Assets for Independence Program Experiment, 2011-2015

Project Overview

In the fall of 2011, ACF launched a random assignment evaluation of the impact of participation in the Assets for Independence (AFI) Program on savings, savings patterns and asset purchase by low-income individuals and families at selected AFI grantee sites. The AFI Experiment builds on the previous quasi-experimental evaluation of the AFI program, as well as various studies of other non-AFI funded Individual Development Account projects. Using a random assignment design, the AFI Experiment will further understanding of the AFI program by addressing unanswered questions regarding the program's overall impact on early participant outcomes, as well as the impact of AFI program design features on these short-term outcomes. The study features random assignment of participants to a treatment or control group in two AFI grantee sites – RISE Financial Pathways in Los Angeles, CA and Prosperity Works in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In addition to the impact analysis, the evaluation also features an implementation study in each site. Sample enrollment and data collection began in early 2013 and continues into spring 2014. The Urban Institute and its partners, MEF Associates and RTI are conducting this study.

The point of contact is Erica Zielewski.