In this commentary originally published in Route Fifty, experts from MDRC’s Center for Applied Behavioral Science and BIT North America describe how government agencies can use behavioral science to adapt policies, programs, and services during the continuing pandemic crisis.
Semistructured interviews involve an interviewer asking some prespecified, open-ended questions, with follow-up questions based on what the interviewee has to say. This Reflections on Methodology post describes a semistructured interview protocol recently used to explore how children who experience poverty perceive their situations, their economic status, and public benefit programs.
Home Visiting and Coordinated and Integrated Early Childhood Systems
Funders at all levels are investing in programs to support expectant parents and families with young children. MDRC is conducting research in that field in three areas: integrating systems of services that work together, getting families and children the right services, and building evidence about promising models.
Final Implementation and Impact Findings from the Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation-Strong Start
MIHOPE-Strong Start rigorously examined the effects of home visiting services, as provided by 66 local programs in 17 states, on outcomes such as low birth weight, preterm birth, and infant health care use. This final report details those effects as well as the services received by families in the programs.
The Center for Applied Behavioral Science (CABS) combines MDRC’s decades of experience tackling social policy issues with insights from behavioral science. This graphic explains the CABS’s approach to solving problems.
A Review of the Qualitative Literature
One in five U.S. children live in poverty. This review examines how children and parents think and feel about poverty and public benefits, as well as how families discuss their economic circumstances. Children report awareness of both material deprivation and stigma.
A Snapshot of State Efforts
The Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation-Strong Start (MIHOPE-Strong Start) aims to determine whether home visiting programs improve birth- and health-related outcomes up to age 1. This report provides a snapshot of state efforts to promote prenatal health and improve birth outcomes, including but not limited to home visiting.
The SIMPLER framework was developed for the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) project ― the first major effort to apply behavioral insights to human services programs in the United States. SIMPLER summarizes several key behavioral concepts that can guide practitioners interested in using behavioral insights to enhance service delivery.
Third Annual Report
MIHOPE-Strong Start is the largest random assignment study to date examining the effects of home visiting services on birth and health outcomes and health care use. This report describes a partial sample of 1,200 families, explores the priorities and practices of the study programs, and discusses program recruitment.
The Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation-Strong Start Second Annual Report
Policymakers have increasingly encouraged greater use of administrative data to produce timely, rigorous, and lower-cost evaluations of health and social programs. This report details MIHOPE-Strong Start’s process of acquiring administrative vital records and Medicaid data from 20 states and more than 40 state agencies to measure health, health care use, and cost outcomes.