Agenda, Scope, and Goals
TANF Data Innovation (TDI) has the following key strategies:
Nationwide needs assessment survey and input from key stakeholders: Completed in 2019 to understand the capacity of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs to analyze data used for the purposes of program improvement, monitoring, and evidence-building. It also provided insights into agency capacity and identified priority areas for training and technical assistance.
TANF Data Collaborative Framework: Developed and organized instructional content based on five key phases of data analytics projects: laying the groundwork for project work, accessing data, preparing data, analyzing data, and communicating data and findings.
TANF Program-Facing Technical Assistance:
- The Applied Data Analytics course: Adapted by the Coleridge Initiative from a previous curriculum. It guided TANF staff in developing key data science skills and, in addition, provided access to linked administrative data from both TANF and workforce agencies.
- TANF Data Collaborative Pilot: Provided funding, training, and technical assistance to eight state/county TANF agencies that were selected through a competitive process during a 30-month research project.
- Wide range of training and technical assistance: Offered monthly workshops timed to address pilot data analytics project activities. Topics included how to identify and prevent data quality errors, how to measure employment stability and advancement, how to interpret the results from common research designs, and how to build and analyze files that reflect the trajectories of families receiving TANF.
Building Federal Capacity (FedCap): Increased federal staff capacity to address the quality, use, and analysis of data within the federal Office of Family Assistance’s TANF Data Division by providing a range of data technical assistance services.
The TANF Employment Project (TEP): Focused on improving the TANF data infrastructure to enable evidence-building by developing a TANF longitudinal data file and an integrated TANF and earnings file using data from the National Directory of New Hires (NDNH).
- Unemployment Insurance Wage Toolkit: Includes tools for TANF agencies, and other human services staff, for use in linking administrative data to wage data from state departments of labor.
- Sustaining Analytics Toolkit: Includes tools and guidance for TANF agencies, and other human services staff, for use in building data analytics capacity that lasts beyond the defined life of a single project.
- Videos, publications, and conferences: Shared findings and lessons in a variety of ways including at conferences hosted by federal agencies, as well as those hosted by national organizations, with TANF administrators and staff in attendance.