Performance Partnership Pilots will test the notion that additional flexibility for States, localities, and Tribes to pool funds and obtain waivers of certain programmatic requirements can help them overcome some of the significant hurdles they may face in improving outcomes for disconnected youth. If this hypothesis proves true, providing necessary and targeted flexibility to ameliorate these hurdles will help to achieve significant benefits for disconnected youth, the communities that serve them, and the agencies and partners involved. Successful pilots will increase the rate at which disconnected youth achieve success on educational, employment, well-being and other key outcomes and may also decrease the rate at which youth disconnect. Mechanisms for success may include:
- Strategies that are responsive to State and community needs and strengths: Pilots will provide communities the freedom to innovate and test promising strategies that address priorities identified through a data-driven needs assessment and capitalize on a community’s assets. Stakeholder responses to the Administration’s 2012 RFI provide examples of community needs.
- Cost-effective innovations that improve systems coordination and service delivery: Careful implementation of evidence-based and promising practices, combined with effective governance structures, aligned outcomes and performance measures, and more efficient and integrated data systems may produce better outcomes per dollar by driving resources toward what works and away from unproductive practices.
- Use of data and evidence for learning and improvement: Pilots may demonstrate how strong data infrastructure, performance measurement based on indicators of success, and longer-term evaluation can equip local decision-makers to achieve better outcomes. In addition, pilots will build valuable knowledge that can benefit similar communities and populations.
- Meaningful accountability for outcomes: Pilots may demonstrate more efficient and relevant methods for ensuring accountability by focusing on the achievement of outcomes for disconnected youth and by reducing inefficiency associated with compliance-based reporting that would otherwise be required.
Taken together, pilots with these characteristics could ultimately serve as models for how Federal, State, local and tribal governments can utilize their resources for improved impact, in sustainable ways, which potentially could be applied to other program areas in the future.