Presentation on theme: "Design and Development of Key National Indicator Systems: GAO's Study of U.S. and Other Country Experiences Bernice Steinhardt Director, Strategic Issues."— Presentation transcript:
Design and Development of Key National Indicator Systems: GAO's Study of U.S. and Other Country Experiences Bernice Steinhardt Director, Strategic Issues U.S. Government Accountability Office INTOSAI Working Group on Key National Indicators Helsinki, April 13-14, 2011
2 Key National Indicators and Governance in the 21 st Century U.S. federal government increasingly has to partner with other governments, other levels of government, private and not-for-profit sectors, to achieve results. Examples: Homeland security Disaster planning and response Environmental protection Public health Need tools and metrics to link efforts
3 What are Key Indicator Systems? Comprehensive key indicator systems aggregate essential economic, social, and environmental indicators into a single, easily-accessible system. These systems can make it easier to see a more complete, general picture of the condition of a city, region, state, or nation and its progress over time.
6 Efforts to Develop National Indicator System for U.S. GAO, in cooperation with National Academy of Sciences, convened forum in 2003 to discuss whether and how to create key national indicator system for U.S. About 100 leaders in accountability, business, education, NGO, government, labor, media, minority, scientific, and statistics communities Efforts continued over next several years under leadership of National Academies Independent non-profit organization created in 2007: State of the USA
7 GAO’s Role in National Indicator Efforts Helped to identify need for key national indicator system through forum and reports Recommended Congress take leadership role in highlighting need for indicator system Active involvement with OECD in World Forums on Key Indicators Member of INTOSAI Working Group on Key National Indicators
8 Background of Study In 2010, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-148) authorized creation of a key national indicator system for the U.S. Law also required GAO to study: How indicator systems are being used, designed and developed Factors necessary to sustain a system Potential implications for a U.S. KNI system
9 Scope and Methodology Building on past work, we examined 20 key indicator systems in the U.S., Australia, U.K., and Switzerland, including 7 in depth: In U.S., King County AIMs High (WA); Boston Indicators Project; Virginia Performs In Australia: Measures of Australia’s Progress; Community Indicators Victoria In Switzerland: MONET Indicator System In UK: United Kingdom Government Sustainable Development Indicators To be selected for an in-depth review, systems had to be (1) comprehensive, (2) in existence for at least 5 years, (3) outcome- oriented, (4) involve a governmental entity as a major partner or user.
10 Key Findings: Purpose and Use Key indicator systems are used for multiple purposes Increasing transparency and public awareness Fostering civic engagement and collaboration Monitoring progress, aiding decision making, and promoting accountability
12 Key Findings: Aspects of Development and Design Elements of design and development contribute to the relevance, usefulness and credibility of a system Consulting experts and stakeholders about purpose and design Selecting indicators based on relevant and reliable data Providing disaggregated and comparative data available over time Finding new ways to collect and use data to fill gaps Periodic reevaluation and revision of the indicators
14 Key Findings: Sustaining Support Sustaining support for indicator systems is a constant challenge Stable and diversified funding helps ensure continuity Need for continued interest on part of sponsors, advisors, and champions Insulation from political pressure offers protection from perceptions of bias Continually raising public awareness of a system helps preserve relevance
15 Key Findings: Implications for the U.S. Implications for how a key national indicator system could be developed and used in the U.S. Experts and stakeholders could help define purpose and select content Existing data sources and technologies could be leveraged A U.S. key national indicator system could inform federal government strategic planning and decision making System could be refined over time
16 Related GAO Reports www.gao.gov Key Indicator Systems: Experiences of Other National and Subnational Systems Offer Insights for the United States, (GAO-11-396), March 2011. Informing our Nation: Improving How to Assess the Position and Progress of the United States, (GAO-05-1), Nov. 2004. 21st Century Challenges: Reexamining the Base of the Federal Government, (GAO-05-325SP), March 2005.