White Papers, Issue Briefs, and Articles

Our white papers, issue briefs, and articles spotlight areas of improvement for social policies and programs, changing the way we see the world a little bit at a time.

White Papers, Issue Briefs, and Articles

Building and Improving Systems of Care: Key Findings From an Evaluation of the Autism CARES State Systems Grant Program

This brief presents findings from a study of the Autism CARES State Systems Grant Program grantees awarded through HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) Autism CARES Act funds. HRSA’s Autism CARES investments have one overarching goal: enable all infants, children, and adolescents who have or are at risk of developing ASD/DDs to reach their full potential by developing a system of services that includes developmental screening of children as early as possible for ASD/DDs, conducting early interdisciplinary evaluations to confirm or rule out ASD/DDs, and providing early evidence-based interventions when a diagnosis is confirmed. The study was part of a comprehensive evaluation designed to assess grantee’s effectiveness in reaching this goal by improving autism spectrum disorder service delivery nationwide. Overall, the evaluation highlighted the efforts of nearly 100 grantees who worked to conduct research, provide professional training, and improve comprehensive coordinated State systems of care for people with autism spectrum disorder.

Building the Evidence Base: Key Findings From an Evaluation of the Autism CARES Research Program

This brief presents findings from a study of the Autism CARES Research Program grantees awarded through HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) Autism CARES Act funds. HRSA’s Autism CARES investments have one overarching goal: enable all infants, children, and adolescents who have or are at risk of developing ASD/DDs to reach their full potential by developing a system of services that includes developmental screening of children as early as possible for ASD/DDs, conducting early interdisciplinary evaluations to confirm or rule out ASD/DDs, and providing early evidence-based interventions when a diagnosis is confirmed. The study was part of a comprehensive evaluation designed to assess grantee’s effectiveness in reaching this goal by improving autism spectrum disorder service delivery nationwide. Overall, the evaluation highlighted the efforts of nearly 100 grantees who worked to conduct research, provide professional training, and improve comprehensive coordinated State systems of care for people with autism spectrum disorder.

Understanding Bayesian Statistics: Frequently Asked Questions and Recommended Resources

Bayesian methods are emerging as the primary alternative to p-values, with advantages over the traditional frequentist framework. This guide is intended for readers who wish to better understand or employ Bayesian statistical approaches. Authored by Rachel Holzwart, Hilary Sama, and Debra Wright, it provides short answers to four common questions about Bayesian methods and provides a curated list of resources (including journal articles, book chapters, online courses, and blogs) for further reading.

Bayesian Methods for Social Policy Research and Evaluation

OPRE’s 2017 Methods Meeting on Bayesian methods encouraged attendees to think critically about commonly used statistical methods and approaches. The meeting introduced Bayesian methods as an alternative to support evaluation design and analysis and decisionmaking. This brief, authored by Rachel Holzwart and Debra Wright, summarizes key discussion topics from that meeting. It describes the advantages and disadvantages of Bayesian methods, Bayesian model building and evaluation, examples of Bayesian applications in the field, and how social policy researchers and stakeholders can use Bayesian methods to better support decisionmaking.