In October 2016, Third Sector Capital Partners launched a new $3 million partnership with The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality (CPI), the Social Innovation Fund, and the Ballmer Group to build an administrative-data framework for measuring and evaluating the success of social service programs designed to reduce poverty and inequality. Interested governments in California, Oregon, and Washington state conducting outcomes-oriented projects focused on economic opportunity were invited to apply to receive services of up to $708,000 over the course of a two-and-a-half-year award period. The services provided under this opportunity are designed to assist in the improvement of specific projects for which access to administrative data is required to better estimate program impact, and to increase capacity for future outcomes-oriented projects.
After a highly selective application review process, Third Sector and CPI have joined with three state and local governments to develop a new big-data infrastructure for evaluating programs that aim to increase economic opportunity.
The three awardees are:
County of San Diego (CA) Health and Human Services Agency
- In San Diego, the County will use data and technical assistance from this project to support the analysis and improvement of programs and services aimed at addressing homelessness provided by the County and community-based organizations. Two critical County efforts targeting homelessness will be the subject of this effort: (1) Whole Person Wellness, funded through California’s Whole Person Care pilot effort under a Medicaid Section 1115 waiver through the state Medi-Cal program. These pilot projects are targeted to high-utilizers of multiple health care systems who continue to have poor health outcomes. Eighteen counties in the state received grants under the pilot (totaling over $3 billion over the next four years), with most targeting the homeless or near-homeless population. (2) Project One for All, a County led project designed to improve outcomes for essentially the same population via the use of supportive housing and mental health services. The County is interested in enhancing their ability to access data about program participation and outcomes, understanding the comparative effectiveness of these programs, and using the flexibility of the local program to further their use of outcomes-based contracting for providing homelessness services.
Santa Cruz (CA) County Human Services Department
- In Santa Cruz, the County will study changes in self-sufficiency for individuals who participate in subsidized employment programs under California’s Welfare-to-Work program, a component of the state Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) program (CalWORKS). Linked data will provide new evidence on outcomes after participants finish these programs. The County is developing a data system that they intend to use to greatly expand their ability to efficiently and comprehensively pay service providers based on attainment of these long-term outcomes, rather than based on caseloads or other traditional metrics. CalWORKS represents over $5 billion in annual expenditures for the state of California, and Welfare-to-Work remains a program requirement for all TANF programs nationwide. The County also seeks to learn how subsidized employment programs and other Welfare-to-Work activities under CalWORKS affect housing stability, substance abuse, and mental health.
Washington State Department of Early Learning
- In Washington, the Department of Early Learning (DEL) plans to evaluate several of its early childhood intervention programs (Nurse-Family Partnership, Parents as Teachers, and Early Support for Infants and Toddlers) in order to advance Washington’s ongoing efforts to integrate data on home visitation and other interventions with administrative data on child and family outcomes such as health and education. DEL’s aim is to leverage this data access to improve contracting, service delivery and outcomes for children and families. DEL previously completed a Pay for Success feasibility assessment with Third Sector, and has taken tremendous steps to implement the recommendations and act on the insights generated through the feasibility assessment process. Additionally, a state blue ribbon commission recently recommended re-organizing several aspects of the early childhood and youth development services in the state; the current legislation authorizing this re-organization mandates that 100% of contracts and grants for the new agency must be outcomes-based.
With new big-data capacity, each agency will be able to measure both short and long-term effects of their programs. In addition to technical assistance focused on data access, program design, and outcomes-oriented contracting, award recipients will join in a thematic learning community spanning the entire West Coast that will provide opportunities for peer development, opportunities to share emerging and best practices, and technical trainings focused on data access and analysis in order to encourage the adoption of outcomes-based, data-driven policy.
For more information, download resources from the SIF ADP Competition below:
- Application materials – Guide, Form, FAQ
- First Applicant Webinar – slides & recording
- Second Applicant Webinar – slides & recording
THIRD SECTOR CAPITAL PARTNERS leads governments, high-performing nonprofits, and private funders in building evidence-based initiatives that address society’s most persistent challenges. As experts in innovative contracting and financing strategies, Third Sector is an architect and builder of the nation’s most promising Pay for Success projects including those in Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Santa Clara County, California and Salt Lake County, Utah. These projects are rewriting the book on how governments contract for social services: funding programs that work to measurably improve the lives of people most in need while saving taxpayer dollars. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Boston, San Francisco and Washington, DC, Third Sector is supported by its work for governments and service providers as well as philanthropic and government grants.
THE STANFORD CENTER ON POVERTY AND INEQUALITY, a program of the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences at Stanford University, is a nonpartisan research center dedicated to monitoring trends in poverty and inequality, explaining what’s driving those trends, and developing science-based policy on poverty and inequality. The Center’s mission is to conduct and facilitate research on issues of domestic poverty, mobility, and inequality and to disseminate the results of this research to scholars, policy makers, and the general public. The guiding principle of the Center’s work is that research findings should be evidence-based, the result of rigorous scientific inquiry, and communicated clearly and objectively. For more information, visit inequality.stanford.edu.
THE SOCIAL INNOVATION FUND (SIF) is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the nation’s volunteer and service efforts. The SIF positions the federal government to be a catalyst for impact—using public and private resources to find and grow community-based nonprofits with evidence of results. The SIF focuses on overcoming challenges confronting low-income Americans in three areas of priority need: economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development. To learn more, visit www.nationalservice.gov/sif.