Third Sector and AISP Partner with Five Governments to Improve Outcomes for Vulnerable Families and Children

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Program Will Leverage Data to Evaluate Impact and Promote Services that Measurably Improve Lives

Local and state governments collect vast amounts of information in the course of delivering social services to children and their families. Unfortunately, many government agencies are unable to use that valuable data to assess program impact and improve quality. This is because data are rarely connected across agencies and almost never used to allocate government spending. In the absence of integrated data and outcomes-oriented contracting, governments struggle to make good decisions about how to spend tax dollars or engage in the continuous improvement required to truly make a difference in people’s lives.

With the support of a 2016 Social Innovation Fund grant of $2.4 million over three years, Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc. (“Third Sector”) and Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy (“AISP”) at the University of Pennsylvania will provide five governments with the technical assistance to develop both Integrated Data Systems (IDS) and a flexible, scalable contracting model based on measurable outcomes. This effort is an important first step in transforming these governments’ capacity to target valuable resources to serve the two-generation needs of vulnerable children and families.

“We are proud to launch this innovative effort with AISP to harness the power of data and provide governments the opportunity to develop outcomes-driven programs that have a measurable, positive impact. These governments have shown vision and commitment to improving program evaluation, policy analysis capacity, and outcomes contracting affecting thousands of families in need,” said Caroline Whistler, CEO of Third Sector Capital Partners.

Following a two-pronged approach, AISP will support each community in developing a sustainable IDS infrastructure for program evaluation, policy analysis, and systems reform while Third Sector will work with the communities to leverage their data insights to develop new outcomes contracts that will direct resources to programs that deliver measurable results.

The five awardees are:

  •     Children’s Services Council (CSC) of Broward County, Florida
  •     Colorado Department of Higher Education
  •     Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC)
  •     Iowa Department of Human Rights
  •     North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

The cohort represents a variety of agencies all working to improve upon their efforts to best support the wellbeing of families and children. To learn more about the cohort, please visit http://www.thirdsectorcap.org/youth-development-competition.

“AISP is eager to collaborate with Third Sector to deliver customized technical assistance to these state and local governments striving to realize the enormous potential of integrated data to inform policy and practice. By developing shared governance structures, foundational legal agreements, and the technology necessary to securely link data across domains, these jurisdictions will transform their capacity for program evaluation, outcomes-based contracting, and continuous quality improvement,” said Dennis Culhane, Co-founder and Faculty Director of AISP.

The five awardees, along with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and King County, Washington, will also participate in a national Learning Community, providing a peer support network to exchange best practices, brainstorm solutions to common challenges, and connect with leading experts in the field.

“This effort between Third Sector and AISP is an important step towards helping government to allocate resources to data-driven programs that improve outcomes for families and children. By supporting this opportunity, we continue to support evidence-based public policy,” explained Lois Nembhard, Acting Director of the Social Innovation Fund.

About Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc.
Third Sector leads governments, high-performing nonprofits, and private funders in building evidence-based initiatives that address society’s most persistent challenges. As experts in innovative contracting and financing strategies, Third Sector is an architect and builder of the nation’s most promising Pay for Success projects including those in Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Santa Clara County, California and Salt Lake County, Utah. These projects are rewriting the book on how governments contract for social services: funding programs that work to measurably improve the lives of people most in need while saving taxpayer dollars. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Boston, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, Third Sector is supported by its work for governments and service providers as well as philanthropic and government grants. To learn more, visit http://www.thirdsectorcap.org.

About Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy (AISP) at the University of Pennsylvania
AISP aims to encourage social innovation and social policy experimentation so state and local governments can work better, smarter and faster. Since 2009, AISP has focused on developing the capacities of new and existing IDS sites, demonstrating uses of IDS for policy and program reform, and identifying opportunities for innovation within the field of IDS. AISP’s current network of mature IDS sites comprise over 26% of the US population and continue to produce ground-breaking social science research and document best practices for the field. AISP is committed to amplifying their impact and providing consultation, training, and technical assistance to new sites eager to harness the power of integrated data. To learn more, visit http://www.aisp.upenn.edu/.

About the Social Innovation Fund
The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) was a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service that received funding from 2010 to 2016. Using public and private resources to find and grow community-based nonprofits with evidence of results, SIF intermediaries received funding to award subgrants that focus on overcoming challenges in economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development. Although CNCS made its last SIF intermediary awards in fiscal year 2016, SIF intermediaries will continue to administer their subgrant programs until their federal funding is exhausted.

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