Results-Based Management (RBM)

The major overarching objective of 3psmars is to inform, educate and share knowledge on the theory and application of Results-Based Management (RBM).

Results-Based Management (RBM) is a management strategy that aims to achieve  important changes in the way organizations operate, with improving performance in form of results as the central orientation. RBM focuses on performance and on achievement from outputs to outcomes and impacts and provides the management framework and tools for strategic planning, risk management, performance monitoring and evaluation. It’s primary purpose is to improve efficiency and effectiveness through organizational learning, and secondly to fulfill accountability obligations through performance reporting. Key to its success is the involvement of stakeholders throughout the management lifecycle in defining realistic expected results, assessing risk, monitoring progress, reporting on performance and integrating lessons learned into management.

From 1960s to 1970s, the private sector had used RBM to enhance management by objectives. It was adopted in the process of public sector reform in OECD countries between 1980s and 1990s in response to budget deficits, lack of public confidence in government and demands for greater transparency and accountability[1]. RBM’s focus on performance issues and on achieving results, emphasis on participation and teamwork and budget processes and financial systems embedded on value for money has made it a reliable management tool, especially when transparency and strict demand for delivery are necessary. It has therefore remained a critical factor for organizational effectiveness and can also be a useful tool for effective support to capacity development. The gradual introduction of results-based management techniques in the 1990s helped many public sector and development agency managers take a more systematic approach to all aspects of project and program management. Many institutions and agencies in both developed and developing countries now use a variety of practical techniques to manage for results, including results-based strategic planning, logic models or results frameworks, results-based budgeting, risk management, and results-based Monitoring and Evaluation.

RBM has its sub-component, the assembly of which any organization adopting the RBM as a strategy must put in consideration to achieve the desired impacts. They are:

  • Results-Based Planning;
  • Results-Based Budgeting;
  • Results-Based Financing; and
  • Results-Based monitoring and evaluation.

All of these components place impacts as priorities and while the quality of process is emphasized, success is measured in real time and conforms with the level of impacts of development action on the population for which programmes are planned and executed.

For RBM to achieve its aims, the project management cycle is monitored in such a way that performance will inform continuity or change in approach until the desired results are achieved. This is why all the components of RBM make results as its focus. For example, while a budget-based management will focus on efficient spending by all means, Results-based budgeting will focus on what impacts the budget will make and programmes are planned based on impacts and budgets are planned to achieve this impact. This is against cutting on vital activities to safe cost while impacts of action might be impeded in the process.

The same principles apply to Results-Based Planning, as well as Monitoring and Evaluation. Focus is so much on real impacts and not on process. In developing countries, especially Africa, RBM application is still at a developing state.

RBM is triggered, especially when there is need for capacity building, sector-wide approach, reform and decentralization and its major key elements are to:

  • Clarify the Purpose and Mandate of the Organization
  • Specify Results and Performance Expectations of Clients
  • Link the Budgetary Process to Output Delivery
  • Strengthen Performance Reporting
  • Foster Meritocracy in Managing Human Resources

3psmars will promote the RBM principles, specifically, as it applies to International Organizations, National, States and Community (local) public institutions.

[1]Asian Development Bank, Results-Based Management Basics. Retrieved on 3 March 2010 at www.adb.org/MfDR/documents/trng-materials/MI-RBM-Basics.pdf