Giving Compass' Take:

• This Governing magazine post argues that a vision for results-driven government isn't enough — the way business is conducted needs to change.

• One example given is from Chicago's Department of Family and Support Services, which used a multi-pronged approach to move from outputs to outcomes. Can that be replicated elsewhere?

• Here are ways to use integrated data systems to improve child welfare outcomes.

In recent years, more and more jurisdictions have been working to redefine success in the public sector, changing their focus from how many people receive services to how those services impact the residents who receive them. Often, such shifts start with strategic planning — department-wide visioning of the future mapped against broad goals for achieving that vision.

But declaring a commitment to outcomes is rarely enough to change outcomes. Instead, governments need to translate this planning into practice.

This was the challenge Chicago's Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) faced in 2017. DFSS had spent two years creating a strategic framework to shift the focus of its $420 million budget from outputs to outcomes. Next, the department needed to connect its results-driven vision to how it actually conducted business across 13 divisions, 350 full-time staff and 400 community-based grantees.

Managing public-sector change at this scale is never easy. Tight budgets, entrenched interests and the natural caution of those in elected positions all tend to favor the status quo. Yet DFSS's experience provides an example of a multi-pronged approach that a wide range of agencies can use to translate a commitment to outcomes into methods for engaging grantees, making funding decisions and managing contracts

Read the full article about turning a commitment to outcomes into practice by Lisa Morrison Butler and Danielle Cerny at Governing magazine.