Why do performance benchmarks and programmatic outcomes matter?

Performance measurement is an essential component of any effective program, as it helps program staff measure and monitor their performance on an ongoing basis. HUD requires reporting on program-level outcomes as a means to track grantees’ performance. HUD uses aggregated data across all grantees to measure national program progress.  

Performance measurement vs. program evaluation

The U.S. Government Accountability Office establishes the following definitions for performance measurement and program evaluation:

Performance measurement is “the ongoing monitoring and reporting of program accomplishments, particularly progress toward pre-established goals. It is typically conducted by program or agency management.”

Program evaluations are “individual systematic studies conducted periodically or on an ad hoc basis to assess how well a program is working. They are often conducted by experts external to the program, either inside or outside the agency, as well as by program managers.”

This guide focuses on performance measurement.

From Performance Measurement and Evaluation: Definitions and Relationships