Balance Scorecard for Politicians

Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on September 03, 2014

This article is the 1st Prize Winner in the Article Writing Contest August 2014

Politicians work for people. This is something we want to happen. Barring a few honest politicians who really want to work for people, the others just want to achieve and acquire financial gains through their tenure. Some people believe that even if the politicians spend 75% of the budget allocated to them, honestly; changes can be seen. There are various parameters on which politicians can be judged. In the public domains they work. Also, under each domain there are many dependent and independent variables that can be taken into account. Involving more and more people for the survey or getting the data will help in obtaining a clearer picture.

Image Courtesy:, nirots

Balance Score Card is widely used in the industries for judging the performance of people. This model has been framed to apply a similar balance score card for the politicians who work, generally, for tenure of 5 years. They are paid high, so they too should be made accountable for what they do.

Parameters on which politicians can be judged:

1. Financial

2. People

3. Innovation

4. Process

Financial parameters:

1. The funds allocated and the amount of fund utilized during the time period. (Can be measured as a percentage of total funds allocated. It must also include the grants received during the period.)

2. Number of public utility buildings made: To upgrade the public utility by construction of schools, playgrounds, urinals etc. This can be measured on absolute as well as on relative measures.

3. Funds spent on education, employment and sports. Education and employment are key factors of societal growth. This can also be taken as a percentage.

4. Increase in per capita income of the people.

People parameters:

1. Increase in the literacy rate during that period.

2. Crime rate in that particular period. This should be absolute as well as relative. Documents must be collected from the local police stations. An online system must also be maintained so that there is no tampering with the data.

3. Expenses towards healthcare: The mortality due to diseases recorded in the hospitals during that period can be taken into consideration. Again, it must be absolute as well as relative.

4. Communal harmony: A difficult parameter to judge but the no. of deaths due to communal violence and the loss of property due to these can be a parameter in judging the politicians.

Innovation parameters:

1. The policies taken to increase the living standard of the people. The before and after effects can be compared to achieve the rate.

2. The steps taken to maintain cultural harmony.

3. Roads and infrastructure development in the region. The net worth must be taken into consideration.

4. Success rate: No. of policies and projects started and the no. of policies and projects completed can be valued and the success rate can be defined.

Process parameters:

1. Number of meetings with the local people: This should be absolute.

2. The ease of availability of the politicians for the common people. Survey required.

3. Transparency in judgment and also the time taken in judgment. Survey required.

4. Perception among the people: Survey required at the end of the tenure.

How to measure these parameters:

Financial Parameters:

Interpretation: Again, if the value of ∆P is greater than 1, the region has done better than the other regions of the state. If per capita income is difficult to be estimated the GDP of the region can be considered.

People Parameters:

Interpretation: This figure will give a total value of change in the crime rate for that region. If it is greater than 1 then either relative crime is greater than the average or absolute crime rate is greater than the previous years.

3. Similar concept can be applied to the healthcare index. The relative mortality can be called Hα and absolute Hµ.

Again the total healthcare index be given as Htot = Hα X Hµ with interpretations being the same.

4. Communal harmony parameter

This is a difficult parameter to judge and the total number of death toll can be taken into consideration. A 5-point scale can be proposed to get the value as

0 deaths and property loss <5 lakhs – 5

0 deaths and property loss > 5 lakhs- 4

0-5 deaths – 3

5-10 deaths – 2

>10 deaths – 1

Now the politician will be judged upon the parameter and a score is generated for him on the basis of the data received from the state.

Innovation Parameters:

1. Policies adopted: This becomes a subjective approach and the politician can be evaluated on the parameters such as effectiveness of the policy. Total no. of families served, money saved (if any) and general perception of people on the basis of that. (This can be captured through a survey post tenure)

2. Cultural Harmony: The steps taken to curb any such incidence of violence can be measured on the scale of the violence and the measures taken to stop the spread. This is gain viewed with respect to the no. of families that were benefitted or the no. of lives saved or the property damage saved.

3. Roads and Infrastructure development: Roads are a major way to commute in India or anywhere. The roads made during the time period can be analyzed in terms of length and time taken to complete the project. The net worth of the roads must be taken into account. As in, if the road has been made, how much length is still in condition and how much required(s) re-construction. The effectiveness can be measured in that way.

4. Success Rate, SR= ( Projects completed + Policies effective ) / (Total projects + policies)

The policy can be taken as effective if it meets 50% of the desired outcome. Similarily, if

75% of the project gets completed, the project can be deemed successful.

Process parameters:

1. No. of meetings held in the panchayats and local people: This must be measured in absolute terms. This is an effective way to know the problems faced by the residents and must be thus encouraged.

2. The survey at the end of the tenure is required to be floated among the residents which will judge the politicians on the basis of the availability to them on a five point scale(say).

3. Similarily the judgement procedure can also be taken into account through the survey.

The effective time period for one judgement to be made can be calculated and hence interpreted.

Absolue Judgement factor, Jα=

No. of cases solved during the time period / No. of cases filed during the tenure

Effective time (days), Eα=

Total tenure working days / (No. of cases solved X Total no. of courts in the region)

Total effective Judgement, J= Jα/ Eα

4. Perception among the people regarding the politician can be measured through the questionnaire and survey during the end of the tenure. This survey can also be made online.

All the parameters are then accesed and the score can be calculated and shared among the people for the judgement for the next elections. Also, the politicians can be given the data to access their success and failure rates.

Annexure 2: A sample Balance ScoreCard:

This article has been authored by Silva Acharya from Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar

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