Exciting innovations are producing improved results in state and local governments across the nation. The Performance Institute recently completed an in-depth survey of government managers working in state government and in cities and counties across the nation.
Over 1000 responses were collected and five major themes of management improvement have been captured in our research. To help disseminate these innovations, the Institute has assembled best practice presentations from state and local government for the upcoming April 18-19 State Performance Summit and City/County Performance Summit – both running in Washington DC.
- Data Analytics: Performance measurement used to be the big trend in state and local government. That’s old news. Now the major focus is on using all the data that is collected by state and local government to surface insight on what is driving problems and how mission results can be enhanced.52% of state government managers report their organization has started a data-analytics unit either department-wide or for a specific program area. One-third of city and county managers report the same. Challenges include narrowing down the kinds of performance measures agencies track and what priorities for data analysis are tackled first. Another key issue: how to conduct data-driven performance reviews to drive needed changes in programs.
- Information Sharing Partnerships: Consistent with the trend on the use of data analytics, state and local government programs are finally breaking down the barriers between programs to connect dots and share information. Previously data was stove-piped and jealously guarded across bureaucracies and levels of government.42% of state government managers report their organization have struck data-sharing arrangements in at least one major program area – with two-thirds of state and local law enforcement agencies reporting data-sharing in their mission area.
Powerful information exchanges have been created in some counties and even across federal-state-local levels for some mission areas. A public housing agency likely collects data that can help a social service, public health or education agency in their efforts to help clients and vice-versa. Take it beyond government and forge partnerships with private data sources and government is developing a powerful information tool to better serve clients.
- Evidence-Based Policies and Funding Decisions: Money is always tight. To encourage innovation, state and local governments are embracing the use of “evidence” to innovate program policies and approaches while making funding decisions (grants, contracts, etc.) based on evidence justifications. The federal government is also on the evidence-based bandwagon and will tie even more federal discretionary funding to evidence this year.
- Smart Technologies: State and local government is embracing breakthrough technologies like never before. Body cameras and a wide range of monitoring devices are revolutionizing law enforcement agencies. GPS and other sensor systems are being deployed to monitor roads, sewer pipes, and garbage trucks to improve efficiency and maintenance. One caveat: State and local government struggles with how to deploy these technologies and reduce implementation risks.
- Citizen Engagement: New technologies and a culture shift is resulting in “citizen engagement” being a big theme in state and local government reforms. These innovations include putting videos of hearings and legislative documents online, shifting to 311 Service Centers, implementing customer service surveys and initiatives, and utilizing social media to engage citizens in a wide-range of government processes. 78% of state and local government managers report there is at least one citizen engagement initiative underway currently within their agency.
You can learn more about these five trends in improving state and local government management by attending the April 18-19 State Performance Summit and City/County Performance Summit – both running in Washington DC.