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Harry P. Hatry

Senior Fellow
Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center

Harry P. Hatry is a Distinguished Fellow and Director of the Public Management Program for the Urban Institute. He has worked on public sector issues in performance measurement, performance management, and employee/contractor motivation and incentives for many years. He has been a participant in many of the efforts to bring a results focus into local, state, and federal governments and into the nonprofit organization sector. He has contributed to such national efforts as International City/County Management Assoc0iation's comparative performance measurement effort; Governmental Accounting Standards Board's Service Efforts and Accomplishments efforts; United Way of America's work to bring outcome measurement into the nonprofit sector; and work with National Conference of State Legislatures and National League of Cities to encourage elected officials to seek and use outcome information in their work ("Legislating-for-Results").

He is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and was a member of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB)'s Performance Measurement Advisory Committee and the U.S. Department of Education's Evaluation Review Panel. He received the 1985 Elmer B. Staats Award for Excellence in Program Evaluation and the 1984 American Society for Public Administration Award as the "Outstanding Contributor to the Literature of Management Science and Policy Science." In 1993 he was a recipient of a National Public Service Award, presented jointly by the National Academy of Public Administration and the American Society for Public Administration. In 1996, he received the "Evaluator of the Year" award from the Washington Evaluators Association. In 1999 the Center for Accountability and Performance of the American Society of Public Administration presented him with a lifetime achievement award for his work in performance measurement and established the "Harry Hatry Award for Distinguished Practice in Performance Measurement."



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Transforming Performance Measurement for the 21st Century (Research Report)
Harry P. Hatry

While substantial progress has been made in spreading performance measurement across the country and world, much of the information from performance measurement systems has been shallow. Modern technology and the considerable demand for information on progress in achieving the outcomes of public programs and policies are creating major opportunities for considerably improving the usefulness of performance information. This report provides a number of recommendations to help public and private service organizations take advantage of these opportunities, particularly for:(a) selecting appropriate performance indicators and data collection procedures; (b) analyzing and reporting the information; and (c) using the information to improve services.

Posted to Web: July 30, 2014Publication Date: July 30, 2014

Opportunities for Police Cost Savings Without Sacrificing Service Quality: Reducing False Alarms (Research Report)
Philip S. Schaenman, Aaron Horvath, Harry P. Hatry

In many cities, false alarms from home and business security systems number in the tens of thousands each year, waste millions of dollars of officer time, and detract from attention to reducing crimes. Options are presented on ways to substantially reduce the effects of such false alarms and the police responses to them. We analyzed experiences of Montgomery County, MD; Seattle, WA; and Salt Lake City, UT, which reduced false alarms by 66-90% and saved 10-30 police officer-years annually.

Posted to Web: January 07, 2013Publication Date: January 07, 2013

A Guide to Data-Driven Performance Reviews (Research Report)
Harry P. Hatry, Elizabeth Davies

This report examines federal agencies that are using data-driven performance reviews to improve agency effectiveness and efficiency. It draws from practices of agencies, including state and local governments. In their research, the authors identify three prerequisites to successful performance reviews: interested and engaged leadership; timely performance measures; staff that can analyze the measures before the performance review meetings.

Posted to Web: September 28, 2011Publication Date: September 01, 2011

Using Survey Information To Provide Evaluative Citizen Feedback For Public Service Decisions (Series/IDG Working Paper)
Ritu Nayyar-Stone, Harry P. Hatry

Public opinion polls or surveys of public opinion are used across the world for many reasons, from estimating election results to citizen report cards. While survey results are reported and shared with the public, they are also used to help make policy decisions about public service delivery. This paper focuses on the use of performance information obtained from citizens to help make decisions about resource allocations and improving service delivery. Special challenges in conducting surveys and uses of survey-based performance indicators are presented. Performance data have little value and remain underutilized if nothing is done with the information. Survey results give information on what is working and what is not. The cost of not getting this feedback and evaluating how services affect citizens far outweighs the cost of conducting surveys.

