Results Based Management (RBM)

Results Based Management (RBM)

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Is a management approach that integrates strategy, people, resources, processes and measurements to improve decision-making, transparency, and accountability.[1]

The approach focuses on achieving outcomes, implementing performance measurement, learning, and adapting as well as reporting performance. RBM provides a coherent framework for strategic planning and management by improving learning and accountability. As a broad management strategy, it aims at achieving important changes in the way institutions operate, with improving performance and achieving results as the central orientation, by defining realistic expected results, monitoring and evaluating progress towards the achievement of expected results, integrating lessons learned into management decisions and reporting on performance. RBM depends on critical assumptions about the programme environment and risk assessments, clearly defined accountabilities and indicators for, results, and performance monitoring and reporting. A chief impetus driving the adoption of RBM strategies has been the need to be able to present results that are backed by measurable indicators and evidence of achievement. This has served as an entry-point for a re-invigorated interest in the use of evaluative techniques such as surveys, questionnaires, focus groups and content analysis. At the minimum, RBM means that programme managers are being asked to use evaluation techniques in their quest for credible, data and evidence-based assertions of programme results. RBM is also concerned with learning, risk management and accountability. Learning not only helps improve results from existing programmes and projects, but also enhances the capacity of the organization and individuals to make better decisions in the future and improves the formulation of future programmes and projects. RBM practices and systems are most effective when they are accompanied by clear accountability arrangements and appropriate incentives that promote desired behavior. In other words, RBM should not be seen simply in terms of developing systems and tools to plan, monitor and evaluate results. It must also include effective measures for promoting a culture of results orientation and ensuring that persons are accountable for both the results achieved and their actions and behavior.[2][3][4][5]

Key RBM Techniques:

Results based management techniques can be summarized as follows:

  1. Formulating clear objectives (results)
  2. Selecting indicators to measure progress towards each objective
  3. Setting explicit targets for each indicator to judge performance
  4. Collecting data on results to measure performance on regular basis
  5. Reviewing, analyzing and reporting actual results against targets
  6. Integrating evaluations to provide complementary performance information
  7. Using performance information for purposes of accountability, learning and decision- making.


  1. Canadian International Development Agency. What is Results Based Management?, 2009.
  2. International Trade Centre. Results Based Management Checklist. Geneva, 2004.
  3. Ortiz Even Fontaine et al. Implementation of Results Based Management in the United Nations. Geneva, 2004.
  4. UNDP. Handbook on Planning, Monitoring & Evaluating for Results. New York, 2009.
  5. UNEG. The Role of Evaluation in Results Based Management. Geneva, 2007.