This chapter compiles summaries of 173 studies for which reports were issued during the year ending September 30, 2008. Each entry consists of a title posing the central question addressed in the study, a brief synopsis, and key findings. Each study is identified under one of the sixteen critical objectives comprising the Department’s Strategic Goals, shown in Appendix B. For studies carried out by a particular agency or office see Appendix E. All earlier studies and entries for ongoing studies can be found at http://aspe.hhs.gov/pic/performance. Appendix F provides additional guidance on how to obtain more information about these and other studies.
Some studies result in definitive results; others raise as many questions as they answer. Most are concerned with our need to better understand the public programs for which we are responsible. Wide availability of information strengthens agency and program operations, guides management, and drives policy advice. Every effort has been made to communicate information about this body of work as clearly, concisely, and effectively as possible. Most importantly, this report reflects our accountability to the public for the programs we administer.
During Fiscal Year 2008, evaluations examined important management, operational, policy, and factual circumstances faced by programs. These evaluations employed a wide range of methods, including literature reviews, focus groups, surveys, micro-simulation analyses, field visits, and case studies. Some were carried out by agency staff; most were completed with the assistance of contract support expertise; all reflect an intense, creative and collaborative effort.