From Talk to Action for Big-Time, Positive Community Change

A data-oriented framework that is gaining popularity in Sarasota and around the world is that of Results-Based Accountability (RBA).  This approach is described by its creator, Mark Friedman, as "a disciplined way of thinking and taking action together" as a community.    Given SCOPE's commitment to community-building through community data, we resonate with this framework in a number of ways:

  • It centers on improving the quality of life of all people living in a community.
  • The people of a community decide for themselves what matters most, in terms of the qualities of life that are meaningful to them.
  • It continually compares changes (or lack thereof) in the well-being of a community with the actions and efforts of that community.
  • It assumes that a community can improve itself through a process of ongoing collective reflection.

We also see potential for bending and stretching this framework in support of local innovation.  Our community could choose to use RBA to:

  • Take a clear-eyed look at itself relative to issues of equity and social justice.
  • Track efforts not only in service delivery and systems coordination, but also in community-building and policymaking.
  • Invent methodological and technological "mash-ups" to integrate RBA with other valuable sensemaking approaches.

Results-Based Accountability holds great promise if we find ways to tailor it to fit the unique profile and personality of our home community.  When we convene on May 19, we will have opportunities to begin exploring this framework together.   Hope to see you there.