The term “results-based management” has become increasingly popular in social policy circles in recent years. The idea is that social policy decisions will be guided by information on the extent to which different programs improve the well-being of the intended beneficiaries.
The figure below illustrates a results-based decision-making cycle: starting by diagnosing the problem, using the diagnosis to plan policy targets and objectives, and then, designing specific programs or policies to accomplish them. Once financing is available, implementation can begin, including monitoring mechanisms to ensure that the program is being executed according to plan.
When the program is complete, it is important to measure whether the original objective has been accomplished and to evaluate whether goals have been effectively achieved. The process becomes a results-based cycle when measurement and evaluation results are continuously and systematically used for policy improvement.