This guide is intended to help leaders and communities achieve positive and equitable results for children and youth. It offers a framework and tools to conduct collaborative, rigorous, data-driven decision making for developing and implementing a community-wide initiative and for managing the smallest program or activity. Results-Based Accountability (RBA) is described as a decision making process that begins by identifying a clear end result, uses data displayed graphically as a trend line (or “curve”) to gauge the extent to which that result is being achieved, and works backwards, systematically and transparently, to determine the best ways to achieve the result. The guide discusses how to select the best strategies to measurably improve and sustain a given condition of well-being for a community (e.g., the percentage of children entering school ready to succeed), and ensure accountability for each strategy, activity and partner by measuring the impact of how each contributes to achieving the intended results. Reasons for using RBA and key RBA principles are addressed, as well as strategies for putting the key principles in action. Following sections outline the planning process and provide step-by-step planning guidance, describe planning process tools, employing “turn the curve” thinking, ensuring performance measure development for all partners, and using the results score card for strategic planning and community collaboration. The final section offers facilitating tips and tricks and lists effective questions for program development.
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