Posted to Web: September 16, 2010Publication Date: June 01, 2010

Managing and Delivering Performance (Book Review)
Randall R. Bovbjerg, Harry P. Hatry

Organizations face increasing pressures to improve, and document, their performance. Good performance management systematically identifies desired ends, selects reasonable indicators of progress through means to those ends, and promotes continuous improvement over time. Key preconditions include assessing organizational measurement-readiness and overcoming inertia—and fear—among middle managers and front-line staff. To succeed, performance measurement must be seen as helping people do their jobs better, not creating new chains for yanking. Nurses and their employers have far to go to figure out how best to organize their caregiving and their administrative supports so as to improve quality and safety while constraining costs. Journal of Nursing Regulation 1(2):60 (July 2010); Marr, Bernard. Managing and Delivering Performance. Elsevier Ltd, 2009

Posted to Web: August 03, 2010Publication Date: July 01, 2010

Making a Business Case for Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care: Key Issues and Observations (Research Report)
Randall R. Bovbjerg, Harry P. Hatry, Elaine Morley

Racial and ethnic disparities in health care are an important problem, for affected individuals, caregivers, and society at large. Numerous remedial efforts have been launched, including the Finding Answers program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Reform calls for documenting disparities, developing and disseminating information about effective remedies, and generating supportive business cases for improvement. This brief report focuses the need for business cases, which are harder to build than might at first appear, as shown by a literature scan and interviews with entities working to reduce disparities under RWJF grants.

Posted to Web: September 01, 2009Publication Date: June 26, 2009

Legislating-for-Results Municipal Action Guides (Document)
Harry P. Hatry, Katharine Mark, James Fountain, Chris Hoene, Katherine Bates

The Urban Institute and National League of Cities developed this series of 10 guides for city and county elected officials, and their staffs, to help them obtain and use information about the results of their governments' services in helping their citizens. The Guides address such issues as: improving strategic planning; improving budgeting decisions; reviewing programs throughout the year; helping motivate their government's employees and contractors; and two-way communications with citizens on what citizens are getting for their money. Specific actions are suggested, and examples are provided.

Posted to Web: December 02, 2008Publication Date: October 01, 2008

Governing for Results: Improving Federal Government Performance and Accountability: Suggestions for the New Federal Administration (Commentary)
Harry P. Hatry

Providing the best possible government services to our citizens requires accountability and effective measurement of performance. It's been 15 years since Congress passed the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, which requires each federal agency to develop strategic plans, annual performance plans, and performance reports. The time is right to review the performance improvement process so the new administration can build on, and exceed, previous results.

Posted to Web: November 18, 2008Publication Date: November 01, 2008

How Effective Are Your Community Services?: Procedures for Performance Measurement, 3rd edition (Book)
Harry P. Hatry, Philip S. Schaenman, Donald M. Fisk, John R. Hall, Jr., Louise Snyder

Accountability is core to high-performance government, efficient service delivery, and taxpayers’ confidence in local government. In turn, performance measurement is key to accountability. Performance measurement is the subject of How Effective Are Your Community Services? This book highlights the practical steps necessary to select measures of service quality and use them efficiently. It enables you to assess whether you’re doing the right things and how well you’re doing them.

Posted to Web: February 01, 2007Publication Date: May 01, 2006

Performance Measurement: Getting Results, Second Edition (Book)
Harry P. Hatry

Long before reinventing government came into vogue, the Urban Institute pioneered methods for government and human services agencies to measure the performance of their programs. This comprehensive guidebook synthesizes more than two decades of Harry Hatry's groundbreaking work. It covers every component of the performance measurement process, from identifying the program’s mission, objectives, customers, and trackable outcomes to finding the best indicators for each outcome, the sources of data, and how to collect them. Hatry explains how to select indicator breakouts and benchmarks for comparison to actual values, and describes numerous uses for performance information. Since the publication of the first edition in 1999, the use of performance measurement has exploded at all levels of U.S. government, in nonprofit agencies, and around the world. The new edition has been revised and expanded to address recent developments in the field, including the increased availability of computer technology in collecting and presenting information, the movement to use outcome data to improve services, and the quality control issues that have emerged as data collection has increased. It is an indispensable handbook for newcomers and an important resource for experienced managers looking to improve their use of outcome data.

Posted to Web: January 16, 2007Publication Date: January 01, 2007

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