Frameworks & Approaches describe popular ways to gather and make sense of data.


Results Based Accountability (RBA) helps you to achieve results for communities, whānau and clients. Government agencies sometimes call these results ‘outcomes’. RBA also helps you assess how a programme or service is performing and where you might make changes to achieve the desired results. RBA tracks impact at both ‘performance’ (how well something was delivered) and ‘population’ levels (the ‘real world’ effects).

Introduction to Results Based Accountability™ by Mark Friedman


This case study examines ChildFund New Zealand and describes how it used RBA as their preferred measurement tool.


Explore a local example of RBA being used to explore the impact of an initiative focused on reducing harm to our tamariki on the East Coast.


Government agencies prefer their service contractors to use Results Based Accountability™. The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) has an RBA section on its website for non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The MSD web resources include:


RBA starts with where you want to get to: the goal. It works backwards to help you get there: the means. It reports the results of the programme or service for particular people.

For example, you could assess a programme that encouraged vaccination by how many children it served and the proportion of the population that had been vaccinated as a result of the programme.

The main evaluative questions for RBA are:

  • What did we do?
  • How much did we do?
  • How well did we do it?
  • Is anyone better off?
RBA Implementation Guide

The RBA Implementation Guide is a comprehensive online resource for those implementing RBA in their community or organisation. It includes an interactive online version and downloadable copies of the guide.

There is also information on RBA software and other products. The following list links to key sections of this guide:

The Fiscal Policy Studies Institute is the online home of RBA creator, Mark Friedman, but be warned – it’s huge and may overwhelm you when you’re just starting out with RBA.

“Why results based management does not work” by Mango in the UK, lists ten limitations of Results Based Management that the authors say makes logframes ineffective tools for NGO service planning and evaluation. While not RBA-specific, many of the items in the list are features of most RBA and logframe/intervention logic models.

This presentation from Anglicare WA in Australia usefully summarises RBA basics and real-world examples of how to use RBA to measure, report and learn together.

Sharon Shea is an RBA trainer in New Zealand and her one hour RBA presentation to a group of MBIE staff is available via this YouTube video. It’s a useful introduction, aimed at a central government policy audience, with some relevance for the community sector.

  • Watch part 1, 2, 3, and 4 of this 4-part presentation.
Results Based Accountability™ is a registered trademark.

RBA Advantages

  • Help you move from talk to action quickly.
  • Help agencies and their clients collaborate and find consensus and improve the relevance and impact of programmes and services.
  • Challenge assumptions and remove barriers to innovation.
  • Provide opportunities to think creatively about solutions to problems.
  • Keep accountability for populations separate from accountability for programmes and agencies.
  • Help build confidence in an organisation, programme or service by demonstrating results.
  • Ensure accountability for both the wellbeing of people and the performance of programmes.
  • Strengthen ability to evaluate programmes, services and organisations.

RBA Disadvantages

  • The timeframe of a programme and RBA assessment may be much shorter than the time it takes for results to emerge, which means that longer-term results may be missed.
  • RBA will only measure what you tell it to and it may miss unexpected or unpredicted things.
  • If unpredicted things happen, or your priorities change, you will need to develop a new plan or modify an existing plan for RBA to be useful and relevant.