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Technical Assistance and Support

Designing and implementing successful performance partnerships will require significant expertise in a variety of areas. For examples, State, communities, and Tribes, as well as Federal agencies, may need help:

  • Conducting a data-driven needs assessment to discern disparities in outcomes of different subpopulations and understand the primary factors that may be contributing to those disparities.
  • Analyzing the requirements, processes, and reporting associated with individual programs to determine which are valuable or essential and which are unnecessary or counter-productive.
  • Facilitating cross-sector and intergovernmental collaboration to build a shared vision, common objectives and aligned outcome metrics, and an efficient and effective implementation strategy to support them.
  • Creating fair, objective, disciplined processes for using data and evidence to manage performance, make course corrections, and allocate resources.
  • Identifying strong outcomes or interim measures that demonstrate meaningful impact.
  • Establishing the data infrastructure, data-sharing protocols, and efficient processes for protecting privacy that will ensure that decision-makers have access to reliable data at frequent intervals.
  • Reviewing available research findings about what approaches have worked well under similar conditions and what factors contributed to successful implementation.
  • Analyzing performance data for existing programs and providers to identify high performers that should be given continued or additional responsibilities in the pilot.
  • Designing low-cost evaluations that can be embedded within program operations to compare the impact of different approaches in improving outcomes.
  • Creating new types of performance agreements that ensure accountability by focusing on outcomes achieved, and key indicators of progress, which can be used to determine whether the pilot is on track or corrective actions are needed.

Much of this expertise is highly decentralized and not easily accessible to State, local, and tribal jurisdictions that may be interested in pursuing pilots. The Federal agencies will address this by:

  • Soliciting input through an external consultation process and letters of interest about what types of technical assistance would be most helpful.
  • Identifying expertise and technical assistance resources that the Federal government is uniquely qualified to provide.
  • Identifying external experts that can share their knowledge and external websites that provide useful information that may enhance the strength of a pilot application.
  • Identifying external partners that, where appropriate, can facilitate knowledge transfer through convenings, webinars, or facilitating partnerships with academics and other experts who can provide hands-on assistance.

To begin this work, Federal agencies that serve on the Interagency Forum for Disconnected Youth:

  • Will conduct webinars in late April to discuss the Administration’s plans for Performance Partnership Pilots. Details of the webinars will be announced by the Federal agencies’ Web sites and listservs.
  • Will assemble on youth.gov useful information on evidence-based programs and policies for disconnected youth, existing collaborative projects, and valuable planning tools.

In addition, the Federal agencies have identified some initial private sector resources below. The Federal agencies do not endorse these, or any other specific private-sector resources, but are providing this information as a service to potential grantees.

Organization Website
Opportunity Youth Network http://aspencommunitysolutions.org/the-fund/opportunity-youth-network/
Promise Neighborhoods Institute http://www.promiseneighborhoodsinstitute.org/
CLASP http://www.clasp.org/issues/youth/topics/pathways-to-reconnection
MDRC http://www.mdrc.org/issue/disconnected-youth
Ready by 21 http://www.readyby21.org/
National Youth Employment Coalition (NYEC) http://www.nyec.org/
Jobs for the Future http://www.jff.org/
American Youth Policy Forum http://www.aypf.org/
YOUmedia Network http://youmedia.org/

Key questions for stakeholders:

  • What specific challenges will States, communities and Tribes face in planning and implementing effective pilots that could be addressed through technical assistance?
  • What expertise is the Federal government uniquely qualified to provide?
  • What external organizations and experts are most knowledgeable and can offer solutions to address these needs and challenges?
  • What philanthropic and other private sector organizations can help finance or facilitate knowledge transfer?