Administrative Experiments: Unlocking What Works Better and What Works for Whom

Publisher: American Journal of Evaluation, vol. 36, no. 4 (subscription required)
Dec 01, 2015
Authors
Scott Cody, Irma Perez-Johnson, and Kristen Joyce

Administrative experiments are increasingly available for public programs with high-quality administrative data to identify what changes make programs and services more effective. Program administrators can run short-term experiments to test improvements in programs and have causally valid impact estimates within a year. Administrative experiments also can be used to better understand what works for whom by testing program improvements on key subpopulations of program participants. This article provides an overview of rapid cycle evaluation, describes its use in identifying what works best for whom, and provides an illustrative example of how the techniques could be applied to the veterans’ employment services area.