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Section 5: Project Performance Measures and Targets

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Overview

Potential subgrantees are required to include project performance measures and targets in all proposals which will be included in the grant agreement to provide guidance to determine the efficiency and effectiveness of the project. Each performance measure should be designed as an evaluative mechanism for measuring the project’s level of success. Performance targets determine the degree of progress toward achievement of established performance measures and the effect on identified problems.

See “General Traffic Safety Proposals,” Chapter 3, Section 2, for examples of completed proposal performance measures and targets.

See “STEP Yearlong Proposals,” Chapter 3, Section 3 for assistance on Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) performance measures and targets.

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Performance Measures

A performance measure is an indicator to express the activity that will be used to establish a performance target and must be directly aligned to the target(s) of a project. Performance measures, when combined with the performance target, provide the basis for determining the degree of achievement of established targets. Acceptable activity levels or outputs are established as part of each grant agreement.

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Types of Performance Measures

There are two common types of performance measures: direct and proxy.

Direct measures are preferred. Examples of direct measures include: number of crashes, citations, people trained, units purchased, etc. Sometimes it is impossible to get direct measures. If such is the case, a proxy measure might be used.

Proxy measures are indicators that provide an indirect assessment of desired activity. An example would be a self-reporting survey conducted among a statistically valid sample of the population to determine behavioral change (recognition of public service announcements on television or radio, safety belt usage, drunk driving issues, etc.).

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Estimated Performance Indicators

When appropriate, the problem solution in the proposal will identify estimated performance indicators or measures (quantities of work units). Performance measures may be shown as specific requirements. For example:

  • “50 workshops”
  • “100 hours.”

For some types of projects, however, the work unit must be specific. For example:

  • “submit one report”
  • “produce one public service announcement.”
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Measurement Characteristics

The characteristics of a good performance measure is that it is:

  • measurable
  • reasonable and attainable
  • directly linked to objectives
  • accurate, clearly defined
  • understandable
  • objective
  • practical.

TRF-TS uses a guideline called the SMART principle to assess performance measures. SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Action-oriented
  • Realistic
  • Time-framed.
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Summary

Performance measures will be defined in each grant agreement. These measures provide guidelines to determine efficiency and effectiveness of projects. Performance measures must be negotiated locally and must be acceptable to all project personnel.

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