Evaluation 2017: From Learning to Action

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Moving Beyond the Barriers 2.0 - Effective Models for Using Administrative Data to Generate Evidence and Enhance Evaluation Capacity

Session Number: 2454
Track: Government Evaluation
Session Type: Multipaper
Session Chair: Rashida Dorsey [US Department of Health and Human Services]
Discussant: Susan Queen [Department of Health and Human Services]
Presenter 1: Jeongsoo Kim [Department of Health and Human Services]
Presenter 2: Melissa Chiu [Data and Evaluation Outreach Manager - U.S. Census Bureau]
Presenter 3: Roslyn Holliday-Moore
Presenter 4: Robin Ghertner [Director of Data and Technical Analysis - US Department of Health and Human Services]
Presentation 1 Additional Author: Rashida Dorsey [US Department of Health and Human Services]
Time: Nov 09, 2017 (08:00 AM - 09:00 AM)
Room: PARK TWR STE 8210

Abstract 1 Title: What are the issues and solutions of using the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) administrative data for government program evaluation?
Presentation Abstract 1:

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the attributes, issues, and solutions of using HHS administrative data for program evaluation and policy analysis.  HHS administrative data are used primarily to support program operations and transactions, but are also useful on a stand-alone basis for evidence-based policy making and cost-efficient evaluation.  Recent Federal policy and legislation suggest that the expansion of secure access to government administrative data while protecting privacy and confidentiality has been a priority for many policy makers, researchers, and the public.  However, recurring issues such as legal and statutory constraints limit the full utilization of administrative data. 

This paper lays out the lessons from an HHS administrative data assessment focusing on identifying barriers and potential solutions to improve access to administrative data for evidence building and evaluation.  The findings will provide HHS and other federal agencies with a roadmap for leveraging administrative data to facilitate the development of rigorous policy evaluation models.

Presentation 1 Other Authors: Lindsey Hutchison
Abstract 2 Title: Access to Innovation: Utilizing the Census Bureau Data Linkage Infrastructure for Evidence-Based Research
Presentation Abstract 2:

Recently, the Census Bureau forged a vision for expanding its Data Linkage Infrastructure to support evidence-based research and program evaluation. This presentation discusses the expansion activities, such as increasing the number and breadth of available administrative data, improving data access and timing for evaluation and program research, and developing tools for data management and harmonization. Pilot studies demonstrate the utility of the Census Bureau’s Data Linkage Infrastructure for filling knowledge gaps and answering new research questions with a quality data source-- integrated data. The presentation also provides an overview of the process for conducting evaluation and program research using linked data within the Census Bureau’s Data Linkage Infrastructure, with a focus on examples using health and human services data.

Presentation 2 Other Authors: Melisa Chiu (US Census Bureau)
Abstract 3 Title: Policy in Action: Aligning Data and Practice to Address Behavioral Health Disparities
Presentation Abstract 3:

Building on the policy and data framework established by the Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities released by the Department of Health and Human Services in 2011, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) implemented a Disparity Impact Strategy to monitor the impact of agency investments on behavioral health disparities.  The data-driven effort focused on the access, use and outcomes of diverse populations involved in SAMHSA grant programs. This paper will describe how grantee disparity impact statements, pivotal to the Disparity Impact Strategy, are used to monitor the impact of program implementation on the identified behavioral health disparities. These statements incorporate data on populations of focus and outline strategies for using program administrative data to inform technical assistance and related strategies for promoting improved health outcomes. The disparity impact statement serves as a metric for determining progress in addressing behavioral health disparities.

Abstract 4 Title: Past, Present, and Future of Administrative Data in the Administration for Children and Families
Presentation Abstract 4:

For years, ACF has used its administrative data for program improvement and evaluation.  The first part of our presentation will feature exemplary uses of ACF administrative data for evaluation purposes. These include: taking advantage of national administrative data collection requirements to provide common data elements across sites in multi-state evaluation; linking to national administrative data sources to provide data from other states; and evaluations that use integrated data systems (IDSs) that link administrative data from multiple sources to support more complex modeling and a broader set of outcomes .

While these efforts have found success, ACF is developing a more systematic and strategic approach to leverage its administrative data for evaluation and related evidence-building efforts.  The remainder of the presentation summarizes recent efforts by OPRE and ASPE to develop this approach: goals-setting, needs assessment; creating a data compendium, and identifying key opportunities for future development.

Theme: Learning About Evaluation Use and Users
Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

There has been ample recognition of the benefits of using administrative data for government program evaluation and policy analysis.  Recent Federal policy and legislation suggest an urgent need for federal agencies with increasing budget constraints to utilize administrative data for cost-efficient evaluation practices.  Maximizing the use of administrative data requires knowing what data are available in the federal agencies and recognizing their strengths and limitations.  This session will highlight the current landscape of HHS administrative data and provide an overview of the types, attributes, limitations, and solutions of the use of HHS administrative data for program evaluation.  The session also introduces successful uses of HHS administrative data for evaluation, research, and strategies, including a focused discussion on how it can be used to enhance evaluation capacity in HHS.

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