CIRE Forum: The Growing Demand for Rapid-Cycle Assessment--What Works Best and When?

May 21, 2014

Pressure to improve program performance and accountability while dealing with limited resources has led to a growing demand for rapid-cycle assessment. However, researchers conducting such assessments face a unique set of challenges that may affect their ability to evaluate programs effectively and objectively. This forum examined several approaches to rigorous rapid-cycle assessment. Our panel of experts discussed opportunities associated with this type of assessment as well as the challenges, particularly when assessing interventions that may not show immediate results.

Discussion topics included:

•Rapid and iterative performance measurement that draws on administrative data to support program improvement
•Opportunistic experiments that rely on administrative data to assess program impacts quickly and efficiently
•Factors that determine whether rapid-cycle approaches are feasible

Ann Person, CIRE's director, opened the forum, followed by introductory remarks by Andy Feldman, special advisor on the Evidence and Innovation Team at the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Our panel of experts also included:

•Naomi Goldstein, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation; Administration for Children and Families; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
•Renee Mentnech, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
•Angela Rachidi, New York City Office of Human Resources
Peter Schochet, Mathematica Policy Research
Randy Brown, Mathematica Policy Research

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