Selected RTI Projects
Evaluation of the 1981 AFDC Amendments
This study was undertaken in response to concern about the impact of changes in AFDC policy implemented by the Reagan administration. Sponsored by the Office of Family Assistance and directed by Dr. Usher, it was based on a longitudinal assessment of a national probability sample of 1,620 AFDC cases. The study was the first in a series of evaluations of the amendments and its results were widely reported by the national media. Related publication:
Griffith, J.D. & Usher, C.L. (1986). A quasi-experimental assessment of the national impact of the 1981 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) on the Aid to Families with Dependent Children Program. Evaluation Review, 10, 313-332.
Coproduction in the Food Stamp Program
With grants from the Food and Nutrition Service of USDA, several states explored new methods for reducing fraud, waste, and abuse in the Food Stamp Program. An evaluation and technical assistance team led by Dr. Usher evaluated the cost-effectiveness of demonstration projects in New Mexico, Philadelphia, North Carolina, and other states. Using multivariate categorical data analysis techniques, the team also developed the first “error-prone profiles” to target error reduction efforts in state Food Stamp Programs across the country. Related publication:
Usher, C.L. and Duncan, D.F. (1985). Integrating analysis and management to control errors in the Food Stamp Program,” Public Productivity Review, 9, 49-61.
Long-Term Participation in the Food Stamp Program
Dependence on public assistance is a long-standing concern. With funding from the Food and Nutrition Service and using data obtained from state agencies in Alabama and the State of Washington, Dr. Usher and his research team identified patterns of participation in the Food Stamp Program. An important contribution of this research was the development of a method for estimating cumulative allotment costs for households with different patterns of participation. Related publication:
Usher, C.L., Koo, H.P. & Gogan, H.C. (1991). Making the most of E&T [Employment and Training in the Food Stamp Program],” Public Welfare 49, 27-33.
Evaluation of the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
Low-income American Indians living on or near reservations have the option of participating in the Food Stamp Program or a commodity distribution program. In addition to studying the design and operation of local programs on more than 30 reservations, the study team led by Dr. Usher conducted lengthy interviews with 757 program participants. The multistage, stratified sample of programs and participants was designed to be nationally representative and interviews were completed with more than 90% of the original sample of participants. Related publication:
Shanklin, D.S., Usher, C.L. & Wildfire, J.B. (1992). Nutrition education needs and services among American Indians participating in a federal food assistance program. Journal of Nutrition Education, 24, 298-305.