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J Behav Health Serv Res. 2007 Jan;34(1):73-82. Epub 2006 Dec 19.

Goal achievement and the accountability of consumer-run organizations.

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  • 1Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 624 N. Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


This study explores how consumer-run organizations (CROs) can maintain independence while meeting the accountability needs of funding agencies. The importance of both funding agency needs for accountability and CRO needs for independence are discussed. A goal-tracking process is proposed as a potential strategy for balancing the potentially conflicting needs of accountability and independence. To demonstrate the utility of the goal tracking approach, this study analyzes goal tracking documentation in 3 years of quarterly reports from 21 CROs (also known as consumer drop-in centers and self-help agencies). Results detail the different goals of CROs. A 68% goal achievement rate suggests general organizational competence. Furthermore, CRO operations appear to be relatively cost-efficient, with an average of $11.51 spent per person per day. The analysis of quarterly reports leads to a discussion of several insights that may be useful to CROs, funding agencies, researchers, and mental health professionals.

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