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This process graphic (also available in Community COMPASS Report No. 1 Project Design) illustrates the method which will be used to evaluate the progress various initiatives and projects make toward achieving the goals of this plan. This program evaluation process, an integral part of the Community Results Accountability Framework, will be carried out periodically as different groups and organizations begin to carry out the initiatives recommended in the 2030 Plan and Implementation Framework.
Compared with the goals described for the entire County population in The Vision for Hamilton County’s Future, desired results need to be determined for individual groups that will benefit or otherwise be affected by strategies implemented through this plan. These are the “customers” or “stakeholders” of a particular project, and their needs are primary—although it is assumed that their needs will align with the needs of the larger community. Being a long range plan, even unborn generations will have to be considered as our customers and stakeholders.
2. Performance Measures
Performance Measures allow strategic planning teams to measure their program progress toward a particular goal, and how well they serve a customer/stakeholder group, using objective data. Each strategic plan project that emerges from Community COMPASS will develop specific performance measures. Various public, private, and civic organizations across the county have developed a different level of measurement for community-wide and regional progress. These measurements, referred to as indicators, can be referenced as needed to measure progress toward Community COMPASS objectives for the whole community. The 12 State of the County reports also describe more detailed data trends that will be used as community level indicators. Other community and regional indicators sets include:
Benchmarks for Progress, Hamilton County, Ohio: Key Community Trends for Policy Makers -- Prepared by Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission in Collaboration with The Cincinnatus Association
Sustainable Cincinnati: A Regional Indicators Project Measuring the Economic, Environmental, and Social Health of the Tri-state Metropolitan Area -- Prepared by Sustainable Cincinnati, Inc. and the League of Women Voters, Cincinnati Area
The State of the Community: A Report on the Socio-Economic Health of The Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Region -- Prepared by United Way of Greater Cincinnati
Related to a particular data trend or indicator, baselines answer the question “Where have we been and where are we headed?”, regarding a particular issue or challenge facing the community. Developing a baseline data trend is an essential component of the Community Results Accountability Framework because it focuses attention on the issue and helps identify strategies that could be used in crafting a solution. Data availability also is a factor in developing baselines—if enough of the right kind of data is not available, a clear baseline may not be possible.
4. Story Behind the Baseline
The trends identified in the State of the County Reports did not just happen spontaneously—they happened because of a variety of social and economic forces at work in our communities. Demographic shifts across the county, technology changes, new industries growing and old ones declining, changes in the County’s total workforce, state and national economic trends, and as multitude of public and private decisions all have a part to play in the trends evident in our communities. Discovering and describing the “story” behind baseline trends makes sense out of all these competing factors and further focuses attention on the true issue, and helps identify groups and individuals who should be involved in developing solutions.
5. Revise Action Plan
6. Revise Funding Plan
7. Implement Revisions
The first 4 items are created prior to implementing an Action Plan for a specific initiative. These next 3 items come into effect after a plan has been implemented and the outcomes from that plan are measurable through data indicators. Put simply, if a plan and implementation program is working well, then reviewing the performance measures can verify and identify how to continue progress. If a plan is not working well, this same review will identify where improvements need to be made. Revisions to program funding and implementation follow from these improvements.
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