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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Moving beyond anecdote: An impact evaluation of a popular New York State work supports program
by Wood, Rebecca J., Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2010, 154; 3403169
Abstract (Summary)

This study used New York State administrative data on its welfare population and publicly available data to evaluate the impact of a popular work supports program, the Transitional Opportunities Program (TOP), in a sample of ten counties that operated the program compared to eight counties that did not between January 2006 and December 2008. Secondary administrative data on case characteristics, case activity, and employment were matched with data on unemployment from the New York State Department of Labor and mean travel time to work from U.S. Census 2000.

Impact evaluation asks two primary sets of questions: (1) How well was the program carried out? Was the program implemented as planned? Were there local differences in implementation? and (2) What was the program's impact on the target population? Did the implementation strategy lead to intended outcomes? How did local differences in implementation affect outcomes? What was the net impact?

Program impact was examined using logistic regression analysis conducted on data from the full sample of counties and on data split by three comparison groups of counties to determine whether differences existed in the program's impact between the full sample and by group. The outcome under analysis was designed to reflect the TOP goals of employment stability and case closing for earned income. In spite of the varied implementation configurations employed by the counties, TOP was found to have a significant impact on the outcome in the full sample of counties and in the two largest groups, but not in the third group, and only if the time a family spent in the program exceeded three months.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hagen, Jan L.
Commitee: Claiborne, Nancy, Noval, Lorraine K.
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: Social Welfare
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 71/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social work, Public policy
Keywords: Impact evaluation, Low income, New York, Welfare
Publication Number: 3403169
ISBN: 978-1-109-76379-9
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