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Results that Matter: Improving Communities by Engaging Citizens, Measuring Performance, and Getting Things Done

ISBN: 978-1-118-19344-0
272 pages
December 2005, Jossey-Bass
Results that Matter: Improving Communities by Engaging Citizens, Measuring Performance, and Getting Things Done (111819344X) cover image
Today's communities—whether they are currently strong, or struggling to survive—face difficult challenges if they want to be tomorrow's healthy, vibrant communities. The challenge for leaders and citizens of modern communities is not just to solve specific problems today. Their real challenge is to keep learning from their experience so they can keep improving their communities tomorrow.

Results That Matter will provide a new governance framework for using valuable tools of community improvement—especially performance measurement and citizen engagement—to empower communities to achieve the outcomes their citizens most desire. Government and nonprofit managers will learn how to combine these tools in new ways, not only to achieve one-time improvement of their organizations and communities, but to foster continual community renewal and improvement. The benefits and practicality of the framework and related practices will be reinforced by case examples from 25 communities across the country. The book will offer "how to" guidance to public and nonprofit managers, including promising practices for effective communities, and new roles for citizens, community leaders, and managers.

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Preface ix

Acknowledgments xxi

The Authors xxv

1 Engaging Citizens, Measuring Results, Getting Things Done 1

2 Citizens’ Many Roles in Community Problem Solving 17

3 Organizations Managing for Results 49

4 Citizens Reaching for Results I: Key Ideas, Strategic Issues, and the First Three Case Examples 76

5 Citizens Reaching for Results II: To Improve the Quality of Life in Their Region 102

6 Communities Governing for Results I: An Introduction to the Practice and to Interpreting the Case Examples 123

7 Communities Governing for Results II: Local Governments Engage Citizens in Results-Based Systems 139

8 Communities Governing for Results III: Citizens Engaged in Results-Based Nonprofit Community Development 171

9 More Ideas for Making It Happen 191

Notes 224

Index 237

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Paul D. Epstein is principal of Epstein and Fass Associates, a New York–based consulting firm. In 2003 he received the Harry Hatry Distinguished Performance Measurement Practice Award from the American Society for Public Administration for his lifetime achievements.

Paul M. Coates is director of the Office of State and Local Government Programs and associate professor of public policy and administration in the Department of Political Science at Iowa State University.

Lyle D. Wray is executive director of the Capitol Region Council of Governments based in Hartford, Connecticut. Wray served as executive director of the Citizens League from 1992 to 2003 and co-led, with Paul Epstein, the Sloan Foundation–funded research on citizen engagement and public performance measurement.

David Swain, a Florida-based consultant, managed the Jacksonville Community Council Inc.'s pioneering community quality of life indicators program from 1984 to 2002.

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Results that Matter presents a framework for community leaders who must learn from their experience today so they can keep improving their communities tomorrow.
  • Offers practical guidance and promising practices for creating effective communities.
  • Provides a new governance framework for using community improvement tools, especially performance measurement, and citizen engagement.
  • Includes twenty-five community and organizational stories that show the key elements of this governance framework in action.
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Results That Matter WebsiteDo you want to help citizens reach for results?

Do you want to help organizations manage for results?

Do you want to help communities govern for results?

Do you want to improve how your community improves itself?

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