What do people want from public sector institutions? Do they want performance supported by verifiable statistics that indicate the institution is achieving outcomes expected by its peers? Or do they want their phone call answered, their concern understood and something done?
When executive managers determine the indicators against which an institution’s performance is to be assessed, are they reflecting the “performance” sought by the community?
A recent study asks whether accountability through reporting against performance indicators may be undermining trust.
Is the information age resulting in a reduction of social capital?
“Don’t Count us Out:How an Over-reliance on accountability could undermine the public’s confidence in schools, business, government and more“, a report of Public Agenda and the Kettering Foundation, found there is a gap between how leaders and citizens define accountability. Citizens want agencies to be responsive and effective.
For the public, quantitative performance measures fall short of what they demand of institutions. Being able to reach someone who listens to you and treats your ideas and questions respectfully is another important dimension of accountability.
These findings presents a challenge to public sector leaders to provide their institution’s services to the community at a personal level, not just at a level that can be measured statistically.
Read the full report at: http://www.publicagenda.org/files/pdf/dont-count-us-out.pdf