From District 2 Orange County Commissioner Rod Love

Last week, District 2, in partnership with Bethune-Cookman University of Daytona Beach, Florida Memorial University of Miami Gardens, Edward Waters College of Jacksonville and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) of Tallahassee, hosted a training and seminar for Results-Based Accountability (RBA) principles and concepts. Historically Black Colleges and University researchers lead by Bethune-Cookman University were present to direct and facilitate the workshop with the funding support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Before delving into what took place at the training, as always, I would like to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to all those who made this workshop possible. I would like to thank Dr. Randy Nelson, Ph.D. and the University researchers, Dr. Kideste Mariam Usef, Ph.D. and Dr. Nichole Jones, Ed.D., LMHC, QS with Bethune-Cookman University; Dr. Felecia Dix-Richardson, Ph.D., with FAMU; Dr. Sylvia Boynton, Ph.D., LCSW, LMFT, QCS, CCMS, of Florida Memorial University; Dr. Kimberly Davis, Ph.D., of Edward Waters College; Charter Spectrum for the Public Service Announcement aired prior to the training; the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association (CFHLA); the Downtown Crowne Plaza for hosting the venue for the training; Orange County staff; City of Apopka Commissioner Alexander Smith and Paula Hosington from Mayor-Elect Jerry Demings Transition Team for attendance; and all individuals and entities that attended.

District 2 Orange County Commissioner Rod Love

This Performance Management, Measurement, and Accountability workshop was specifically geared toward public and private human service professionals, providers, and funders. Individuals from various organizations and agencies were in attendance, including Community Based Care of Central Florida, Department of Juvenile Justice, and Strengthening Our Sons, to name a few. Recent discussions and commitments by Orange County Government to increase the level of funding for youth services in Orange County made the timing of this workshop ideal. The workshop focused on defining the desired results and conditions to be achieved relative to youth and family services; identifying key indicators and performance measures to determine whether the desired results are achieved and developing an action plan to achieve and/or improve upon the desired results.

A performance management tool known as Results Based Accountability (RBA) was introduced to attendees and used as the foundational pillar of the workshop’s focus. RBA is a disciplined way of thinking and acting to improve entrenched and complex social problems. Communities use RBA to improve the lives of children, youth, and families and is also used by organizations to measure and/or improve the effectiveness of their programs. Developed by Mark Friedman and described in his book Trying Hard is Not Good Enough (2005), RBA is being used in all 50 states in the U.S. and more than a dozen countries around the world to make measurable changes in lives, communities, and organizations.

Following a pre-test and introduction on RBA, Dr. Nelson discussed indicators, performance measurements, baseline/trend line, data, and partnerships. To conclude this section of the workshop, attendees participated in a post-test to measure how much they had learned about RBA.

To really begin applying what they had learned from the workshop, attendees were asked to develop a result statement for their agency/organization; discuss strategies to implement RBA within their agency/organization, and to identify potential barriers and challenges with implementing RBA within their agency or organization.

At the conclusion of the workshop, Dr. Nelson and Commissioner Smith offered their thoughts on how they think the workshop went and what needs to be done moving forward.

“This is just an initial conversation,” said Dr. Randy Nelson. “But it all starts with this conversation.”

“It was exciting for me to come today to listen, see and observe what took place,” Said Commissioner Alexander Smith. “By getting this many different organizations together in one place at the same time, this lets us know what each individual and organization has and can bring to the table and work together cooperatively to get good results.”

It was my hope that everyone in attendance at the workshop left with a basic understanding of RBA principles and concepts as well as have the tools to identify strategies to incorporate the RBA framework across various human service sectors. Within 24-48 hours, myself and Dr. Nelson were already receiving feedback on the workshop and even requests to hold additional workshops.

This workshop was streamed live and can be found on my Facebook page at Orange County District 2 Commissioner.

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