Basic concepts of Results Based Management
Not surprisingly, the ‘Result’ is the central concept of Results Based Management. Results are describable or measurable changes resulting from a cause and effect chain. This results chain describes how you will go from the current situation to the desired situation. In RBM, there are three types of results:
- Direct results or outputs, which are produced by the project’s activities, using the project’s resources. These are the things that normally are under our control.
- Intermediate results or effects, which are the consequences of the direct results. Often it takes a while for these effects to materialise. They are not completely under our control, very often there may be other influences at play here. Effects can be expected (as described in the project’s logframe), but also unexpected because of the very fact that there may be other influences at play. Effects can be positive, but our outputs may also lead to some negative effects.
- Final results or the impact of our project. Generally the impact is only visible after a longer period and in the broader environment (not just with the people that were directly involved in the project). Like effects, the impact can have expected or unexpected elements that can be either positive or negative.
According to the Canadian International Development Agency, which pioneered the use of RBM in international development, Results-based management is a life-cycle approach to management that integrates strategy, people, resources, processes, and measurements to improve decision making, transparency, and accountability. The approach focuses on achieving outcomes, implementing performance measurement, learning, and adapting, as well as reporting performance.
- Defining realistic expected results based on appropriate analysis;
- Clearly identifying program beneficiaries and designing programs to meet their needs;
- Monitoring progress toward results and resources consumed with the use of appropriate indicators;
- Identifying and managing risk while bearing in mind the expected results and necessary resources;
- Increasing knowledge by learning lessons and integrating them into decisions; and
- Reporting on the results achieved and resources involved.