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PUBLICATIONS > Reports > Data Systems and Statistical Requirements for the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996, Report

Data Systems and Statistical Requirements for the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996, Report
Summary - Landmark Legislation in the Use of Statistical Data

In this paper, we explore the statistical needs for planning, monitoring, research, and evaluation that grew out of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996.

In the first section we provide a quick overview of the goals and the programs of the Act with an eye towards their implications for data collection and statistical reporting. This tells us what the Congress and the President intend to happen, but it does not tell us what will happen. We turn, therefore, in the second section to a discussion of how we think the Act's program performance standards and case management requirements, the features most closely related to data collection and statistical reporting, will be implemented. This provides us with a picture of the statistical data collection systems that will likely be in place after the implementation of the Act. This is where we must begin if we are to develop a useful data collection and analysis system.

In the third section, we go beyond the Act to discuss a number of recurring problems facing those who create statistical data systems for monitoring the effects of social programs. We also discuss some solutions to these problems. Then in the fourth section we turn to a number of specific examples of what could be done through the creative use of surveys and administrative data systems by building upon the existing systems and the opportunities provided by the new Act. In the fifth section we touch on some of the problems of resources, interagency coordination, and confidentiality that must be faced to achieve a better nation-wide system for monitoring and evaluating social program participation and the status of the least fortunate Americans.

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Data Systems and Statistical Requirements for the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996
2008/02/21 16:02:02