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ROMA! ROMA! ROMA!! From www.coloradocsbg.org ROMA stands for Results Oriented Management and Accountability. Additional information on how other states are using ROMA can be found on www.ROMA1.org. For our purposes, we will highlight ROMA in the following areas: • Summary of the ROMA logic model components • Why identification of the “problem” is so important • How an entity can use ROMA Results Oriented Management and Accountability (ROMA) Components The ROMA logic model is a tool that can be used in your planning for all aspects of your work. It has between 6 – 8 sections. The standard ones we use in Colorado have the following: • Project Name and Mission • Problem/Issue • Activities/Services • Outcome • Indicator/measure • Data Source and Collection • Other/Explanation The logic model box headers are as follows: Problem/Issue Services/ Outcomes Indicator/ Data Source / Activities Measurement Collection Project Name and Mission: Each component will have a project name and a short mission statement. The information contained in the logic model boxes must have a correlation to the mission statement. • You might use the name of a service as the project name, and it should have a “mission statement” attached to it. • You could have a very large project with various focus areas. In this case, you might want to identify each focus area with its own logic model. • Using the ROMA logic model for the strategic plan, you can identify each focus area, such as Collaboration, Fund Raising, Sustainability, Board of Directors, etc. Again, write the purpose (mission) for each. Problem/Issue: Identification of the problem, issue, challenge or need that your entity is addressing is critical to the success of the project. These statements should be short and concise, and most importantly, direct. What is the crux of the problem? Specify whom you are helping (low-income individuals, seniors who need work, your agency, your community, etc.) and what specific issue are you addressing. If you find yourself with varied issues — that is, different focus areas, different sections of the community with different problems, etc., it might be helpful to have more than one logic model for each “project component”. Activities/Services: List the activities and/or services that you will provide to address the issue(s) listed. • Most entities know the activities they perform or services they provide and will list these here. • If you are a new project, your listing of activities might be better served after you work on the Problem and Outcome boxes. • Listing your activities/services after the problem and outcome identification is recommended. Outcome: For CSBG purposes, outcome means “the end result”. It is the change in behavior, environment or situation. If your project accomplished all of its goals, what would it look like? That is the end result or outcome. More specifically, if your services and activities addressed the identified need/issue of the client, your community or organization, describe what that would look like after you provided the service/activity. Because this is not a “goals” section, but rather the result of all of the goals that you established being accomplished, you should have no more than three outcomes listed for all of the activities/services you perform to address the problem. • Most entities find it easier to identify all their goals they want to accomplish per focus area before completing this box. • In ROMA, we don’t require that the outcome statement have a measurable in it as we address that in the next section. Indicator/Measurement: How will you know you are moving towards your outcome, and/or have reached your outcome? What will tell you that your project is a success? In CSBG, we require both a number and a percentage. Thus you will indicate the following: • The total number of X (participants, trainings, etc.). o Of that total number, how many will be successful (projection based on your previous records if you have them, estimate projection if it’s a new project or, the actual numbers if you’ve completed the project). o Provide the number as a percentage obtained by dividing the total number into the projected or actual. By providing a number and a percentage, it holds an entity accountable. Reporting 50% without a base number is vague. Reporting “50% of 100 or 50 participants” gives a more complete picture. It is important that for each of your projects you determine when a client becomes a client to keep consistency and to give an accurate count. Thus if in your program, a client becomes a client upon the first phone call at which time you record the intake data, then that needs to stay consistent throughout the project year. It is equally important that an entity does not adjust its numbers because of “drop outs”. Again, whenever you deemed your client to be a client, the final numbers must also include the drop outs. You can point out the drop out rate, but you must report on what you pre-determined was an important count to you. You are trying to report accurately -- by diminishing the numbers in a report because you worry that the drop out rate might reflect badly on you, actually will more than likely hurt you and your organization in the long run, as you won’t have an accurate count of all the work you do in servicing a client. Just because they dropped out doesn’t mean that your staff didn’t spend five hours to that point. You can have as many indicators as you want, but first and foremost, make them meaningful to you. Keep in mind that your entity is responsible for the data collection. Data Source & Collection: Using tax time as an example, you know that there are those who have filed away their paperwork and logged the necessary tax information or filed the tax information on an ongoing basis, so that at tax time, they go to their files and can work on their taxes immediately. Then there are the rest of us who put our paperwork in a file – or shoe box, and at tax time are scrambling to put it into cohesive order so that we can file our taxes. This is really the reason for this box. People don’t remember where they put specific information, or one person puts it away and another can’t locate it. In this section, you log: • The names of the form or file that holds the specific data you are reporting on as an Indicator. If necessary, narrow it down with specifics. (We worked with a person who had a legal