ROMA for Boards

As noted in CSBG IM #82 Tripartite Boards, Sections 676B of the Community Services Block Grant Reauthorization Act of 1998 requires that, as a condition of designation, private nonprofit entities and public organizations administer their CSBG program through tripartite boards that "fully participate in the development, planning, implementation, and evaluation of the program to serve low-income communities."

The Tripartite Board, comprised of representatives from: Low Income Individuals,

Elected Officials or their representatives, and Representatives of Major Groups and Interests in the Community,

is responsible for oversight and governance of community action agencies.

Board members participate in Results Oriented Management in the following ways:

1. Agency Development

Needs Assessment

Agency Mission Determination

2. Agency Planning

Strategic Long Range Planning

Annual Planning-Performance Expectations and Targets

Forming Partnerships with other resources in community

3. Program Implementation

Tracking of milestones, interim performance results and reports

Making mid course corrections to improve performance

Board members ensure Results Oriented Accountability in the following ways:

4. Evaluation

Results Focused Evaluation-Clients and Community

Results Focused Evaluation-Agency and Staff

Using Information for Planning

Using Information for Additional Funding and Advocacy

Board Members also play a critical role in ensuring that agencies are in compliance with the CSBG Organizational Standards, especially those in Categories 4 and 5.


Organizational Leadership Community Action leadership is exemplified at all levels across the organization and starts with a mission that clarifies Community Action’s work on poverty. A  well-functioning board, and a focused chief executive officer (CEO)/executive director, well-trained and dedicated staff, and volunteers giving of themselves to help others will establish Community Action as the cornerstone and leverage point to address poverty across the community. Ensuring strong leadership both for today and into the future is critical.
This category addresses the foundational elements of mission as well as the implementation of the Network’s model of good performance management (ROMA). It ensures CAAs have taken steps to plan thoughtfully for today’s work and tomorrow’s leadership.



Board Governance Community Action boards are uniquely structured to ensure maximum feasible participation by the entire community, including those the network serves. By law, Community Action boards are comprised of at least 1/3 low-income consumers (or their representatives), 1/3 elected officials (or their appointees), and the remainder private-sector community members. To make this structure work as intended, CAAs must recruit board members thoughtfully, work within communities to promote opportunities for board service, and orient, train, and support them in their oversight role. Boards are foundational to good organizational performance and the time invested to keep them healthy and active is significant, but necessary.