BSK Evaluation: Leverages limited budget but could improve transparency and reliability
November 28, 2017
The Best Starts for Kids (BSK) Evaluation and Performance Measurement Plan leverages the funds allocated for BSK evaluation in a reasonable way and follows several best practices. However, due to limited evaluation funding and the general limits of performance measurement, the planned approach will not be able to determine the effectiveness of BSK as a whole.
This audit answers two questions about the BSK evaluation plan. First, what questions will the planned measurement and evaluation be able to answer? Second, will the information generated be useful and reliable for policy-makers and the public? We make recommendations to align program measures with the BSK framework, improve data collection procedures and quality control, protect the independence of the results, and increase the transparency of evaluation decisions.
This audit found that the BSK Evaluation and Performance Measurement Plan follows several best practices, but could be improved by using a consistent performance measurement framework, by documenting criteria used to select programs for in-depth evaluation, and by creating policies to ensure the independence of the evaluation.
Our recommendations are intended to ensure that policy-makers have accurate and independent information about the effectiveness of BSK programs. We plan to follow up on these recommendations in the second half of 2018.
Larry Brubaker, Elise Garvey, and Mia Neidhardt conducted this audit. If you have any questions or would like more information, please call the King County Auditor's Office at 206-477-1033 or contact us by email KCAO@kingcounty.gov.