size, 9 font print excel spread sheet and then asked us where WE got the data. She didn’t know which of the 20 columns held her information!) • You are identifying Where its located (in case you are out of the office when its needed) • You are identifying Who (position title) is responsible for it. • You are identifying When it will be collected – how consistently (monthly, quarterly, etc.). Other/Explanation : The logic model has limited space—its actually somewhat purposeful because it forces us to be clear, concise and to the point. It is not asking you to justify anything, just state the facts. However, there are times when an explanation of something in the logic model does require clarification. This is normally critical and essential to the reviewer, not to the writer, and that information belongs in this section which is located at the bottom of the page, and is not part of the boxes. Using ROMA as a Tool Going through each of the ROMA sections is actually a great exercise for staff, boards and community groups as they develop or evaluate their projects. In reviewing the ROMA logic model, each component must directly correlate with the box on either side, so ask yourself: • Does the Mission Statement correlate with the Problem/Issues statement? • Do the Activities listed directly address the identified Problem? • Do the Activities directly correlate to reaching your Outcome? • Do the Measurement/Indicators relate to the Outcome? • Do the Measurement tools/data relate to the Problem/issue? If it is a “far-reach” then most likely your problem was misidentified, or your problem was correct but your activities are ill-suited to address the needs and to get you to your intended outcome, or you misidentified your outcome. The problem of misidentification is usually the main issue for most organizations/entities. They usually need to dig one level deeper. Below are examples of how ROMA was used in the past as a tool: Example – Project Re-definition: An organization that had been in business for 15 years was redefining itself and its focus/project. Using the ROMA logic model, this group focused on the “issues” its clients were dealing with that the organization had to address in order to become effective in getting its clients basic work skills. They offered their clients the opportunity to meet with a consultant to provide feedback about the project. As part of this interview, the clients shared feedback on the current strengths and weaknesses of the organization, the client needs/issues/challenges, and what they would like to get out of the project if the project (end result) could be revamped. The organization was quite surprised to find that the clients wanted more structure in the program, and more accountability from their client colleagues! So while the focus was on client issues, the clients offered some very useful information on how to make their program more successful to them. Using ROMA, the staff then used the feedback to identify the critical issues to the clients and what they identified as to what they would like to see as the end result. They also took the Board’s feedback on the same. The staff wrote the problems and goals on a flip chart and posted it at every meeting. They initially looked at all the problems and were able to condense them by combining like areas. Then the staff worked on each problem statement, identifying what they could do to address that issue. They modified and added goals for each statement. Next they asked themselves how they and the clients would know the project component was successful. Through all of the conversations and decisions, the project process became clearer and staff volunteered to write up the processes and procedures and developed the identified forms, orientation, training and even marketing materials. Additionally, going through the ROMA process helped the business staff understand that the program was why they were there in the first place, not the other way around. This process took six months from start to completion. In the last two weeks, the project director and the consultant worked on the logic model. Initially the project director insisted on six outcomes, but in the end he came to the conclusion that five of them were goals and they all led to one very strong outcome. Example - Using ROMA in community groups: Twenty-two member groups representing 13 different communities came together to work on a project to combat tobacco use in their communities. The initial stage was education where information was shared about the various uses of tobacco in the different ethnic communities. After the education phase, the group identified the categories they were concerned with: youth, marketing, older generation, etc. They took each section and identified the core issues they wanted to have addressed in these categories. They broke into smaller groups and identified the impact they wanted to have on these core issues, and identified methods of how to make that impact. Lastly, they set goals which they used as measures. When it was presented in the ROMA logic model, they found it easy to use and it became a useful tool for them. The educational process took a year, but the development of the logic model only took six months, with 2 hour evening meetings once a month and one four hour session. Example - Properly identifying the right problem: As previously mentioned, getting the Right Problem identified is the most critical aspect of ROMA. Example 1: One organization was lamenting the fact that their community did not know who they were and what services they provided. That initially was identified as the main problem. But during the discussion and digging one level deeper, it became clear that the main issue was not that the community didn’t know who they were, but that the entity itself had an identity crisis and they themselves didn’t have a defined focus. Example 2: One organization identified that the problem for them was that the unemployed workers in their community were non-responsive to their free job training. Upon further discussion about the “audience”, it was apparent that it wasn’t the unemployed workers not following through but rather, that the marketing was targeted to the older retired generation through radio and newspapers but the younger generation (18 – 50) now used email, facebook, twitter, etc. and why their recruitment efforts were not working.
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