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“Making-Up During Data Analysis” The Performance Measurement System in Karnataka

PAQ, Vol. 43 No. 1, (2019)

In developing countries, performance measurement systems are widely adopted but understudied. Using a case study approach, we assess performance measurement systems for the timely delivery of public services in Karnataka, India. We identify the gaps and propose a five- stage framework to measure performance as per an ‘authentic’ performance measurement approach. We demonstrate the usefulness of the proposed framework by comparing performance measured under the existing framework vis-à-vis proposed, using two-year administrative data. The comparative analysis reveals that the present system lacks accuracy, does not pinpoint low-performing services and departments, and misrepresents performance by wrongly aggregating it to create a favorable impression. The study highlights the lack of policy and analytical capacity in analyzing and interpreting performance data, which limits its appropriate use in diagnosing and perforcing performance. The proposed framework can be adapted for use across context and for different dimensions of performance in services delivery.

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