Tennessee’s Community Action Agencies make use of a management system called the Results Oriented Management and Accountability, or ROMA. ROMA is a performance-based initiative designed to preserve the anti-poverty focus of community action and to promote greater effectiveness among state and local agencies receiving Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funds.
History of ROMA
ROMA was created in 1994 by an ongoing task force of Federal, state, and local community action officials - the Monitoring and Assessment Task Force (MATF). Based upon principles contained in the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, ROMA provides a framework for continuous growth and improvement among more than 1000 local community action agencies and a basis for state leadership and assistance toward those ends.
Since 1994, the Community Services Network has been guided by six broad anti-poverty goals established by the MATF:
Goal 1: Low-income people become more self-sufficient.
Goal 2: The conditions in which low-income people live are improved.
Goal 3: Low-income people own a stake in their community.
Goal 4: Partnerships among supporters and providers of service to low- income people are achieved.
Goal 5: Agencies increase their capacity to achieve results.
Goal 6: Low-income people, especially vulnerable populations, achieve their potential by strengthening family and other supportive systems.
To accomplish these goals, Tennessee Community Action Agencies undertake a number of ROMA implementation actions that focus on results-oriented management and results-oriented accountability:
- Assess poverty needs and conditions within the community;
- Define a clear agency anti-poverty mission for community action and a strategy to address those needs, both immediate and longer term, in the context of existing resources and opportunities in the community;
- Identify specific improvements, or results, to be achieved among low-income people and the community; and
- Organize and implement programs, services, and activities, such as advocacy, within the agency and among "partnering" organizations, to achieve anticipated results.
- Develop and implement strategies to measure and record improvements in the condition of low-income people and the communities in which they live that result from community action intervention;
- Use information about outcomes, or results, among agency tripartite boards and staff to determine the overall effectiveness, inform annual and long-range planning, support agency advocacy, funding, and community partnership activities.
The Tennessee Department of Human Services and the Tennessee Association of Community Action work as a team to advance ROMA performance based concepts among local agencies through on-going training and technical assistance. The Federal Office of Community Services (OCS) has provided funding for this effort. Tennessee currently has 12 Nationally Certified ROMA Trainers.