A Selection of Recent Evaluation and Methods Publications
Summer 2014
Researchers at Joint Abt-APPAM Forum Explore New Frontiers in Evaluation
Governments and non-profits around the world are looking for ways to  identify social programs that work and replicate them broadly. The question of how to assess these programs - and the latest methods for doing so - was at the heart of a day-long forum in Washington, D.C., hosted by Abt Associates and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM).

A Randomized Controlled Trial of Professional Development for Interdisciplinary Civic Education: Impacts on Humanities Teachers and Their Students
Dennis J. Barr, Beth Boulay, Robert L. Selman, Rachel McCormick, Ethan Lowenstein, Beth Gamse, Melinda Fine & M. Brielle Leonard

Billions of dollars are spent annually on professional development (PD) for educators, yet few randomized controlled trials (RCT) have demonstrated the ultimate impact PD has on student learning. Further, while policymakers and others speak to the role schools should play in developing students' civic awareness, RCTs of PD designed to foster civic learning are rare. This randomized controlled trial contributes to the knowledge base on the effectiveness of PD designed to integrate civic learning, ethical reflection, and historical thinking skills into high school humanities courses.
How Does Public Assistance Use Affect Charitable Activity? A Tale of Two Methods
Laura R. Peck, Chau Guo

How does receiving public assistance affect an individual's charitable giving and volunteering? Using the 1994 to 2005 Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) and 2005 Center on Philanthropy Panel Study (COPPS) data, the authors use a series of comparison group and propensity score matching approaches to overcome sticky issues of selection bias and to explore this question. 

Moving to Opportunity's Impact on Health and Well-Being Among High-Dosage Participants
Shawn Moulton, Laura R. Peck, Keri-Nicole Dillman

This article reports the health impacts of the Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing Demonstration Program for the subset of participants who were most likely to spend more time in low-poverty neighborhoods. Using the methodological approach developed by Peck, we find that children whose profiles predict that they spent more time in lower-poverty neighborhoods experience higher neighborhood and housing quality, improved mental health outcomes, and better general health relative to their control-group counterparts.

17th Annual Welfare Research and Evaluation Conference
May 28-30, 2014 | Washington, D.C.

The 17th annual Welfare Research and Evaluation Conference (WREC) - hosted by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) - is a leading forum for researchers, administrators, practitioners, and program operators to discuss cutting-edge research on family self-sufficiency and social welfare programs and policies. Read more about Abt's research at WREC.

Learn more or RSVP.

Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates is regularly ranked as one of the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 international development innovators.  The company has multiple offices in the U.S. and program offices in more than 40 countries.

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