Feasibility Study for the Evaluation of DHHS Programs That Are or May Be Operated Under Tribal Self-Governance. Potential Benefits of an Evaluation

03/03/2004

If an evaluation of DHHS programs that may be operated by Tribes under a new Self-Governance demonstration were to be conducted, it may have several benefits both to DHHS and to Tribes.  DHHS program managers and staff which have had responsibility for administering programs that the Tribes would manage under a demonstration would perceive an evaluation as consistent with the normal approach to assessing the effectiveness and success of any new program arrangements undertaken within the Department.  Evaluation could provide evidence that the needs of clients are being met under the new management structure, even though some aspects of the program may be different than under direct Federal program management.  In addition, results of an evaluation could provide information that would increase understanding of Tribal issues and goals among DHHS program managers and staff and the benefits and successes of Tribal Self-Governance in better meeting the unique needs of Tribal members.

Evaluation of DHHS programs managed under Tribal Self-Governance could provide useful information to Tribes, as well.  Results could provide information on “best practices” and innovative programs that could be used by other Tribes to improve services and performance in program management.  There is also the potential for the findings to demonstrate that Tribal Self-Governance is an effective method for improving services and meeting needs of individual Tribes and Tribal members that would provide support for further expansion of Self-Governance to additional DHHS and other agencies’ programs.