Frameworks & Approaches


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.



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 a particular group of 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.

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.

RBA Advantages

  • RBA helps you move from talk to action quickly.
  • Helps agencies and their clients collaborate and find consensus and improve the relevance and impact of programmes and services.
  • Challenges assumptions and remove barriers to innovation.
  • Provides opportunities to think creatively about solutions to problems.
  • Keeps accountability for populations separate from accountability for programmes and agencies.
  • Helps build confidence in an organisation, programme or service by demonstrating results.
  • Ensures accountability for both the wellbeing of people and the performance of programmes.
  • A tool to aid in the evaluation of 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 unpredictable things.
  • If unpredictable 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.