by Scott Bayley

Managing for Development Results - An Organisational Diagnostic Framework

An Organisational Diagnostic Framework


Over the past 30 years governments around the world have been under pressure to demonstrate the efficient and effective use of public resources. Public concern for national debt reduction, declining confidence in political leadership, globalization of the economy, free trade and consequently increased competitiveness in the open market have all been important factors. These global pressures have contributed to the emergence of results-based management (RBM) approaches in the international aid programs of countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom as well as the United States.

Mixed experience

Experience to date with RBM has been very mixed with indications that successful implementation requires strong performance leadership, suitable systems and processes, incentives to focus efforts on continuous improvement, building staff capacity, and effective change management coupled with appropriate administrative support.

Indicative Framework

Before an aid agency launches into a reform program to strengthen its focus on development results, it is essential to first undertaken a diagnostic assessment of current practices. The following indicative framework can help guide this process:

A. POLICIES & FRAMEWORKS

B. LEADERSHIP & ACCOUNTABILITY FOR RESULTS

C. CULTURE & INCENTIVES

D. STAFF CAPACITY & SKILLS

E. SUPPORTIVE CHANGE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES

F. SYSTEM COHERENCE

G. WORKING WITH PARTNERS TO STRENGTHEN RESULTS

H. SENSIBLE MEASUREMENT OF RESULTS

I. USE OF RESULTS INFORMATION.

A. Policies and Frameworks

  • The results agenda is aligned and responsive to relevant strategic directions/needs and agency-wide results framework

  • Results frameworks are used in programming

B. Leadership

  • Organizational leaders have a clear understanding of, and are visibly committed to, the results agenda at the operational level

  • Organizational leaders visibly and consistently demonstrate relevant leadership behaviours, in particular, by requesting results-based information for their own use

C. Culture

  • Policies and processes throughout the aid management cycle effectively support a focus on results

  • There are effective incentives in place to encourage staff to manage for results

D. Staff Capacity and Skills

  • Staff have the skills and knowledge necessary to manage for results across the aid management cycle

  • Appropriate RBM-related training and other L&D activities are accessible to staff, and are being taken up

E. Supportive Change Management Practices

  • Sufficient resources are allocated to implement the results agenda at agency-wide and program levels

  • Progress in implementing the results agenda is monitored and periodically evaluated, and implementation is routinely refined on the basis of lessons learned

F. System Coherence

  • Management information systems effectively support implementation of the results agenda by staff

  • Knowledge Management: There are effective knowledge management initiatives in place to complement and enhance implementation of the results agenda

G. Working with Partners

  • The organizational results agenda is being implemented in ways that support harmonisation and alignment with partner country systems

  • The organizational is working with key partners to improve the results-focus in the delivery of aid

H. Sensible Measurement

  • Credible measurement of results and costs is ongoing and assessed in light of expectations

  • Organisational contributions to country level development results ARE assessed

I. Use of Results Information

  • Results information is used to continuously improve programing and service delivery, and to inform strategic planning, budgeting and external reporting/accountability

  • The organization clearly demonstrates and communicates its results through appropriate media.

For a summary of RBM challenges and lessons across a variety of jurisdictions see:

Bayley, S. et al, 2007, Managing for Development Results in the Asian Development Bank: A Preliminary Assessment, Asian Development Bank.

Bester, A. 2012, Results-Based Management in the United Nations Development System: Progress and Challenges, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

García López, R. and García Moreno, M. 2011, Managing for Development Results: Progress and Challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean, Inter-American Development Bank.

Independent Evaluation Office, 2017, Review of results-based management in the GEF, Global Environment Facility.

Joint Inspection Unit, 2017, Results-Based Management in the United Nations System: High Impact Model for Results-Based Management.

Mayne, J. 2007, Best Practices in Results-Based Management: A Review of Experience, A Report for the United Nations Secretariat.

Perrin, B. 2011, What is a Results/Performance Based Delivery System?, Invited presentation by the European Parliament Committee on Regional Development, Public Hearing: Moving towards a more results/performance-based delivery system in cohesion policy

Valters, C. and Whitty, B. 2017, The politics of the results agenda in DFID 1997-2017, Overseas Development Institute.

Scott Bayley, Managing Director of Scott Bayley Evaluation Services and former Principal Consultant for Monitoring Evaluation and Learning at Oxford Policy Management (OPM) for the Asia Pacific region.

Scott Bayley is Senior Principal Specialist, MEL at Oxford Policy Management (OPM).
Scott leads OPM Australia’s monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) work for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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