Governing RePost: When performance measures go horribly wrong

The old saying, “what gets measured gets managed,” is true. Performance measures have a very powerful influence on people’s behaviors. And that raises the key question: How do we know if the measures we use are appropriate?

Referring to another old saw from Albert Einstein, “not everything that counts is countable, and not everything that’s countable counts,” Russ Linden explores how organizations can revisit and improve their performance measures in meaningful ways. Read more here!


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Governing RePost: Why it’s getting harder to learn what the public thinks

Opinion research has helped government with planning and policymaking for decades. But the shifting technological landscape, along with changing demographics and lifestyles, are challenging conventional opinion-research techniques, making it more difficult to learn what the public thinks. Government officials need to become aware of these changes and their impacts on research methodologies, validity, statistical relatability, cost and project timelines.

Important decisions are often made with the support of public survey data, so it stands the reason that survey data would be reliable and accurate. Adam Davis, founder of DHM Research, questions that assumption in the attached Governing article, and discusses some new approaches and technologies that may improve upon current polling methods.

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Governing Repost: Lessons from Georgia, the No. 1 Procurement State

In February, Governing released a report ranking 39 states based on their procurement policies. They were ranked in 10 categories, including their use of technology, how they engage with vendors and how effectively central procurement offices work with agencies.

Six states stood out as top performers: Georgia in the lead, followed by Virginia, Minnesota, Utah, and, tied for 5th place, Massachusetts and Ohio.

Why did Georgia stand out when it came to implementing effective procurement policies? Read more here in Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene’s interview with the deputy commissioner of the Georgia procurement office, Lisa Eason.

Where did Oregon rank, and what are its strengths? Read the original report by Liz Farmer here, or consult the graphic below:




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Governing Reblog: County Migration Trends

County in-migration and out-migration trends are tracked by the IRS, with tax returns serving as a proxy for the number of households. While any such singular tracking method may miss families and individuals that do not file taxes, it does provide some small insight into changes in county populations, and even economic health. While numerous other factors beyond in or out-migration are needed to fully understand a county’s economic wellbeing, whether or not there is enough of a working age population available from year to year to sustain local industry is a fairly reliable indicator.

We can see a stark difference in migration patterns between two of Oregon’s counties below:

Washington-County Migration Data


Harney-County Migration Data - Internet Explorer

While Washington County saw the rate of in-migration growth increase from 2011 to 2014, Harney County saw a fairly sizable net loss in the number of filed tax returns in that same period. The data available may not tell us why such a pattern is evident. It may point to other indicators (such as changes in local industry) that can, however.

Interested in comparing your home county to its neighbors? Checking out the original post over at!

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