Housing & Community Development

Following the Money: Using Expenditure Analysis as an Evaluation Tool

Following the Money: Using Expenditure Analysis as an Evaluation Tool
American Journal of Evaluation, Volume 26, Number 2, 150-165.

Brecher, C., Silver, D. & Weitzman, B.C.
06/01/2005

This article describes the nature and utility of fiscal analysis in evaluating complex community interventions. Using New York University's evaluation of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Urban Health Initiative as an example, the authors describe issues arising in defining and operationalizing constructs for fiscal analysis. The approach's utility is demonstrated in the use of interim findings to help redefine the program's goals for resource allocation, to modify its theory of change to include greater emphasis on state-level action, and to emphasize the importance of local public schools as resource centers and intervention targets. The fiscal analysis also provides new insights into the limitations of "preventive" versus "corrective" spending categories and helps make goals for such functional reallocation more realistic. The authors discuss limitations of fiscal analysis due to available data quality, the extent of cooperation needed from public officials to collect relevant data, and the level of expertise needed to interpret the data.

Measuring School Performance and Efficiency: Implications for Practice and Research

Measuring School Performance and Efficiency: Implications for Practice and Research
Eye on Education: Larchmont, NY,

Stiefel, L., Rubenstein, R., Schwartz, A.E. & Zabel, J., eds.
05/30/2005

School performance and efficiency measurement have taken center stage in much of the debate and research in education policy since at least the mid-1990s. Despite the clear theoretical and practical importance of understanding the ways in which school performance can be measured, only limited research exists on alternative ways to measure how well schools are educating their students, delivering what parents want, and using resources efficiently. In this volume, the authors of eight chapters address the measurement of school performance, an issue that lies in between the study of technical characteristics of student assessments, on the one hand, and the effectiveness of accountability systems that use those assessments, on the other. Although psychometricians focus on the reliability, validity, and fairness of individual student assessments, and social scientists address whether state and local accountability systems that use those student assessments are effective ways to influence school performance, the authors of this volume consider the pros and cons of alternative measurements of school performance and efficiency, per se.

Integrating Rigor and Relevance in Public Administration Scholarship: The Contribution of Narrative Inquiry

Integrating Rigor and Relevance in Public Administration Scholarship: The Contribution of Narrative Inquiry
Public Administration Review, Vol. 65, May/June, No.3, pp. 286.

Dodge, J., Ospina, S. & Foldy, E.G.
05/01/2005

A traditional view of scholarly quality defines rigor as the application of method and assumes an implicit connection with relevance. But as an applied field, public administration requires explicit attention to both rigor and relevance. Interpretive scholars' notions of rigor demand an explicit inclusion of relevance as an integral aspect of quality. As one form of interpretive research, narrative inquiry illuminates how this can be done. Appreciating this contribution requires a deeper knowledge of the logic of narrative inquiry, an acknowledgement of the diversity of narrative approaches, and attention to the implications for judging its quality. We use our story about community-based leadership research to develop and illustrate this argument.

The Use of Logic Models by Community-Based Initiatives

The Use of Logic Models by Community-Based Initiatives
Evaluation and Program Planning 2005; 28:167-172

Kaplan, S.A. & Garrett, K.E.
03/11/2005

Many grant programs now require community-based initiatives to develop logic models as part of the application process or to facilitate program monitoring and evaluation. This paper examines three such programs to understand the benefits and challenges of using logic models to help build consensus and foster collaboration within a community coalition, strengthen program design, and facilitate internal and external communication. The paper concludes with recommendations for how to make the logic model development process more useful for community-based initiatives.

It's About Time: Catching Method Up to Meaning-The Usefulness of Narrative Inquiry in Public Administration Research

It's About Time: Catching Method Up to Meaning-The Usefulness of Narrative Inquiry in Public Administration Research
Public Administration Review, Vol. 65, No. 2, pp. 143.

Ospina, S. & Dodge, J.
03/01/2005

A traditional view of scholarly quality defines rigor as the application of method and assumes an implicit connection with relevance. But as an applied field, public administration requires explicit attention to both rigor and relevance. Interpretive scholars' notions of rigor demand an explicit inclusion of relevance as an integral aspect of quality. As one form of interpretive research, narrative inquiry illuminates how this can be done. Appreciating this contribution requires a deeper knowledge of the logic of narrative inquiry, an acknowledgement of the diversity of narrative approaches, and attention to the implications for judging its quality. We use our story about community-based leadership research to develop and illustrate this argument.

