The common ground for my work this week was
How do we talk about return on our investments in addressing the needs of low income Americans?
This week I worked with Community Action Agencies, the Council of Foundation, a national funder, and the Senate Finance Budget Committee. They all asked
How do we know we are spending our money well?
How do we tell the story well about what we are accomplishing?
Community Action Agencies are using Results Oriented Measurement and Accountability (ROMA) to show what they have accomplished and to adapt their programs to be more effective. It is a start to answering what impact the money has had at an agency level, at a state level and at a national level. It isn’t yet an effective approach to telling the story and engaging people in the work that Community Action does. And there are still many issues to address if one wants to compare results in a small rural community, with a metropolitan area with little growth, or with a thriving city with some neighborhoods still struggling with access to opportunity. To learn more about ROMA, go to http://www.nascsp.com/CSBG/594/ROMA.aspx?iHt=11. And tell me about national indicators that you are developing or using.