American Evaluation Association's 2016 Conference

Poverty Center researchers Dr. Robert Fischer and Dr. Elizabeth Anthony will be presenting at the American Evaluation Association’s 2016 conference on October 28 and 29, 2016.

Rob Fischer, co-director of the Poverty Center, is presenting on “Evaluating Social Impact Financing in Human Services” on October 28th at 4:30PM as part of the Critical Meta-Evaluation of Social Return on Investment (SROI): Evaluator, Economist, and Accountant Perspectives on Evaluation Design panel. The presentation is on how local governments often lack the resources to invest in innovative models to address key community needs. So-called “Social Impact Bonds” offer a mechanism for attracting private sector funding for initiatives that are targeted to complex and high-cost social conditions. In 2013, Cuyahoga County became the first U.S. county to launch a social impact bond under the name Pay For Success. This initiative involves an intensive approach to keep homeless families together and to reduce foster care costs. This paper provides an overview of how social impact financing works and what the experience with them has been thus far. The presentation describes the development and evaluation of the initiative in Cuyahoga County focused on homeless families with children involved in child welfare. The paper explores the implications of these funding models for the evaluation of nonprofits that carry out innovative services. Beth Anthony along with Poverty Center associate director David Crampton and co-director Claudia Coulton co-authored this report.

On October 29th at 10:45am, faculty associate Beth Anthony  will present “Compared to what? Exploring the value of an RCT in interpreting program delivery in a home visiting context” as part of the panel Randomized Controlled Trials in Social Services and Education. This session highlights the value of comparative methodologies in the evaluation of human services programs. Given the realities of under-staffed, under-resourced social service agencies, program evaluators are often unable to implement a rigorously designed evaluation, settling instead for single group pre-test, post-test comparisons. We present the results and challenges of a longitudinal, randomized field experiment to test the effectiveness of a stress-reduction curriculum embedded in an existing home visiting program for low-income mothers. In light of high attrition and null findings even among a subgroup of women who completed the intervention, the evaluators reflect on the methods to judge the efficacy of home visiting as a model of service delivery. Rob Fischer is also an author on this presentation.

To know more visit the official conference website at American Evaluation Association’s 2016 conference.