Developing a Performance Measurement System for Consolidated Communities. Summary of Findings of Implemented Pilot Project

From February to July 2021, specialists of the USAID Program, “Decentralization Offering Better Results and Efficiency,” (DOBRE) have conducted DOBRE’s pilot project, “Performance Measurement System of Consolidated Communities.” Below is a developed definition of this term.

Performance measurement system – the strategy that aims to enhance efficiency, responsibility and transparency of new local administrations for all citizens, priorities for which are management and service delivery improvement. Performance measurement system encompasses identification, collection and analysis of data according to a defined set of indicators that will allow evaluating completeness, effectiveness, quality and efficiency of service delivery in territorial communities.

To ensure successful execution of this pilot project, USAID DOBRE specialists invited the following key stakeholders:  representatives of the Ministry of Communities and Territorial Development of Ukraine; experts from other line ministries; sectoral experts; representatives of local government, associations, and international technical assistance programs; including pilot territorial communities (link to the article in Ukrainian). Formed Coordination and Sectoral expert groups. 

42 experts developed indicators for the performance measurement system of consolidated communities (link to the article in Ukrainian). During their work, experts followed these core principles – indicators should be clear, simple and comprehensive for citizens. In addition, specialist took into account proposals from communities that they had described at the stage of surveys; international experience according to implementation of indicators for similar services; criteria of evaluation, provided by current regulatory acts in every sphere, and expert experience of participants.

Based on results of consultations at the stage of piloting their initiative, experts selected three services – solid waste management; drinking water; and school education, indicators for which they divided into four groups:

  • statistical data; institutional and organizational capacity;
  • service coverage, accessibility;
  • service quality and efficiency;
  • level of satisfaction with service.

Quantity of Indicators According to Defined Set of Services

Solid waste managementDrinking waterSchool education
Statistical data, institutional and organizational capacity586
Service coverage, accessibility766
Service quality and efficiency676
Level of satisfaction with service221

During the project implementation, specialists provided training about data collection for representatives of participating communities. Following it, pilot communities collected data according defined indicators; and entered it into an electronic tool, developed by USAID DOBRE. While filling out the electronic form, there was a need to mark data, which communities were aware of, and those they should collect additionally. The pilot project participants also documented issues that their consolidated communities met at the stage of data collection, in particular, the data they could not collect and reasons for it. 

Notably, within the pilot project framework 47 consolidated communities from 21 Oblasts of Ukraine learned and deepened their knowledge how to carry out the following activities:

  • collecting, processing and analyzing data;
  • evaluating criteria and developing indicators;
  • applying international experience in the field of performance measurement systems;
  • setting priorities in own activities;
  • forecasting and reporting.

After processing and verifying data partially, USAID DOBRE experts and representatives of participating communities drew the following conclusions:

  • insufficient information at a community’s level, especially in newly formed communities;
  • insufficient resources for data verification;
  • a provision of statistical data enables local authorities to assess their capacities to deliver particular services;
  • a set of statistical indicators provides for minimum requirements for consolidated communities in terms of institutional capacities, organizational and regulatory support. A negative answer to any question indicates that this issue should be resolved immediately;
  • the most difficult point was to determine a level of satisfaction with a service; 
  • for some communities there is no data due to the lack of service provision there.

However, owing to the results attained after the pilot stage (link to the article in Ukrainian), specialists anticipate to enlarge the quantity of services for evaluating and implementing the performance measurement system at the national level. USAID DOBRE experts appealed to the Ministry of Communities and Territorial Development of Ukraine with recommendations to add some indicators for solid waste management; drinking water, and school education services to the national system. 

Thus, for successful and fully-fledged implementation of performance measurement system at the national level, it is necessary to follow these criteria:

  • to have resources for implementation (qualified staff on the ground, institutionalization at the national level);
  • to implement the system gradually, with no more than 3-4 indicators for the service;
  • to introduce training for users of the System (data collection and analysis, competences how to apply it in practice)
  • to envision a time framework, for instance, 3 or 4 years for full implementation of the System.

At the national level, such system supports decision-making about developing priorities and monitoring progress of administering the decentralization reform. Consolidated communities will be able to evaluate their own activities and make decisions for improving delivery of local services; benchmark results between services and other communities; and become closer to their residents. 

© This report is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of Global Communities and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.