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State Letter #06-03

Evaluation of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) Social Services and Targeted Assistance Formula Grant Programs

Published: January 5, 2006
Categories:
Social Services
Types:
State Letter
Tags:
formula, funding

TO: STATE REFUGEE COORDINATORS
NATIONAL VOLUNTARY AGENCIES
MUTUAL ASSISTANCE ASSOCIATIONS

FROM: Nguyen Van Hanh, Ph.D.
Director
Office of Refugee Resettlement(ORR)

SUBJECT: Evaluation of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) Social Services and Targeted Assistance Formula Grant Programs

Background

In 2002, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) used its Program Assessment and Rating Tool (PART) to assess the Refugee and Entrant Assistance Program, which administers the Social Services and Targeted Assistance Formula programs. In the assessment, the following question was asked: Are independent and quality evaluations of sufficient scope conducted on a regular basis or as needed to fill gaps in performance information to support program improvements and evaluate effectiveness? Following this assessment, OMB determined that the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) does not conduct long-term, independent evaluations for the Social Service Formula and Targeted Assistance Formula Grant programs.

In response to this finding, funding was provided on a one-time basis in the FY 2004 Social Services appropriation for ORR to conduct an independent and quality evaluation. A procurement process was conducted during FY 2004. The Lewin Group was awarded a two year evaluation contract, with the Urban Institute, the National Opinion Research (NORC), and the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) assisting as sub-contractors.

Purpose and Description of Contract

The goal of the contract is to design and implement such an evaluation to determine the effectiveness of ORR employability services in the Social Services and Targeted Assistance Formula programs.

Three Sites have been chosen for evaluation: Sacramento, California, Miami, Florida and Houston, Texas. A design phase has produced a pre-tested survey instrument for interviewing refugees and a preliminary report concerning what Social Service Formula and TAG Formula Program activities are in place. The data collection instruments have been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for clearance.

A twelve month interview, data tabulation and analysis phase will be followed by final report preparation and briefing for ORR and Administration for Children and Families (ACF) staff. In addition to gathering information on program implementation and outcomes, this project will propose options for continued evaluation of ORR employability programs.

States and organizations in the selected sites are asked to assist the Lewin Group with the evaluation. Results of the study will be shared once complete. Please address questions or concerns about the evaluation or data collection to Pamela Green-Smith, Federal Project Officer at pgreensmith@acf.hhs.gov, or 202-401-4531.

Thank you for your cooperation.