Financial Management for Public, Health, and Not-for-Profit Organizations

Financial Management for Public, Health, and Not-for-Profit Organizations
2nd Edition, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 672 pages.

Finkler, S.A.
01/01/2005

This is one of the only books available that addresses financial and managerial accounting within the framework of the three major areas of the public sector. Clear and comprehensive, Finkler's unique and accessible text provides the fundamentals of financial management for those who lack a financial background so that readers can access and apply financial information more effectively. Details the many aspects of strategic and budgetary planning. Outlines the processes involved in implementing and controlling results. Features aspects of accounting unique for Health Care, not-for-profit organizations and state and local governments. Explains balance sheets, operating and cash flow statements. Provides basic foundation for financial analysis. For managers and policy-makers in public service organizations who want to make more efficient use of their organization's financial information.

Rethinking Periodization? APD & the Macro-History of the United States

Rethinking Periodization? APD & the Macro-History of the United States
Polity 2005, Volume 37, Number 4.

Kersh, R.
01/01/2005

Dividing American history into discrete periods dates to the first European colonists in North America, several of whom variously declared their region or colony to represent a "new beginning" a "new land of Canaan," a New England, and so forth: "in the New World is born a new history," as one early sermonizer had it. (1) Soon thereafter clerics and political leaders (often the same people) lamented their fellows' fall from grace; the dichotomy of golden age and descent into depravity, of Awakening and backsliding, has been an American motif ever since. Eventually, the sweep of U.S. history was sorted on a chronological, rather than theological or eschatological, basis. For well over a century political historians have in the main hewn to a familiar temporal script.

The Redevelopment of Lower Manhattan: The Role of the City

The Redevelopment of Lower Manhattan: The Role of the City
The Contentious City: The Politics of Recovery in New York City edited by John Mollenkopf. Sage Foundation,

Moss, M.
01/01/2005

The attack on the World Trade Center reinforced a process of change in lower Manhattan that had been under way for at least the past fifty years. The public and private responses to the destruction wrought on September 11 have provided the funds, organizational capacity, and public commitment to do what a previous generation of municipal planners tried to accomplish, with only partial success: creating a mixed residential and office community in what was once New York City's dominant financial and business district. Federal aid to rebuild lower Manhattan has been the catalyst for modernizing and expanding its mass transit systems and facilities, providing low-cost financing for converting obsolete office buildings into housing, improving pedestrian movement, investing public funds in parks and cultural institutions, and subsidizing the creation of new public schools. This chapter examines the key public and private organizations that have shaped this redevelopment and the implications for the future of lower Manhattan and for office development in the rest of New York City.

Corporate – Community: Workforce Development Networks

Corporate – Community: Workforce Development Networks
Communities and Workforce Development. Kalamazoo, MI: Upjohn Institute, December

Sutton, S.A.
12/01/2004

This paper examines employer perspectives on, and needs and expectations with respect to, building and sustaining collaborations with community-based organizations, as well as the usefulness of such collaborative relationships in creating opportunities for disadvantaged job seekers. The analysis is based on the examination of eight cases that are representative of a much larger group of very active corporations engaged in developing and sustaining workforce development programs. Particular attention is given to the level of corporate involvement with CBOs, which is referred to as external or corporate connectedness; and the level of internal corporate support for and integration of workforce development practices, which is their level of cohesiveness. Based on the analyses of these cases, I conclude that firms with high levels of connectedness and cohesiveness are more likely to provide “good” jobs—jobs that provide living wages, benefits, and the potential for upward mobility. By contrast, firms with low to moderate levels of connectedness and cohesiveness are more likely to provide entry-level jobs, with fairly low wages, low job security, and little mobility. This research fine-tunes Harrison and Weiss’s (1998) thesis about the importance of networks. Though optimal networks are both cohesive and connected, if we look at workforce development collaborations from an employer perspective, external connectedness seems to matter less than internal cohesiveness in producing good jobs for disadvantaged job seekers.

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