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

7.
ASSESSMENT OF THE EVALUATION FRAMEWORK

INTRODUCTION

Evaluation is a key component of the RBDM Framework because it generates estimates of the “results” that are then used to refine the implementation and to guide future project decisions and budgeting. As Friedman notes:

Performance budgeting can present better choices by requiring each budget unit (internal and contract) to answer the basic questions in performance accountability: Who are your customers? How do you measure if your customers are better off? How do you measure if you're delivering service well?…These questions should be answered on a regular basis throughout the year, and used once a year to drive the budget (Friedman, 2001, section 3.16).

Consistent with this role of evaluation in the RBDM Framework, evaluation plays a prominent role in the LTFSS Plan, both in planning and in implementation. With some notable exceptions (e.g., the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation's (MDRC) evaluations of the County's GAIN program), evaluation has not traditionally been a part of program rollout in the County. Thus, the fact that there is a strong evaluation component is itself a reflection of the positive effect of the RBDM Framework. Participants in the Countywide planning process and in the overall Evaluation Design Workgroup process stated that the RBDM Framework focused County departments and other key stakeholders on outcomes and on accountability. Furthermore, interviewees explained that the RBDM Framework and the materials produced by the CAO/SIB helped County departments to think more formally about program outcomes and has served as a useful framework for prioritizing departmental resources.

In this chapter, we provide an overview of evaluation process—developing a logic model, a list of headline and secondary performance measures, a data sources document, and so on. We then consider the extent to which those involved in the evaluation felt that the RBDM Framework was useful. We find, in general, that participants found the Evaluation Design component of the RBDM

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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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