The voices of Urban Institute's researchers and staff
March 26, 2014

Urban Institute Senior Fellow Harry Hatry recognized by journal Public Administration Review

March 26, 2014

  harry

During the American Society of Public Administration’s 75th anniversary gala this month, I was pleased, though not surprised, to hear other attendees refer to the Urban Institute’s Harry Hatry as “a living legend” for his pioneering work in the field of performance management.

Harry’s 1992 article, “The Case for Performance Monitoring,” cowritten with Joseph S. Wholey, was selected by the Public Administration Review’s editors as one of the 75 most influential articles the journal has published since its inception in 1940. It is a worthy choice; though often implemented behind the scenes with little fanfare, Harry’s ideas have done untold good for the state of our governance.

In the article, Hatry and Wholey make the case for measuring and monitoring public programs and provide numerous examples from across levels of government where the practice could improve how tax dollars are used. “[E]lected officials and citizens are entitled to regular reports on the performance of major public programs—not only program costs and the amount of work completed but also information on the quality of service delivery and on program outcomes,” they wrote.

The 1992 article is only one of Harry and his Urban Institute team’s many contributions to the field. For decades, his groundbreaking work has set the course of the field and provided for more effective and efficient public spending.

We are honored that Harry Hatry, the living legend himself, has called Urban home for over four decades.

Photo of Harry Hatry by Matt Johnson, Urban Institute.

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