Tribal Self-Governance Health Care and Social Services Delivery Effectiveness Evaluation Feasibility Study: Brief Description of Study


The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, DHHS, has funded a one-year project to assemble background information and to assess the availability of data and the feasibility of conducting an evaluation of the effectiveness and impacts of tribally-managed health and socials services programs by Self-Governing Tribes. The primary tasks that will be conducted by Westat and its subcontractors, Project HOPE and Kauffman and Associates, Inc., include:

  • Compilation and synthesis of background information and existing research on the legislative history, experience, and effectiveness of tribally-managed programs, including identification of gaps in the research and limitations of previous studies.
  • Identification of a sample group of Self-Governance Tribes that meet specific criteria, management and data capabilities sufficient to support an evaluation of Tribally-managed programs, and indicating an interest in/willingness to participate in an evaluation.
  • Identification of likely research questions for an evaluation and the data that would be required to address each question.
  • Assessment of data availability, completeness, and comparability for Tribally-managed programs, relative to data that are available from Federal and State agencies that provide services to non Self-Governance Tribes.
  • Consultation and ongoing communication with Tribal leaders and Tribal organizations in designing, conducting, and reviewing findings of the feasibility study.

A Technical Working Group (TWG), consisting of Tribal leaders, directors of Tribally-managed programs, representatives of Tribal organizations, and knowledgeable researchers and data experts will advise the project on key issues and review interim and final project findings.

This study grew out of the experience of DHHS’ participation in the Federal-Tribal consultation on Title VI of P.L. 106-260 that mandated a study of the feasibility of conducting a demonstration of Tribal Self-Governance of non-IHS programs. Since evaluation would be a part of such a demonstration, and since there has been no comprehensive quantitative evaluation of Tribally-managed health programs, the current study will provide information relevant to the possible conduct of an evaluation of Tribal Self-Governance of either health or social services programs, or both.