Informing the Tribal Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) 2.0 Evaluation Design: A Brief Review of the Literature

Publication Date: November 3, 2017

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Research Questions

  1. What are the protocols and guidelines for conducting research in AI/AN communities, as established by tribes?
  2. What approaches are most appropriate or promising in conducting evaluations of interventions involving AI/AN populations?
  3. What recruitment, orientation, and retention strategies, capacity building efforts, and career pathways models have been used or implemented at tribal colleges and universities or educational programs serving tribal populations?

This report summarizes:

  • the findings from a review of the literature on tribal research oversight,
  • approaches to conducting evaluations in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities, and
  • strategies and models used to implement programs similar to the Tribal Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) 2.0 Program.

Additionally, this report describes how the findings from the literature review have informed the Tribal HPOG 2.0 evaluation design.

The Tribal HPOG 2.0 program supports demonstration projects that provide TANF recipients and other low-income individuals with the opportunity to obtain education and training for occupations in the healthcare field that pay well and are expected to either experience labor shortages or be in high demand. NORC at the University of Chicago is leading a comprehensive implementation and outcome evaluation of the Tribal HPOG 2.0 Program.


The purpose of the literature review was twofold:

  1. to assess what is known about conducting research and evaluation in AI/AN communities, and
  2. to gather information about implementation and evaluation of other programs in AI/AN communities that are similar to HPOG.

Key Findings and Highlights

The results of the literature review provide important context related to research oversight and approvals needed to conduct research in AI/AN communities, the impact of historical trauma on research in AI/AN communities, and strategies and approaches used when conducting research in AI/AN communities.

AI/AN communities often have established research review processes, including review by Tribal Institutional Review Boards or review panels, or have developed research codes as part of their tribal laws. Additionally, given the history of unethical research practices in AI/AN communities, researchers should be careful to implement research methods that address the concerns of the study participants at each stage of the project. These results broaden the evaluation team’s understanding of the history of evaluation in tribal communities and inform the evaluation team’s approach for engagement and collaboration with the Tribal HPOG 2.0 grantees and other stakeholders throughout the design and implementation of the evaluation.

The results related to post-secondary education, capacity building, and career pathways provide information about how programs similar to HPOG have been implemented in AI/AN communities, which inform evaluation methods and strategies. Specifically, these findings helped to validate strategies and topics included in the evaluation of Tribal HPOG 2.0 programs.


The Tribal HPOG 2.0 evaluation team developed a set of search terms for each of the priority areas and used Google Scholar to conduct searches using the priority area, accompanying search terms, and the following terms: Tribal, Native American, and American Indian/Alaska Native. Results were limited to literature published between 1996 and 2016 (the period immediately following the creation of TANF). The evaluation team reviewed up to the first 200 results for each search. Articles related to international populations were excluded. Ultimately, 159 articles were included in the literature review.


Meit, M., Hafford, C., Fromknecht, C., Phillips, E., Miesfeld, N., Nadel, T. (2017). Informing the Tribal Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) 2.0 Evaluation Design: A Brief Review of the Literature, OPRE Report 2017-62, Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


American Indian/Alaska Native
Health Profession Opportunity Grants
tribal colleges and universities
Current as of: