We are moving the whole of government to an outcomes-focused approach to performance. This means that we will be judged – as we should be – on the results that we achieve; results which reflect real and meaningful improvements in public services and quality of life for people in Scotland. Our approach focuses government on the key long term challenges for Scotland and will enable, and encourage, more effective partnership working right across the public sector and with stakeholders.
The Scottish Government has outlined a vision for Scotland within the National Performance Framework, designed to focus government and public services on the delivery of a single, unifying purpose – creating a more successful country with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth. The framework exists ‘above the waterline’ to guide strategy and policy within public services at a high level. Public sector agencies are expected to contribute to the one overarching purpose defined by government and are expected to demonstrate this contribution by implementing outcomes focused performance management systems aligned to the clear and consistent set of priorities set out within the framework by the5 National Objectives: Wealthier and Fairer, Smarter, Healthier, Safer and Stronger and Greener. These 5 objectives are supported by the identification of 15 national outcomes and 45 indicators, which are tracked to enable both an understanding about progress towards the national objectives and purpose, and to commicate performance to Scotlands population. Further information about the framework, and progress on the national outcomes and indicators, is available from the Scottish Government site, Scotland Performs.
Single Outcome Agreements define the relationship between government and its public agencies to deliver the overarching purpose. Government is clear that public sector partners and their value chains need to be able to evidence their contribution to the national outcomes through the implementation of outcomes performance measurement systems within agencies, tied to Single Outcome Agreements and the NHS Quality Strategy, and that the commissioning and delivery of effective services to communities is a key mechanism for the delivery of the national purpose. Within these frameworks, the articulation of the value of the outcomes delivered by policy, strategy, and commissioned services from the perspective of varying stakeholders plays a central role, and a focus is an agenda for the co-production of policy, strategy and commissioned services involving individuals and communities to deliver real and effective change.