State of the Criminal Justice System Methodology Report

Glossary of TermsFootnote 16

Benchmark: An external point of reference by which the performance of activity, function, operation, process or service can be measured.

Engagement: Involving stakeholders and citizens in the way government operates.

Expected result: An outcome that a program, policy or initiative is designed to produce.

Performance monitoring framework: Sets out an objective basis for collecting information related to a program or broad topic area (e.g., Canadian criminal justice system). It includes the strategic outcome(s), expected results, performance indicators and directional targets, data sources and data collection frequency, and actual data collected for each indicator.

Indicator: A qualitative or quantitative measurement or value indicating the state of level of something.

Outcome: An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Outcomes are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead, they are within the area of the organization’s influence. Usually, outcomes are further qualified as immediate, intermediate, ultimate (or final), expected, direct, etc.

Performance indicators: A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of evaluating the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative in light of expected results over time.

Performance measurement: The ongoing, regular collection of information for monitoring how a program, policy or strategy is doing. It is a systematic way of mapping the evidence of the progress you are making towards your expected results.Footnote 17

Quantitative data: Observations that are numerical (x number of individuals charged; x% of convictions, etc.).

Qualitative data: Observations that are non-numerical, and often involve attitudes, perceptions and intentions.