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Honadle B.W.,Office of Policy Development and Research | Zapata M.A.,Portland State University | Auffrey C.,University of Cincinnati | vom Hofe R.,University of Cincinnati | Looye J.,University of Cincinnati
Evaluation and Program Planning | Year: 2014

This article describes a developmental evaluation and explains its impact on the Stronger Economies Together (SET) initiative of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in collaboration with the Nation's four Regional Rural Development Centers and Land-Grant universities. Through a dynamic process, this evaluation of the early phases of an initiative led to continuous program alterations based on feedback. The relationship of the evaluation team to the initiative's coordinating team enabled seamless transfer of observations, suggestions, and recommendations to decision makers. The multidisciplinary character of the evaluation team provided a diverse set of perspectives with a depth of subject matter and knowledge from relevant fields. One lesson is that developmental evaluators must be flexible, nimble, creative, and adaptive. When expected data are imperfect or nonexistent, the team must collect alternate information and make recommendations to improve data collection. As the initiative proceeded and modifications came about, the evaluation team had to recognize the changes in the program and focus on different questions. This experience with developmental evaluation provides insights into how interdisciplinary teams may need to change course and conduct a developmental evaluation when a formative evaluation was originally envisioned. © 2013.

Bostic R.W.,University of the Californias | Rudd E.C.,Office of Policy Development and Research | Sternthal M.J.,Deputy director of federal affairs
Health Affairs | Year: 2012

The link between federal housing policy and public health has been understood since the nineteenth century, when housing activists first sought to abolish slums and create healthful environments. This article describes how the Obama administration-building on these efforts and those that followed, including the Great Society programs of President Lyndon Johnson-has adopted a cross-sector approach that takes health considerations into account when formulating housing and community development policy. The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development fully embraces this "health in all policies" approach. Nonetheless, the administration's strategy faces challenges, including fiscal and political ones. Some of these challenges may be overcome by conducting quality research on how housing and community development policies affect health outcomes, and by developing a federal budget strategy that takes into account how investments in one sector contribute to cost savings in another. ©2012 Project HOPE- The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.

Hyra D.S.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | Squires G.D.,George Washington University | Renner R.N.,Office of Policy Development and Research | Kirk D.S.,University of Texas at Austin
Housing Policy Debate | Year: 2013

Unsustainable high-cost lending was a major contributor to one of the worst financial crises in U.S. history. While several studies examine individual- and community-level predictors of high-cost lending, little research has tested for the possible causal effect of racial segregation. Using two-stage least squares statistical models, we find evidence that even after controlling for percentage minority, poverty, unemployment, low credit scores, home value escalation, and bank branch accessibility, black/white segregation is a significant predictor of the proportion of subprime loans originated in the largest 200 U.S. metropolitan areas. We also find that increased black education levels are important protective factors, while greater shares of mortgages originated by independent mortgage companies increase the risk for subprime lending. We find no evidence for an effect of Hispanic/white segregation on subprime lending. This research suggests that policy initiatives aimed at limiting high-cost lending should address the context of black/white segregation, education, and financial reform. © 2013 Copyright Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Carruthers J.I.,George Washington University | Hepp S.,National Association of Realtors | Knaap G.-J.,Smart USA | Renner R.N.,Office of Policy Development and Research
International Regional Science Review | Year: 2012

This article examines the ability of proportional hazard models to evaluate changes in land use through time. There are three specific objectives: (a) to review previous research on the complexity of urbanization and explain how the spatial hazard framework accommodates that complexity; (b); to estimate a series of spatial hazard models characterizing land use in the twenty-five highest growth core-based statistical areas (CBSAs) of the United States in 1990, 2000, and 2006; and (c) to use the estimation results to track land use change region-by-region over the 16-year time frame. Overall, the analysis reveals that the spatial hazard framework offers a highly effective means of describing land use change. Along the way, it also illustrates that the classic model of urbanization continues to hold in an evermore-complex world-albeit, in an explicitly uncertain and inherently probabilistic manner. © 2012 SAGE Publications.

Collinson R.A.,Office of Policy Development and Research
Housing Policy Debate | Year: 2014

This article evaluates how well the current allocation formula for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program allocates funds with respect to community development need. We assemble an index of community development need from a variety of demographic and economic indicators which capture the components of need that can be addressed directly by the CDBG program based on its statutory objectives. We use this index to estimate the relation between funding levels and community development need and how this relation has changed over time. In particular, we assess the effectiveness of targeting by examining the horizontal and vertical equity of the formula. Results suggest that the relation between the formula data inputs and community development need has deteriorated over the past two decades. The present formula is shown to underfund Formula A grantees conditional on need and to overfund a select number of high-income, slow-growth, older communities. Finally, we consider several alternative formula specifications, which we evaluate against the community development needs index. © 2014 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

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