during these efforts, it became clear which program was more efficient than the other.
Improve Programs and Services By Taking a Data-Driven Approach with ERP
The Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LFAF) is launching a competition for governments interested in implementing evidence-based ideas. While various programs or services may work successfully in certain areas, the same program isn’t guaranteed to work in all regions, even under similar circumstances. However, by taking a data-driven approach, government agencies can find alternative ways to solve problems. Armed with the right data, agencies can understand how or why a program is successful, or failing, and make the adjustments needed to improve the program.
Government agencies can deploy a modern management system, like an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, to capture, analyze and use reliable data. ERP is more efficient than disparate specialty programs or spreadsheets and can provide the data needed to make swift decisions and keep programs on the right track. Contact AKA Enterprise Solutions for more information about using ERP to measure and monitor the data that can support the successful programs and services offered to your community.