2015 - 2025
The Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) project demonstrated that applying insights from behavioral science to challenges facing human services programs can improve program operations and outcomes at relatively low cost. The Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency-Next Generation (BIAS-NG) project continues ACF’s exploration of the application of behavioral science to the programs and target populations of ACF. This Next Generation project — led by MDRC in collaboration with Lawrence Katz of Harvard University, Marianne Bertrand of the University of Chicago, Judd Kessler of the University of Pennsylvania, MEF Associates, Child Trends, and Public Strategies — is building on the activities and lessons of BIAS in several important ways, including:
- Working with additional ACF programs, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), child welfare, and Head Start programs, to help them deliver services more efficiently and effectively
- Going beyond behavioral “nudges,” or subtle and modest changes to programs (such as altering messaging in letters to clients), to consider redesigning agency processes or changing the way staff interact with clients
- Collecting additional information about interventions through, for example, implementation research to better understand how and why the interventions work or do not work
BIAS-NG is currently designing and testing behavioral interventions in partnership with TANF, child welfare, and Head Start programs. TANF interventions focus on improving recipient engagement in welfare-to-work programs. For child welfare, BIAS-NG is focusing on goals that include increasing the supply of qualified foster care placements and engaging families in services that help families remain intact, reunify, or lead to other, permanent placements for children. In Head Start, the project is collaborating with two grantees within one county on behavioral diagnosis and design activities targeting parent engagement. Current sites include:
- Child welfare
- Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
- Los Angeles County, California
- Los Angeles County, California
- Monroe County, New York
- Washington State
- Head Start
- Wayne County, Michigan
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Point(s) of contact: Victoria Kabak and Kim Clum
This study has registered the following impact evaluation on the AEA Randomized Control Trials (RCT) Registry:
Impact evaluations in the project’s other sites will be registered in the future.
Multiple site-specific information collections related to this project have been reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs under OMB #0970-0502. Related materials are available at the BIAS NG Information collection page on RegInfo.gov Visit disclaimer page .
The most currently approved documents are accessible by clicking on the ICR Ref. No. with the most recent conclusion date. To access the information collections (e.g. interviews, surveys, protocols), click on View Information Collection (IC) List. Click on View Supporting Statement and Other Documents to access other supplementary documents.