|ISSUE 3 | APRIL 2009|
The Council on Virginia's Future works in four areas -- strategic vision / roadmap development, assessment, service performance, and productivity improvement -- to enhance the state's effectiveness in making Virginia an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.
Hampton Roads Performs -- at HamptonRoadsPerforms.org -- is a new website modeled after Virginia Performs. Focusing on performance in the Hampton Roads region, the site is a collaborative project of the Hampton Roads Partnership and the Council on Virginia’s Future and shows how the area is performing on a broad array of quality-of-life indicators.
The Hampton Roads Partnership is a public-private organization established to enhance the region’s competitiveness in the global economy, with long-term goals focusing on education, transportation, and the economy. (More on the Partnership at right.)
The Hampton Roads Scorecard shows the area’s progress on 36 strategic indicators in Economy, Education, Health, Public Safety, Natural Resources, Transportation, and Government. As with Virginia Performs, these indicators are measured over time and, where possible, compared to other regions as well as state and national averages. One example: In Fall 2007, the region led the state on an important measure of school readiness -- the percentage of kindergarten children who had mastered beginning literacy skills, as measured by the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS-K) assessment.
Where possible, Hampton Roads Performs also pulls in comparisons with other relevant metropolitan areas. The Port/Maritime indicator, for instance, contrasts the region’s port container traffic with other significant ports across the nation, including Los Angeles, Savannah and New York.
The site also offers a demographic and economic profile of the region, as well as brief profiles of its individual localities.
Hampton Roads Performs supplements current strategic planning efforts in the region and will work to inform citizens and engage them in the future of their communities.
SPOTLIGHT ON . . .
The Hampton Roads Partnership (HRP) is a public-private organization representing 10 cities, 6 counties and 1 town -- and nearly 1.6 million Virginians.
is comprised of the chief elected official
from all 17 communities, along with
private-sector, education, military,
and labor representation from both south
Hampton Roads and the Virginia Peninsula.
The organization focuses on the region's
strategic issues to enhance its competitiveness
in the global economy and create income
and job growth for area residents.
When the Virginia Performs website debuted in January 2007, the performance leadership and accountability system the site represented was still evolving rapidly. Setting measurable strategic objectives was still new; other assessment instruments like the Management Scorecard were still viewed as separate elements. And performance-based budgeting was gathering new momentum.
What a difference a couple of years can make! Under Governor Kaine's leadership, and with critical support from the Department of Planning and Budget, Virginia Performs has grown into a robust, integrated system for gauging the state’s performance -- from progress toward high level goals like educational attainment to the concrete results of state agency services.
A new integration of content
The Virginia Performs website was redesigned in order to better reflect these important changes. The site now presents a more integrated view of how state government processes dovetail with the Commonwealth’s overall performance goals and also shows how performance measures interrelate.
The site’s home page and goal summary pages incorporate strategic planning links at the secretariat and agency levels. Indicator pages -- those dealing with unemployment, obesity, high school graduation, crime, air quality, plus 41 more -- provide direct links to related key measures that agencies use to track specific progress in these areas. A new Trends section offers Scorecard-like summaries of the state’s performance by indicator, by national rank and by region.
New and improved features
The site also includes a number of improvements and new features designed to enhance the user experience. Better navigation allows visitors access to every part of the site from every page, while an "At a Glance" box and special graphs pages provide quick snapshots of how Virginia is doing on each indicator. New tools allow for sharing site content via Web 2.0 services like Digg and Newsvine and an email share form. Thanks to new print and PDF tools, users can also print or save pages with ease.
A new look for performance
The Agency Planning and Performance section of the site has had a makeover as well, in response to structural changes in how performance is being measured and portrayed, and in how performance-based budgeting has begun to affect program and budget planning.
New productivity measures take their place alongside key measures and set agency targets for improving internal processes and costs. Administrative measures (formerly the Management Scorecard) have also been incorporated into the measures group.
The Agency Performance home page now integrates access to all measures (key, productivity, administrative and other) and allows users to quickly view the complete listing for each type. Individual agency pages now offer a rich trove of information at a glance: Users can see summary budget information for current and previous biennia, link to strategic and service area plans, and browse the agency’s entire spectrum of performance measures via a convenient tab system.
the new and improved Virginia Performs
site -- and see for
DID YOU KNOW?
Virginia's 2007 smoking rate of 18.5% was the 14th lowest among the states. This is down from a recent high of 24.6% in 2002, and is lower than peer states like Tennessee and North Carolina. The national average rate for smoking is 19.8%.
Just who smokes tends to vary by age, income, and education level. In 2007, smoking prevalence in Virginia was highest among 25-34 year olds (23.9%) and 18-24 year olds (23%). Those aged 65 and older had the lowest rate (8.1%). Adults who had not completed high school had the highest smoking rate (33.2%).
In 2007, only 15.3 percent of people with incomes of $50,000 or more smoked, while 28% of people with incomes less than $15,000 smoked.
For more details, graphs and helpful links, see the Smoking indicator pages on Virginia Performs.
Real government transparency includes an effort to make data easy to get to and easy to use. It also means opening the books on how government itself operates, manages resources and works to benefit its citizens.
Open.Virginia.gov, a new portal being jointly developed by the Auditor of Public Accounts, the Virginia Enterprise Applications Program and Virginia.gov, will for the first time give citizens one-stop access to a number of important systems the Commonwealth has developed to expose and monitor its operations. Virginia Performs will be present, as well as other key data systems:
Each data system will be identified by a logo and a brief description to help users understand and differentiate among the sites available. Open.Virginia.gov is slated to go live April 15, 2009.
AROUND & ABOUT
The Council on Virginia's Future will be meeting
Timothy M. Kaine | Vice
Chair: John O. “Dubby”
Executive Director: Jane
Full Council Membership
The Council on Virginia's Future produces this newsletter to keep you informed about
performance management in Virginia government -- its goals, methods, results and challenges.
© Council on Virginia's Future
1001 E. Broad Street, Suite 430
Richmond, VA 23219