OFA Project IMPROVE
About Project IMPROVE
Project IMPROVE, funded by the Office of Family Assistance, aims to bridge the gap between human services research and practice. Through IMPROVE, Mathematica collaborates with TANF practitioners, empowering them to incorporate research findings and methods into their work in order to better serve families in need. Specifically, Project IMPROVE works through the Learn, Innovate, Improve framework (or LI2), which includes a series of evidence-informed program improvement activities and analytic methods to help programs design, implement, and iteratively test and refine program changes. Project IMPROVE has helped programs strengthen practice areas such as leadership and supervision, coaching, science-informed goal pursuit, rapid-cycle evaluation, behavioral insights to streamline policies and procedures, and business process management.
State and local leaders who administer programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) often face challenges associated with improving their services to help lift families out of poverty. This new video, which Mathematica developed for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), depicts how a program improvement approach—known as Rapid-Cycle Evaluation—can provide program leaders with evidence about what works to improve services. With this approach, program administrators can use the data they already collect to generate timely evidence that informs service delivery by addressing the unique circumstances of TANF recipients.
In April 2020, the Baltimore City Health Department, the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED), and other officials worked together to address the sudden loss of jobs that occurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic by developing the Baltimore Health Corps (BHC), a transitional jobs program for unemployed and underemployed city residents. BHC provides unemployed residents with paid jobs as care coordinators and contact tracers. Supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Administration for Children and Families, and the Office of Family Assistance’s Project IMPROVE, Mathematica...