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Meaningful Metrics for a Smart Society
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Date: 2019-01-23 Page is: DBtxt001.php L0700-TVM-PP-Portfolio

PROGRESS AND PERFORMANCE TRENDS
PORTFOLIO

PLACEHOLDER These trends have been in place for many years ... but now dominate the system
PLACEHOLDER The takeaway from these graphs is that decision makers have been able to make decisions that delivered benefit to owners (investors) while the population that works in the USA has been put to further disadvantage compared to prior decades. This is the result that one must expect as long as the dominent measure of economic success is money profit and money wealth accumulation. It confirms my belief that in order for the economy to be optimized for ALL the population there must be measures to reflect quality of life for everyone, and not merely a single simple measure that really only works for those with affluence.


Progress and Performance of a Project
The methodology for project monitoring and evaluation that has been the norm for several decades seems to have little relevance for stakeholders other than those directly involved with the project.
One of the issues is that the Keynsian multiplier produces favorable impact during the establishment of the project, and during the operation of the project, but then all of this is given back as the project unwinds and gets ready to terminate.

740 447
TPB Note: Over several decades travelling through more than 50 developing countries around the world it became clear that projects that had a high profile in donor countries were insignificant in the beneficiary communities. The question was why this was so, given that most of the projects had been considered successful according to the monitoring and evaluation process being used.
Office review / desk studies
These studies are little more than a 'cop-out' and relatively easy to make a project look good as long as the project accounting and project reporting is dysfunctional. This is where my training as a Chartered Accountant became a problem because I do know ways in which performance can be determined even where there are poor transaction records.
Organizations like the World Bank keep very good records of how much they disburse, and this also applies to other development organizations like for example USAID and the United Nations. Some of the expenses of the project are obvious because the result of the expenditure can be observed ... people employed, space occupied, vehicles used and fuel sonsumed, for example. How the state of affairs has changed as a result of the project is rarely documented in an easy useful way. When the project terminates, there is nothing to show that the project ever existed.
Management by walking around
Even if there is very poor documentation of financial transactions, a lot of information can be discerned simply by walking around with eyes open and brain functioning.
... is inventory disappearing?
... what are vehicles being used for?
... do the scale of activities being observed match what seems to be being paid for? Common sense is very powerful!
Conclusion ... corruption
When large amounts of money do not seem to be resulting in any progress, the accounting will often give hints about where the money has gone. In most cases, there will not be enough information to satisfy a court of law, but the information is usually quite good enough to show that it is corruption that is getting funded and not project activities.



The text being discussed is available at


TrueValueMetrics (TVM) is an Open Source / Open Knowledge initiative.
It has been funded by family and friends plus donations from well wishers who understand the importance of accountability and getting the management metrics right.
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