Funders and stakeholders want public & nonprofit organizations to be outcomes and results-based.
We help governments and nonprofit organizations set up their outcomes framework. We also use the DoView® visual planning approach to undertake specific aspects of planning, performance and impact measurement for clients.
Public and nonprofit outcomes work isn't simple. . . and just copying private sector models won't do it for you.
Anyone can show you what they're delivering in terms of outputs, but how can you meet funders' demands that you prove you're changing high-level outcomes? How should funders and providers best discuss the things that are strategically important but hard to measure? How can you ‘contract for outcomes’ and do ‘results based management’ without creating misalinged incentives and gaming? And how can the current funder push for increased collaboration and joined-up solutions be reconciled with their demands for increased individual agency accountability?
We cut through the conceptual confusion with a coherent approach to outcomes framework development. You'll know where you stand in regard to accountability but you'll still have a way of discussing your contribution to the big high-level outcomes your funders are interested in.
Sometimes we play the role of high-end outcomes architects
People, including the IMF, national governments, public and nonprofit organizations in every sector, call us first with requests such as:
'We want you to help us set up an outcomes framework that'll satisfy our funders and stakeholders'. 'We're struggling with the problem of working out what we should be directly accountable for beyond our outputs'. 'Help us design a better structure for our country's public sector planning and budgeting system'.
We conceptualize, plan, develop, run training on, and prototype outcomes systems for: planning, performance measurement and impact evaluation.
We don't supply you with a data collection infrastructure, we provide input into your overall outcomes architecture. We help you understand exactly what strategic systems and monitoring data you need to collect. You can then be clear about what you need from any cloud-based performance management and planning platforms you already use or others you may choose to deploy.
Often we just role up our sleeves and do visual strategic planning
We've done visual strategic planning with hundreds of clients using the DoView® Outcomes System. We build a visual model of their high-level outcomes and all of the steps needed to achieve them. They then prioritize what they want to achieve in the next planning period. Sometimes we also use DoView's visual line-of-sight analysis to show funders and others that the organization or program is focusing its project activity directly onto current priorities. The DoView visual plan then takes the place of the bulk of their written strategic plan.
'Before you got us to adopt the DoView® methodology I'd just put a few paragraphs in our strategic plan justifying whatever projects I fancied. I could get away with anything! Now you're forcing us into the discipline of showing exactly which of our outcomes and steps in our visual model each project is focused on.' - Government Department Manager.
Why do we use DoView® software in this work? First because we were involved in developing it. We've helped optimize it as a group strategy presentation and discussion tool. Second, if we were doing accounting you'd expect us to use some sort of accounting software or at least a spreadsheet of some sort. When we're doing outcomes and strategy we think that to do it efficiently you need some sort of simple outcomes software. DoView is an agile Swiss Army Knife of a tool for high-level strategy and outcomes work using a visual approach. Once you've identified your projects within DoView, you can then move into some project management software such as Microsoft Project for planning how you 're going to implement individual projects.
If improved public sector performance measurement can increase effectiveness by even a few percent, it can reduce hardship and increase well-being for whole populations.
Sometimes our focus with a client is on identifying their performance indicators (Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)). We do this against their DoView visual model. This is far more efficient than the traditional approach of sitting in a room with a blank piece of paper scratching your head trying to think up a list of performance indicators. Sometimes clients are trying to tidy up their indicator sets and already have hundreds of indicators. In these cases our job is to get them to build the underlying model of what they're trying to do in the form of a DoView visual outcomes model. We then map their indicators onto the model, help them work out which they are going to continue collecting and in what documentation they are going to report them (e.g. outcomes documentation, output documentation or just in internal reporting systems).
Other times we'll do a technical analysis with clients of the appropriateness, feasibility, affordability and credibility of the possible impact evaluation designs that they could use to prove to funders and stakeholders that their program is having an impact. This means that funders can be assured that program has left no stone unturned in attempting to prove their impact.
It's true that 'good intentions are not enough', but getting people to use evidence-based practice and policy in the field can be challenging.
Demand is increasing for evidence-based practice and policy and focusing on 'what works'. New evidence repositories are being developed in response. Our role in this movement is to develop practical tools to ensure that evidence is not only being collected, but it's being applied in the field. It's often unrealistic to expect busy practitioners to go directly to the evidence databases themselves. Outcomes models such as DoView visual models (intervention logics, theories of change, results chains) are becoming a normal part of practitioners' working life. We want them to be used to encourage evidence-based practice. This can be done by building DoViews and other outcomes models on the basis of the evidence available in the field. Given that practitioners are already using these models in the field, if we can get evidence 'embodied' in them this means that programs will already be starting off with an evidence-based approach without ever having to go to the evidence-data bases themselves.
Offerings - consulting and training
High-level outcomes, performance measurement and impact assessment system design.
Building DoView visual outcomes models (theories of change, intervention logics, program logics, program theories, results maps, results chains, strategy maps)
Impact measurement and evaluation.
Performance improvement processes.
Embedding evidence-based practice.
Country-wide public sector planning and budgeting systems.
Cross-sector cooperative planning.
Outcomes-based research planning and impact measurement.
DoView software training.
Our hundreds of clients have included: the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations Population Fund, the International Labour Organization, the World Bank, the U.N,, the Asian Development Bank, national governments, and individual agencies in almost all sectors: health, welfare, education, defense, transport, arts and culture, injury insurance, sport and recreation, archives, heritage, local government, indigenous development.
Contact us via the contact page.