Alabama’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, Alabama community action agencies have been encouraged to undertake a number of ROMA implementation actions that focus on results-oriented management and results-oriented accountability:

Results-Oriented Management

  • 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.
  • A Community Action Agency involves the low-income population it serves in the planning, administering and evaluating of its programs.

Results-Oriented Accountability

  • 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.

ADECA and the CAAA have been encouraged to work as a team to advance ROMA performance-based concepts among local agencies through on-going training and technical assistance.

The Office of Community Services has provided training and technical assistance funding to all aspects of ROMA implementation throughout the history of the initiative, including:

  • Grants to state and local agencies to develop model ROMA measures, strategies, and information systems;
  • Grants to national, state and local entities to create training and technical assistance materials for use by the network;
  • Grants to implement statewide strategic planning and program renewal, performance measurement and reporting, expanded partnerships with other service providers;
  • Grants to collect and port state and national ROMA outcome information; and
  • Grants to establish and maintain national ROMA technical assistance resources including the Train-the-Trainer program, a ROMA Clearinghouse, and several agency leadership enhancement and administration improvement programs.

Among the resources available on this website to assist both state and local community action agencies understand and advance ROMA implementation are:

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