Measuring Accountability for Results in Interagency Collaboratives


  • Stephen Page

    1. Stephen Page is an assistant professor at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. He has also served as a consultant to state and local governments and nonprofit organizations that serve children and families. His research focuses on the interorganizational design and management of social and health policies. E-mail:
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This article examines the intersection of two types of innovations that are increasingly common in public administration—accountability for results and interagency collaboration. Recent scholarship suggests four approaches that collaborators can use to increase their accountability for results. The article proposes measures of these four approaches to assess a collaborative's capacity for accountability, and uses them to compare the accountability of human services collaboratives in 10 states. The findings indicate that collaboratives tend to use the four approaches together with one another. In combination, the various approaches may help collaborators manage their stake holders' expectations about their actions and accomplishments. Further research is needed to determine whether a collaborative's capacity for accountability for results actually correlates with improvements in outcomes.