Scotland’s National Performance Framework is a set of indicators and targets designed to measure the country’s progress towards achieving long-term goals.
Set by the Scottish Government, these goals include creating a fair and prosperous society, promoting sustainability and protecting the environment, and improving the health and well-being of the population.
The framework is based on a set of 11 key outcomes, which are measured using a range of indicators and targets. These include measures of economic growth, social equality, environmental sustainability, and health and well-being. The framework is designed to provide a comprehensive picture of Scotland’s progress towards its goals and to help policymakers, service providers and the public understand the challenges faced by the country and the progress that is being made.
Understanding these goals is immensely important for the third sector given our place at the heart of communities. Whilst these are national goals, they inform decisions at a local level in terms of the direction of public policy, and public finance. Our sector therefore needs to understand how each of our organisations helps our communities towards these outcomes. The third sector needs a stronger voice within the public sector decision-making process and using National Outcomes to demonstrate the effectiveness of our work is going to be key in the years ahead. More importantly, as resources become more scarce, we will need even more partnership working. Effective partnerships which deliver better outcomes for people only achieve success if they work towards the same aims – the first step to that is understanding those agreed aims.
An effective way for third sector organisations to further demonstrate commitment to the country’s long-term goals, is to use the national outcomes to inform our own strategic aims and business plans. We have heard a lot recently from organisations frustrated at being excluded from decisions or not having their professional opinions taken seriously in discussions. By building National Outcomes into everything we do, we can clearly show partners and funders that our sector is working towards the same future for our communities as everyone else, often more effectively than in other sectors. It is then much more difficult to ignore what we say and the work we do.
Every 5 years the Scottish Government undertakes a review of the framework, and that consultation is open until 12 June. The Government want to hear from people and communities about whether the current National Outcomes reflect the kind of Scotland we want to see. They also want to know how the National Performance Framework might have a bigger impact. You can access the consultation using this link. This is a hugely significant review and one we recommend all organisations consider taking part in.
If you would like to discuss the National Performance Framework in relation to your organisation, or want to find out how you might include in your business plan or strategic aims, please contact the team at ACVO who will be happy to help.
This article originally appeared in the June edition of ACVO News – read the magazine below and sign up to our mailing list to receive it free, direct to your inbox every month.