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Improving Public ServicesInternational Experiences in Using Evaluation Tools to Measure Program Performance$
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Douglas J. Besharov, Karen J. Baehler, and Jacob Alex Klerman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190646059

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190646059.001.0001

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Welfare-to-Work Performance-based Contracts in New York City

Welfare-to-Work Performance-based Contracts in New York City

(p.231) 11 Welfare-to-Work Performance-based Contracts in New York City
Improving Public Services

Swati Desai

Lisa Garabedian

Karl Snyder

Oxford University Press

Since the TANF program changed the focus of the welfare system from cash delivery to participation in work and work-related activities, New York City’s Human Resources Administration (HRA) has used performance-based contracts to expand employment service capacity. This paper describes the use of payment milestones in these contracts, the effectiveness of these milestones, and significant changes in the contracts over several iterations from 1999 to 2013. The paper presents four key lessons learned by HRA: (1) the design of the payment milestone is critical for success; (2) technology and performance management systems are crucial; (3) contract design and management decisions must account for a variety of vendor approaches; and (4) good practice requires learning from past performance and ensuring flexibility in contracts. These lessons will help state and local governments successfully design, implement, and manage their welfare-to-work contracts to achieve desired results.

Keywords:   welfare, employment service contracts, contract performance, public–private partnership, VendorStat

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