Reports and Publications

Each of Insight’s products is designed to convey complex information clearly, effectively, and concisely, particularly to nontechnical audiences. Our reports and other publications are tailored to ensure research evidence informs public policy and program implementation. We aim to exceed client expectations with every product delivered.

Reports and Publications

Evaluation of the Impact of Wave 1 Enhancement Demonstrations on Participation in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP): 2011

This report evaluated four statewide, multiyear demonstrations to test new innovative strategies to increase participation in the Summer Food Service Program. The demonstrations included (1) incentives to extend the duration of program operations, (2) funding for educational or recreational activities at summer sites, (3) the provision of noncongregate meal delivery in rural areas, and (4) backpack food packages for weekend and holiday use. The study team used administrative data from participating states to assess the effectiveness of the demonstrations. Key outcome measures include the total number of meals served and the total number of children served (as measured by average daily attendance, or ADA). Additional outcome measures include the number of backpacks or meals delivered. This report also presents findings from a sample of non-demonstration sites that served as comparison sites to examine the effectiveness of the demonstrations.

WIC Food Package Costs: FY 2014

This report describes the food package costs for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) by participant category, food package type, and WIC-eligible food category in fiscal year (FY) 2014. Data sources included (1) FY 2014 FNS administrative data, (2) WIC Participant and Program Characteristics 2014 data, (3) Food Package III cost data, and (4) Information Resources, Inc., household purchase data.

Feasibility of Revising the SNAP Quality Control Review Process

This report assessed the feasibility of revising the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Quality Control (QC) system from the current two-tier state and federal process to a one-tier federal-only system. The data for this feasibility study were obtained from a comprehensive environmental scan, site visits with SNAP QC officials in three states, interviews with federal staff from the Food and Nutrition Service and other agencies, interviews with subject matter experts, and administrative cost data.

Enhancing Completion Rates for SNAP Quality Control Reviews

This report identifies factors contributing to incomplete Quality Control (QC) reviews of active Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) cases, identifies best practices associated with high completion rates, and makes recommendations to the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and states for improving SNAP QC completion rates. Data collection methods include (1) web and telephone surveys of state and federal QC staff in all states and FNS regions, (2) semistructured in-person interviews and case file reviews with six states and two FNS Regional Offices, (3) collection and analysis of administrative data, (4) an assessment of the state and federal SNAP QC review processes, and (5) field rereviews of incomplete QC cases in three states.

Measuring the Cost of a Thrifty Food Plan in Puerto Rico

In response to a Congressional Directive, USDA commissioned the Measuring the Cost of a Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) in Puerto Rico study. The purpose of the study was to provide USDA with options for measuring the cost of a TFP in Puerto Rico. To identify options, Insight conducted an environmental scan, convened an expert study group, conducted interviews with subject matter experts, and synthesized information across sources. The report describes the final options, along with each option’s advantages and disadvantages, as well as cost and timeline to implement.

Puerto Rico SNAP Feasibility Study

This report assessed the feasibility and potential effects of providing nutrition assistance to Puerto Rico under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program instead of through its Nutritional Assistance Program (NAP), an annually funded block grant. Specifically, it examined the potential impact of such a transition on eligibility standards, benefit determination, operational procedures, administrative burden, and costs to the U.S. Government and the Government of Puerto Rico. Study methods included a document review; semistructured interviews with Puerto Rico NAP staff and other stakeholders, such as NAP participants; a microsimulation model; and a cost assessment.

Examine the Feasibility of Using GIS Data to Catalog a Representative Sample of Food Deserts and Characteristics of the SNAP Households Residing There

This study demonstrates the practicality of using geographic information system (GIS) tools to catalog Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households residing in areas with limited access to healthy foods (food deserts) and ultimately to describe the characteristics of these households. The goal was to enable FNS to identify food deserts as they relate to SNAP households and better understand SNAP households’ ability to access SNAP certified retailers. Such access often is compromised in low-income areas where corner stores, convenience stores, and fast-food restaurants may outnumber or take the place of supermarkets and other food retailers that offer a variety of healthy foods. This study recommends a plan for implementing a pilot study of this food desert catalog (in one or two metropolitan areas) and provides recommendations for expanding the pilot study to include a representative number of states throughout the United States. Data included environmental scans of relevant data sources and GIS and other tools to identify available mechanisms for geocoding, distance calculations, and data linkage. The project evaluated their respective advantages and limitations both as independent tools and in combination with other tools or data sources.

Direct Certification With Medicaid for Free and Reduced-Price Meals

This report examines the impact of using Medicaid data to certify students for free and reduced-price meals in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). Topics include (1) the processes states use to conduct the direct certification matches; (2) estimates of the state’s  costs of matching; (3) the potential for Medicaid matches to reach students not currently receiving free or reduced-price meals under NSLP and SBP; and (4) the effects of using Medicaid data to certify students on school meal participation, federal reimbursement costs, and state administrative costs. Qualitative data were collected via semistructured interviews with state and school district staff; cost data and schools meals administrative data were collected from participating state agencies.

National Evaluation of HUD’s ConnectHome Initiative

In this final report, Insight summarizes findings associated with the National Evaluation of ConnectHome, a collaborative effort of communities, the federal government, and the private sector to bring high-speed internet access to low-income families in HUD-assisted housing. This multipronged evaluation had 3 primary components: a baseline access survey, which assessed the baseline level of internet access among families with children in 22 pilot communities prior to implementing the initiative; a telephone follow-up survey, which assessed how and for what purposes residents used the internet; and case studies of participating communities including 3 focus groups per community to probe further how internet access affected residents’ lives. Results indicate that before receiving ConnectHome services, many residents connected to the internet only through a cell phone data plan and faced data limits that constrained their online activities. ConnectHome expanded the ability of these households to use the internet. After receiving ConnectHome services, residents reported many benefits to increased access, including helping their children do better in school; enhancing connection to family, friends, and community; and making it easier for them to find and apply  for employment.

Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services 2019 Annual Report

The Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services—known as DACOWITS—delivers to the U.S. Department of Defense advice and recommendations on policies related to the recruitment, retention, treatment, employment, integration, and well-being of the highly qualified professional women in the U.S. Armed Forces. In 2018 Insight collected and analyzed data from focus groups with hundreds of military service members, conducted several literature reviews, and compiled findings from a wide array of data sources to inform eight topic areas.

Authored by Insight’s military and veteran support team, the DACOWITS’s 2019 Annual Report presents key research findings and 16 recommendations to advise the Secretary of Defense on the following topics: conscious and unconscious gender bias, improving female retention, variance in women’s retention at senior levels with emphasis on race/ethnicity, physical fitness tests, women in ships, Marine Corps recruit training, childcare resources, domestic abuse affecting servicewomen, breastfeeding and lactation support, pregnancy policies, women’s reintegration, and maternity uniforms.