EPMC's Points of Departure

The first point of departure refers to the strategic plan of non-profit organization in a varied and changing context. The environment in which non-profit organizations operate is increasingly changing and there are various overriding reasons that cause the changes. Re-evaluation of government objectives, budget deficits, structural problems, growing competitiveness and globalization, and growing demands for better and more responsive services have all been common factors for changes. If non-profit organizations want to be viable, the particular features and properties of the changing environment must be reflected in their strategic plan. They have to redefine their goals, priority objectives, and establish schedules and resources to cope with the policy changes as well as changes in the source and level of funding and in clients' demands.

The second point of departure refers to a development of a performance plan that translates the changing priority objectives into specific performance goals and related measures. The performance plan provides a road map that links long-term strategic goals and missions to daily operations. Non-profit organizations should formulate a performance plan that provides information about the performance goals of their major programs and activities. They must define the measures they use to gauge their performance and identify the strategy and resource linkages required to achieve the performance goals.

The third point of departure refers to the necessity of continues improvement in the methodology used for the regular collection and analysis of data and information related to performance. The rise of a result-based management approach and the focus on achieving programmatic results, service quality and client satisfaction has led to a shift in evaluation and monitoring thinking. The focus on management results has led to an emphasis on transparency, partnership, accountability and performance measurement through analysis of all available data using a variety of methods and incorporating knowledge, perspectives and values of all stakeholders. Under the new philosophy of result-based management system, the traditional distinction between monitoring and evaluation is increasingly fading. Evaluation has evolved from an external, independent and a discrete time activity to a tool used more and more for internal management functions. The goal of monitoring has also essentially changed from a concern with implementation performance to the current goal of measuring results, including outcomes and impacts. Non-profit organization should be able to introduce and develop a performance management system that integrates both the functions of evaluation and monitoring for a real-time decision needs.