Update and Request for the Ombuds Effectiveness Project

By Jennifer Mahony
Associate Ombudsman, NIH

Jen MahonyWhat are the mechanisms you use to create meaningful insight for your organizations?  How do you show that your ombuds office is valuable and effective? What frameworks are you using with your organization to define effectiveness?

In a recent blog post, Hector Escalante discussed The Ombuds Effectiveness Project as well as the work of Goal #1. Chuck Howard, IOA’s Executive Director, formed a project team led by Randy Williams and Ronnie Thomson to address these key questions. The Ombuds Effectiveness Project’s mission is “to equip ombuds offices with guidance, research tools, and training to measure and present effectiveness of their programs relevant to the stakeholder’s goals, in alignment with their organization's mission and values”.

Like many of us, I’ve had the opportunity to ombuds for several different organizations. While each of those organizations defined effectiveness differently, the one constant was how hungry they were for information and relationships that showed the value of our office. Being alive to that knowledge and having tools in place makes it easier for us to be responsive and build strategic relationships. That ties into the the ultimate goal of this project: Creating training and curating tools to equip us with how to feel confident about how we talk about and measure effectiveness. 

"Ultimate Goal: Creating training and curating tools to equip us with how to feel confident about how we talk about and measure effectiveness."

Goal #2 of this project is focused on gathering effectiveness tools. Common examples of tools include annual reports, marketing brochures, surveys, intake forms, reporting templates, and risk and stakeholder engagement frameworks. We’re also interested in the kinds of organizational data benchmarks you use in highlighting your effectiveness; things like litigation costs, number of employment cases, and lost productivity costs. What about the novel and innovative ways you’ve found to highlight your effectiveness? We’d love to see those tools too!   

Bill Maurer, Jan Schonauer, and I are working hard to gather these effectiveness tools. These tools, along with Hector’s work, will inform Susan Casino’s work in Goal #3 in creating training and a comprehensive toolkit.  If you have any tools you’d like to share, that you haven’t already shared, please send them through to me at [email protected].   

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Learn More About the Ombuds Effectiveness Project

The Ombuds Effectiveness Project team has been researching and gathering information on how ombuds share meaningful insight with their organizations. What do their reporting documents, brochures, surveys, and data look like? The goal is to bring all of this knowledge together and a training and a comprehensive toolkit to share with members. 

Explore & Meet the Team

#GoodDayIOA Interview with Jen Mahony

In this Good Day IOA video, IOA President Melanie Jagneaux interviews Jenn Mahony about IOA's Ombuds Effectiveness Project.

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Comments on "Update and Request for the Ombuds Effectiveness Project"

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Liz Hill - Sunday, February 21, 2021

Thanks for all your hard work!

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