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  1. What do we mean by ‘performance’?

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    The concept of ‘performance’ is defined differently in different organisations. An organisation’s conceptual model for performance, or its performance framework, reflects its values, responsibilities and preferences, especially in terms of the criteria used to assess performance.

  2. What are some of the risks in getting performance measurement wrong?

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    The “exclusive use” of performance indicators for performance management purposes and evaluative knowledge production raises concerns such as:

    • Misrepresentation – deliberate or accidental.

  3. How can we develop or select good performance indicators?

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    Indicators can be useful when recognised for what they are: partial information that can provide alerts of things not going as planned and signs of important changes (or lack thereof) which may trigger further investigation. Indicator selection should be focused on the type of ‘summary’ information that can tell us whether or not the intervention is ‘on track’ in terms of its implementation and anticipated results.

    Some important considerations in selecting and using indicators:

  4. What is the purpose of performance measurement?

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    Performance measurement is often used as a fairly inclusive term to refer to the routine measurement of inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes and/or impacts of an intervention (a project, program, collection of activities or a policy). The emphasis is on regularly collecting a limited set of data to determine where improvements can be made.

    There are a range of other purposes performance measurement can serve, such as:

  5. Is performance measurement the same as performance management?

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    Performance measurement is an essential part of a broader process often referred to as performance-based management (also called ‘managing for results’ or ‘results-based management, RBM). Some argue that If an organisation does not collect performance data, it cannot manage its performance effectively, reliably, and accountably.

  6. Is performance measurement different from program evaluation?

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    The essential purpose of both program evaluation and performance measurement in the public sector is to provide information for public officials to help them improve the effectiveness, efficiency, equity (and/or other evaluative criteria) of public services. In essence, public officials need information that is accurate, complete and timely (Hatry 2013). While some of the information may overlap, each of the two processes provides some information that the other, typically, does not.