Assessing the effectiveness of government and nonprofit programs has become increasingly important as stakeholders demand evidence that these initiatives are achieving their goals and as managers seek to use data to better manage their programs. We help clients monitor, evaluate, and improve programs by developing and implementing performance management systems that make it easier for them to assess and report on performance as well as to use this data. Our experts can design and execute high quality systems to help meet accountability and policy goals while also delivering the analytical tools needed to use performance data effectively.
We create integrated solutions that help state and federal government agencies comply with the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010, and other reporting requirements. At the same time, nonprofit organizations are also demanding proof that their resources are being put to good use and requiring grantees to report on performance outcomes and use performance data to improve program performance.
Mathematica taps subject matter, research, statistical, data collection, and administrative data experts skilled in developing measures to assess many aspects of performance, including efficiency, productivity, and intermediate and final outcomes. Our full-service approach ensures that all stakeholders have a common understanding of the technical details and reporting requirements by clearly specifying and communicating data elements and performance measures.
To ensure that any performance management system works properly, Mathematica also offers independent verification and validation services to determine if systems meet requirements and fulfill their intended purpose. We also provide technical assistance support to help clients operate more effectively, and obtain the full benefits from their systems and their data. We work across a range of areas that includes Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, state and federal unemployment insurance programs, employment and training programs, and grants administered by the U.S. Department of Education, among others.
In addition to the case study at right, examples of our work include the following:
- District of Columbia TANF Performance Reporting and Analysis. We designed, tested, and provided technical assistance for the development of a TANF performance management reporting system. This system enables the District to meet its GPRA goals while controlling costs. Mathematica used TANF other social programs’ data to estimate the performance and financial implications of policy changes and to identify participants eligible, but not receiving, social services.
- Employment and Training Data Quality Initiative. Mathematica helped the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Agency (ETA), develop and implement a performance data quality initiative for many of its programs, including the Workforce Investment Act’s Adult, Dislocated Worker, and Older, and Younger Youth programs, the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, the Labor Exchange program, the Unemployment Insurance program, the National Farmworkers Job program, and the Indian and Native American program. We specified performance measures, data element, and report specifications, and developed software for states to use both to calculate their performance and to assess the accuracy of the performance measurement calculations. To ensure a smooth rollout, we trained states and grantees on the performance measures, specifications, and software.
- Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Evaluation projects. As independent evaluators for several TAACCCT grants, we help manage grantees’ performance reporting and assist them in using data to improve performance outcomes and identify trends that may predict future results. We also calculate required annual performance reports and interpret outcomes.
- Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) Multi-Component Evaluation. We developed performance measures to help programs align with assessments used for federally funded teenage pregnancy prevention programs, and we modified existing measures to reflect the unique features of PREP. To help states report results to the federal government, we provided them with processes for collecting high quality data from participants and programs. Training and technical assistance to states and grantees helped ensure that they could fulfill performance reporting requirements.
- Program Performance Data Audit. We assessed the quality of performance data for 11 U.S. Department of Education programs, by developing criteria that defined high quality performance data and then using these criteria to assess program data quality.
- Integrated Delivery Systems: Technical Assistance to States and Effective Federal Oversight Mechanisms. As part of our work in health quality measures, we developed tools to strengthen federal monitoring and oversight of state Medicaid managed care programs, including new quality and performance measures for Medicaid Managed Long-Term Services and Supports plans and health home health programs.