Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Affairs and Administration

First Advisor

Dr. James A. Visser


Citizen engagement and performance measurement are concepts inherently in conflict with each other. Local government values citizen input and good governance. Simultaneously, the pressure of local government to be efficient and effective utilizing managerial techniques common in the private sector is intense. Due to challenges associated with the integration of performance measurement and active citizen involvement, initiatives in this area are sparse.

This study, using a mixed methods analysis, explored the research questions through examination of thirty-six units of local government that participated in the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation‘s Government Trailblazer Program. This program provided a unique opportunity for exploratory research of whether active citizen participation enhances or hinders effective measurement of government performance. The second research question investigated necessary attributes for implementing Citizen Informed Performance Measurement (CIPM) that support democratic governance while maximizing efficiency in the areas of organizational commitment and leadership, public management skills, citizen participation, the use of performance measures, citizen outcomes, and organizational experience.

Results of the study produced three themes: Citizen Perspective, Performance Measures, and Collaboration. Findings revealed that citizen perspective in performance measurement was most important, followed by collaboration. The affect of citizen involvement in performance measurement of specific programs and services was not as strong in agreement. The research revealed key attributes for a successful CIPM include commitment of elected officials, shared decision-making with citizens, public management interpersonal skills, the use of performance measures for program continuous improvement, increased accountability to citizens, and prior experience of municipalities actively involving citizens in government.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access