Performance measurement in communities: a dilemma for research

Vahl, Martha (2007) Performance measurement in communities: a dilemma for research. Systemica: journal of the Dutch systems group, 15 . pp. 191-195. ISSN 0167-9961

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Performance measurement in communities: a dilemma for research
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Abstract

Researchers are collecting all sorts of data and applying numerous research designs to
establish some rationale for allocation, support and provision of public resources for
members of communities.Most data are collected and analysed on the basis that individuals
can be treated as objects to which certain properties or variables can be ascribed. In
the UK the ‘Indices of Deprivation’ is one those instruments used to collect, analyse, classify
and rank geographical wards according to indicators of multiple deprivation. These
results are considered to indicate how communities are performing, a high score indicating
which wards are the most deprived. The next step is to create services and resources to
start reducing deprivation. The main characteristic of this type of approach is that service
users are seen as consumers or people in need of something that the service can satisfy.
A fair bit of criticism has grown over time as to the cost of this system and concerning
the fact service users are excluded as stakeholders and designers of their own ‘services’. It
appears that the problem is in the approach of research chosen to measure deprivation.
Other approaches are possible that respond to the criticism. They aim to reduce the cost
and to contribute to the design of ‘services’ or support systems that are inclusive. They are
not based on variables and indicators, but aim to allow service users to include experiences
as contributions towards the support offered to them.
The paper offers examples of how interventions can be designed such that clients are
included in the design in what is to serve them. They are based on creating a collective
task. They show how the impacts of the activities of various interacting community
groups in a ward can be researched to deal with the criticism. Different types of performance
measures based on the inclusion of experiences (e.g. values) are explored. They can
be interpreted as a research contribution towards the design of self-organising collectives.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Researchers are collecting all sorts of data and applying numerous research designs to establish some rationale for allocation, support and provision of public resources for members of communities.Most data are collected and analysed on the basis that individuals can be treated as objects to which certain properties or variables can be ascribed. In the UK the ‘Indices of Deprivation’ is one those instruments used to collect, analyse, classify and rank geographical wards according to indicators of multiple deprivation. These results are considered to indicate how communities are performing, a high score indicating which wards are the most deprived. The next step is to create services and resources to start reducing deprivation. The main characteristic of this type of approach is that service users are seen as consumers or people in need of something that the service can satisfy. A fair bit of criticism has grown over time as to the cost of this system and concerning the fact service users are excluded as stakeholders and designers of their own ‘services’. It appears that the problem is in the approach of research chosen to measure deprivation. Other approaches are possible that respond to the criticism. They aim to reduce the cost and to contribute to the design of ‘services’ or support systems that are inclusive. They are not based on variables and indicators, but aim to allow service users to include experiences as contributions towards the support offered to them. The paper offers examples of how interventions can be designed such that clients are included in the design in what is to serve them. They are based on creating a collective task. They show how the impacts of the activities of various interacting community groups in a ward can be researched to deal with the criticism. Different types of performance measures based on the inclusion of experiences (e.g. values) are explored. They can be interpreted as a research contribution towards the design of self-organising collectives.
Keywords:performance, collective tasks, community contributions, quality of life, impact, Deprivation
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N100 Business studies
L Social studies > L400 Social Policy
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Business School
ID Code:1222
Deposited By: Jill Partridge
Deposited On:24 Sep 2007
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 08:25

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