Monitoring Performance in the Public Sector: Future Directions from International Experience

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9781560002925: Monitoring Performance in the Public Sector: Future Directions from International Experience

A host of promising public sector reform efforts are underway throughout the world. In governments challenged by budget deficits and declining public trust, these reform efforts seek to improve policy decisions and public management. Along the way, program efficiency and effectiveness help rebuild public confidence in government. Whether through regular measurement of program inputs, activities, and outcomes, or through episodic one-shot studies, performance monitoring plays a central role in the most important current reform efforts. Monitoring Performance in the Public Sector, now available in paperback, is based on experiences derived from comparative analysis in different countries. It explains why there is interest in perfor¡mance monitoring in a given setting, why it has failed or created uncertainties, and identifies criteria for improving its design and use.

One of the challenges this book offers is the need to consider dimensions of performance beyond the traditional ones of economy, efficiency, and effectiveness. With an increasingly diverse, interdependent, and uncertain public sector environment, for some stakeholders meeting objectives fixed some time ago may not be as important as the capacity to adapt to current and future change. In this vein, the contributors address a number of themes: the criti¡cal importance of organizational support for performance monitoring and making it consistent with the organizational culture, the need for active and effective leadership in defining criteria and implementing practical performance monitoring, the value of linking ongoing measurement with more than the traditional, strictly quantitative aspects of public sector performance.

As we gain experience with performance monitoring and its uses, such systems should become more cost effective over time. This book will be of deep interest to public managers, government officials, economists, and organization theorists, and useful in courses on public administration..

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About the Author:

Joseph S. Wholey is professor of public administration in the School of Policy, Planning, and Development, University of Southern California.



John Mayne is currently audit principal in the Office of the Auditor General of Canada.



Eduardo Zapico-Goñi is deputy director of policy analysis at the Directorate of the Budget, Ministry of Finance, Spain, and associate professor of public management and budgeting in the Department of Politics and Public Administration, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid.

Review:

“The latest in a series on evaluation from an international perspective, this book goes beyond description to draw lessons from cross-cultural comparisons...  This well-written book avoids jargon and provides useful definitions (e.g., differences between performance monitoring, policy analysis, and program evaluation).”

—M. A. Saint-Germain, Choice

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