Countywide Evaluation of the Long-Term Family Self-Sufficiency Plan: Countywide Evaluation Report

By Elaine Reardon; Robert F. Schoeni et al. | Go to book overview

4.
BASELINE DATA AND THE STORY BEHIND THE BASELINES

INTRODUCTION

The LTFSS Plan has a broad Countywide perspective—long-term selfsufficiency for low-income families in the County. Moreover, in developing the Plan, the County attempted to use the RBDM Framework, since the RBDM Framework is a results-based accountability approach. An important component of the Plan is a Countywide Evaluation describing how successful the County is in achieving its goal. The RBDM Framework specifies a technique for doing so, which involves analyzing data over time on the 26 indicators that were determined to address the five outcomes of interest: good health; safety and survival; economic well-being; social and emotional well-being; and education and workforce readiness.1 As discussed in Chapter 3, 5 headline indicators were selected from the 26 indicators.

First, historical trends in this baseline data are established. Second, the “story” behind those baseline trends is designed to explain what factors influence these trends. This story is developed using information from a variety of sources, including consultation with experts and review of the research literature that addresses which social, political, and economic factors are believed to influence the trend and how they do so. The next step is to determine the extent to which these factors have changed in the County. For example, the literature has shown that poverty is much higher for certain racial/ethnic groups; therefore, one can estimate the extent to which the racial/ethnic composition of the population in the County has changed in recent years. The changes in the factor—e.g., racial/ethnic composition—can be translated into the implied impact on the headline indicator—e.g., poverty—based on the relationships estimated in the research literature.

Trends in the data are then forecast into the future as if the LTFSS Plan had never been implemented. This is intended to show what might happen if the County did nothing. The historical trend, plotted through 2000 where available, is

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1
If historical data are not available, the Framework instructs evaluators to construct an appropriate comparison group against which to measure outcomes.

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Countywide Evaluation of the Long-Term Family Self-Sufficiency Plan: Countywide Evaluation Report
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Preface iii
  • Contents v
  • Tables ix
  • Figures xi
  • Executive Summary xiii
  • Acknowledgments xxv
  • Acronyms xxvii
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - What's at Stake 5
  • 3 - Result and Outcomes 11
  • 4 - Baseline Data and the Story Behind the Baselines 15
  • 5 - The Projects and Their Partners 39
  • 6 - Assessment of the Ltfss Plan Framework 55
  • 7 - Assessment of the Evaluation Framework 91
  • 8 - Quality Improvement Steps 105
  • Appendix A - Data Sources 109
  • References 139
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