A common language
The diversity and multi-disciplinary nature of organisations and staff delivering early years services means some commonly used terms may mean different things to different people.
To remedy this, RBA uses plain language and common sense methods that everyone can understand.
For more information, view the glossary of terms.
From ends to means
RBA starts with the ends and works backwards, step by step, towards the means.
The first step is to identify the desired result e.g. conditions of well-being for children, families and the community as a whole.
The second step is to work out how these results can be achieved.
This approach can be used to support strategic planning, continuous improvement, program development and performance.
Results and indicators are about the ends (results) we want for children and families.
Strategies and performance measures are about the means to get there.
The difference between indicators and performance measures
The key differences are about the scale and or size of the group that data relates to, for instance:
- indicators are about the ends (high level results) we want for children and families
- performance measures are about the means to get there (strategies, actions, activities). How did the program/service make a difference for families and their children involved?
Linking population and performance accountabilities
The performance of programs and services contribute to the achievement of results for the population.
Organisations or funded services are responsible for what they do for/with their clients. In turn, these client results contribute to the achievement of population results. However, achievement of the population result is the collective responsibility of all organisations, government and other community and business partners operating in a geographic area like Queensland or a specific neighbourhood or town.
The linkage between population and customer results in relation to an early years service is outlined in the example below.
Result: All children are ready for school.
Indicator: Percent of children on track according to Australian Early Development Census (AEDC).
Child focused activities and groups: How much? e.g. number of children participating.
How well? e.g. percent of parent/carers satisfied with the service.
Client results/outcomes: Is anyone better off? e.g. number of parents/carers who report that their child is benefiting from participation.
Performance measures comprise 3 questions.
- How much did we do?
Clients: e.g. number of children accessing the service
Activities: e.g. number of playgroups, number of parenting programs
- How well did we do it?
Common quality measures: e.g. satisfaction, attendance rates, completion
Activity-specific quality measures: e.g. percentage of staff trained/qualified, percentage of clients satisfied
- Is anyone better off?
Number and percentage changes in: skills/knowledge, attitude/opinion, behaviour, circumstance
The RBA and trade are concepts used by the department that are derived from the books
Trying Hard is Not Good Enough and
Turning Curves: An Accountability Companion Reader by Mark Friedman.