The investigator will analyze the development of six efforts of the Obama administration: home visitation, teen pregnancy prevention, the Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund, the Social Innovation Fund, the Community College Challenge Fund, and the Workforce Innovation Fund.
The Obama administration—building on steps taken during President Bush’s terms in office—has pursued policy initiatives linking program funding to research evidence of the effectiveness of the program. The magnitude and number of these initiatives is unprecedented—why and how did they come to pass? Haskins will analyze the development of six administration efforts: home visitation, teen pregnancy prevention, the Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund, the Social Innovation Fund, the Community College Challenge Fund, and the Workforce Innovation Fund. Each is intended to support the scale-up of evidence-based interventions. In instances where the research is weaker, the initiatives support rigorous evaluation of promising interventions. Haskins and his team will identify and analyze the processes through which the six have been developed, promoted, and implemented. The investigators aim to produce an accurate, in-depth description of the policymaking work involved, the role of research evidence, and the relevant political and bureaucratic contexts. The project will include a variety of federal policymakers, including officials from the Office of Management and Budget and the White House; staff at the Departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services; members of Congress; congressional committee staff; and advocates who work outside formal policymaking structures. Approximately 80 interviews will be completed. Information will also be collected from newspaper articles, congressional testimonies, hearings records, bills, committee reports, funding announcements, and other agency materials.