Results Based Accountability

Results Based Accountability (RBA) is a simple, practical way for organisations to evaluate the results of their programmes. The question, ‘How are our communities, whānau and clients better off as a result of our work?’ is central to RBA.

RBA uses publicly available data and data generated by providers to track the results of a programme on the wellbeing of a population.

All streamlined contracts will include performance measures developed using the RBA methodology.


Results Based Accountability was developed by Mark Friedman, author of Trying Hard Is Not Good Enough.

RBA is used internationally and since its introduction by the Ministry of Social Development in 2006, New Zealand has become one of the world leaders in its application and implementation. It is used widely across social service, health and disability, local government, community development, environmental development, recreation and commercial sectors.

Key concepts


RBA uses two types of accountability.

Population accountability is about quality of life in a specific population, such as families with children under five years in Motueka, for example. It recognises that this population will be served by many different agencies and programmes.

Performance accountability is about how well services are delivered, and whether they are making a difference to the people who receive them.

RBA identifies the most important measures for each service that is delivered and the results achieved. Performance accountability is based on answers to three questions:

  • How much did we do?
  • How well did we do it?
  • Is anyone better off?

Crucially, RBA links population and performance accountability. This shows the contribution linkage between outcomes delivered to service users and the outcomes or wellbeing of a whole population.

Seven questions

In RBA, these questions guide the process for organisations of moving from planning to action.

  1. Who are our service users (or clients)?
  2. How can we measure if our service users are better off?
  3. How can we measure if we’re delivering services well?
  4. How are we doing on the most important measures?
  5. Who are the partners that have a role to play in doing better?
  6. What works to do better, including no-cost and low-cost ideas?
  7. What do we propose to do? (our action plan)

More information

Further information about RBA is available from the following sources:


If you have any questions, please email

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