CSG Justice CenterCSG Justice Center

Performance Measurement

Practitioners often struggle with how to measure the results and impact of their initiatives. The expectation and obligation to funders and communities to measure performance is clear, yet finding the capacity and funding to measure outcomes requires assistance and support for many agencies and organizations.

Tracking performance can help answer several key questions:

  • Is the program producing the desired results?
  • Are the services aligned with the needs of the target population?
  • Is the program generating the greatest possible impact?

Measuring your outcomes and measures for your reentry initiative can enable program administrators and policymakers in a given jurisdiction to answer these questions, measure success in reaching goals, and identify areas for future improvement. Strong outcomes or other program evaluation data can also help ensure the sustainability of your initiative.

Key Resources

  • Measuring the Impact of Reentry Efforts, Center for Effective Public Policy (2009)
    This packet provides an overview of performance management principles and practices, and includes a discussion of the ways in which data can be useful to reentry efforts. A description of methods to assess the effectiveness of current reentry efforts and key steps in performance management are also provided.
  • Performance Measures and Program Management PowerPoint, Bureau of Justice Assistance (2008)
    This powerpoint provides resources and guidance on planning and implementing program evaluations and collecting performance measurements required by BJA.
  • Results Based Accountability 101 PowerPoint Presentation, Results-Based Accountability (2008)
    This presentation provides guidance to policymakers on results-based accountability.
  • A Manual for Performance Measurement: Fairfax County Measures Up, Fairfax, Fairfax County, VA (2007)
    This manual provides information on the components of a performance measurement system and offers guidance on how to focus objectives on outcomes and develop indicators that will provide useful feedback.
  • Guide to Program Evaluation, Bureau of Justice Assistance Center for Program Evaluation and Performance Measurement (2006)
    This guide offers instruction on planning and implementing an evaluation, assessing program performance, and reviewing evaluation findings with stakeholders.
  • Using Outcome Information: Making Data Pay Off, Urban Institute (2004)
    This guide offers practical advice to help other nonprofits take full advantage of outcome data, identifying a variety of ways to use the data and describing specific methods for pursuing each use.
  • Key Steps in Outcome Management, Urban Institute (2003)
    This report is part of a series that provides assistance to nonprofits that wish to collect outcome measurement data and use the information to help improve services to clients.
  • Comparative Costs and Benefits of Programs to Reduce Crime, Version 4.0., Washington State Institute for Public Policy (2001)
    This report describes the Institute's latest analysis of the costs and benefits of crime prevention and intervention programs. It contains a summary of the findings as well as a detailed technical discussion of the model used to estimate costs and benefits.
  • Performance Measurement and Evaluation: Definitions and Relationships, General Accounting Office (1998)
    Performance Measurement and Evaluation is a glossary prepared at the request of the Senate Committee on Government Affairs.