In January 2002, the Foundation’s leaders began think- ing anew about how results-based accountability could help the Foundation better achieve its mission. Part of the impetus was external: foundations and the non- profit world as a whole are increasingly focused on measuring outcomes in order to judge the success of programs. But Casey’s unique history and connections
In his seven decades of active leadership at UPS, Jim consistently advocated some core values and habits and attitudes . . . He believed, for example, that efficiency and productivity were the prime makers of profit. To achieve these attributes, Jim encouraged the measurement of everything ... Given this, it shouldn’t be surprising that Annie E. Casey’s Board of Trustees — most of whom are life- long UPS’ers [and top executives at the company] — are tireless in their advice to us that we measure everything we can in our efforts to improve the lives of young people, families, and communities. There is a reason Casey has spent so much [money] on evaluation ... ; there is a reason [we] talk so often about the power of data-based advocacy . . . and that reason goes back to Jim Casey’s conviction
that measurement improves accountability; it improves quality; and it improves effectiveness.4
Rather than launch a new RBA initiative Foundation- wide, leadership decided to develop and pilot a frame- work within a small set of program areas, including K-12 education. They set in motion a now four-year iterative process in which program area staff would implement a set of ideas, see how it worked, adapt it, and feed back the results into the organization’s broader thinking about results-based accountability. The pilot initiative had the following aims from the outset:
G Create a framework to describe and track investment results
G Develop results-based letters of agreement and grant reporting formats
G Engage grantees in shaping this RBA strategy
The Foundation’s leaders wanted the pilot to move Casey closer to a shared vocabulary and common way of thinking about and collecting information on results at the grant level, and to better equip the Foundation to expand the RBA approach to the entire organization.