Knowledge Management in Housing and Transportation Policy: How to Connect Performance Measurement and Decision Making

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Nov 6, 2013 (3 years and 10 months ago)

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Knowledge Management in Housing and
Transportation Policy: How to Connect
Performance Measurement and Decision
Making

By

Milan J. Dluhy

Professor of Public Administration

University of North Carolina Wilmington

Background


Over 200 Community Indicator Projects in the U.S.


“Bottoms up” projects, developed at local level


No common structure or template for measures


Literature shows Quality of Life Projects, Benchmarking Projects,
Economic Indicators, Social Indicators, Health Communities and
Cities, Sustainable Cities Projects


Diversity in purpose and focus


All projects appeared aimed at influencing policy agendas


Common theme is to emphasize a “results oriented management
approach


Little literature on the actual utilization of PM by decision makers

Purposes of Paper


How to Develop more comprehensive
Performance Measures in Community Based
Decision Making (in housing and transportation)


How to get Decision Makers and other
Community Stakeholders to use Performance
Measures more frequently (in housing and
transportation)


How to provide better advice to Decision Makers
at the Local Level (in housing and transportation)







Definition
-
PM


A performance measure is a quantifiable,enduring
measure of outcomes, outputs, efficiency, or cost
effectiveness. In general, measures should be related
to an agency’s/ community’s mission and programs,
and they should not merely measure one
-
time or
short term activities.













Uses of PMs


Track projects in a strategic plan


Track accomplishment of goals in planning/policy


Track policy and program outcomes over time


Report community progress to decsion makers and
public


Benchmark with other jurisdictions to gauge
effectiveness of effort


Track performance over time to determine trends,
progress, and priorities

How to Improve Connections
between Knowledge and Policy

1.
Always use (and include) a wide range of
measures when deciding what data will be
collected




Emphasize outcomes and outputs whenever
possible, but do not ignore efficiency, inputs,
and productivity


Also try to use readily available data online if
possible so inter
-
jurisdictional comparisons can
be made

Selected Housing Measures


Housing Affordability
(Outcome)


Financial Burden or
Rent/income
ratio(Outcome)


Unit over 30 yrs old
(Outcome)


Median Value of unit
(Output, Outcome)


% Ownership (Output,
Outcome)


Avj. Square Ft per unit
(Output, Outcome)



Neighborhood Crime
(Output, Outcome)


No transit accessible
(Output, Outcome)


Amenities nearby (Output,
Outcome)


Tax burden (Outcome)


Commute time to work
(Outcome)


Fraction/Acre per resident
(Output,Outcome)


Rating of Schools
(Outcome)

Selected Transportation Measures


Travel Congestion
(Outcome)


Mean travel time to work
(Outcome)


Rides public transit
(Output and Outcome)


Live within one fourth of
mile of transit (Output and
Outcome)


Operating expenses per
passenger mile
(Efficiency, Outcome)


% of population owning
vehicle (Efficiency and
Outcome)


Vehicle miles driven per
capita (Output, Outcome)


Accidents per thousand
(Output,Outcome)


Transportation
affordability (Outcome)

How to Improve Connections between
Knowledge and Policy

2.
When designing the data sets for the community make sure
there are measures for all major
constituencies/stakeholders interested in progress and
change



Stakeholders have preferences for Outputs, Outcomes,
Efficiency, Inputs, and Productivity


Stakeholder Preferences for PMs


Elected Officials more
interested in


Property tax burden

Sprawl

Quality of Schools

Neighborhood Crime

Age of unit (over 30 years)

Rides public transit to work

Accidents per thousand



Consumers more interested in


Financial burden (rent/income
ratio)

Structural quality of house/apt

Property tax burden

Commute time to work

Quality of Schools

Neighborhood Crime

Housing affordability

Traffic Affordability

Cost of gasoline

Commute time to work


Stakeholder Preferences for PMs


Planners


Sprawl

Commute time to work

People per square mile

Amenities nearby

Traffic congestion

Energy use per capita

Per capita emissions




Administrators


Age of units (over 30 years)

Median value of unit

% Ownership

Use carpool

Rides public transit to work

Traffic congestion




How to improve the connections between
Knowledge and Policy

3.

Use stakeholders to develop measures and then fully
integrate the measures into the planning and decision
making processes



There are a number of communities in the U.S. with a
long history of using a civic engagement approach to
develop PMs which reflect a “bottoms up” consensus
building process



Examples include Asheville, N.C., Austin, Tx.,
Jacksonville, Fl., San Francisco, Ca., Seattle, Wash.,
etc.


Examples of Civic Engagement Strategies


Community Steering or Advisory Committees represented
public, private, and non
-
profit sectors


Community forums/Retreats


Regular surveys and focus groups


Annual agenda setting conferences


Occasionally setting up a new 501 c3 organization to
manage the “bottoms up” community building process


Use of white papers on issues of the day


Interactive web
-
sites and email surveys


TV and radio programs




How to improve the connection between
knowledge and policy

4.
Present reports of measures to interested parties on a
regular basis and work with media to disseminate results


Institutionalize annual report and conference


Become legitimate reporter on the “state of the region”


Develop working groups to follow up on cross cutting issues and
have them focus on implementation of recommendations


Keep the public sector, private sector, and non
-
profit sector working
together, do not let one sector dominate


Establish political action committees if needed for political lobbying


In first 3
-
5 years, focus on a small number of cross cutting issues


How to improve the connection
between knowledge and policy


5. Whenever possible make cross
community or cross jurisdiction
comparisons.



Benchmarking against other areas helps to identify
priorities and other approaches that might work
better for the community doing the comparison


Public Transit Rider
-
Ship Rates in North Carolina

City

Rider
-
Ship Rate

Chapel Hill

6.5%

Durham

3.5%

Charlotte

3.2%

Winston
-
Salem

2.5%

Raleigh

2.4%

Asheville

2.2%

Wilmington

1.9%

Greensboro

1.7%

Greenville

1.6%

Results from a 50 city inter
-
correlation
analysis


In the 50 city analysis, housing homeownership rates are the highest in
the smallest areas and considerably less in the biggest areas


Smaller areas also have shorter commute times, are less likely to use
transit, and people are more likely to drive alone


Smaller areas also have lower value homes and are less dense


Larger areas consistently are more dense, have longer commutes to
work, have higher home prices, have less homeownership, and have
more people carpooling and taking transit.


From a positive policy perspective and benchmarking perspective,
decision makers would seem to prefer higher value homes, more
homeownership, more carpooling and transit rider
-
ship, and fewer
people driving to work alone. Each size community seems to have its
unique advantage and disadvantage (when benchmarking)


Conclusion

Some Challenges for PM
utilization at the local level



Keep same core indicators, do not keep changing them



Monitor trends over time so changes in policy can be assessed, you
need at least a decade to see most changes



If consensus on a measure of success or failure breakdown, develop a
new measure



Make sure all three sectors come to the table and agree upon measures



Pick bench
-
marking or “best practice” comparisons very carefully and
very politically