The scarcity of performance management systems is a consequence of barriers seriously impeding their implementation, rather than a lack of intelligence or desire to perform better.
Some of these barriers are:
- Tenders and contracts that prescribe a specific service model and prohibit adjustment over time
- Donor insistence that their funds be spent in a particular way or on a specified program without allowing room to adjust
- Funders who mandate reporting of data that is not a natural by-product of an organisation pursuing its mission and seeking to improve the quality of services for clients
- Media, boards and charity rating organisations penalising charities for spending on back office functions like performance management systems as ‘overheads’ or ‘administrative costs’
- Measurement approaches that seek to codify ‘what works’ at a program level and develop ‘proven’ programs that are static
- Failing to budget for capacity building