Urban Institute
Principal Policy Associate, Research to Action Lab and Justice Policy Center; Managing Director, Pay for Success Initiative
Urban Institute
Senior Research Associate

Urban announces two additional recipients of PFS data TA awards

August 29, 2017 - 2:17pm

We are pleased to announce two new sites have been selected to receive training and technical assistance services (TTA) through the Urban Institute’s Pay for Success Administrative Data (PFS-AD) grant through funding awarded in 2016 from the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Social Innovation Fund. This is a second round of PFS-AD awards, building on awards announced in early 2017.

Yakima Valley Conference of Governments (YVCOG) of Yakima Valley, WA, facilitates community development by providing technical services to multi-jurisdictional programs. They are developing a PFS project in the area of early childhood education, and have been exploring interventions that mitigate adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). As Larry Mattson, Executive Director of YVCOG stated, “I sometimes use the metaphor of airplanes and air traffic control when describing where we are as far as data and PFS. My sense is that all the component parts of a strong dataset needed to support a PFS contract are in figurative flight around us. What’s needed is an air traffic controller to identify all the planes.” YVCOG is currently receiving strategic planning support from Urban’s Pay for Success Initiative, to help identify promising interventions to pursue through a PFS model.

The second site, Connecticut Health & Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA), is a quasi‐public agency that issues tax‐exempt bonds to health care organizations, educational and cultural institutions, and childcare organizations. The goal of their PFS project is to reduce inappropriate emergency department use by adults with chronic mental health and addiction issues by establishing Community Care Teams in all Connecticut hospitals. They expect the project to lead to significant reductions in emergency department Medicaid costs. CHEFA faces several data challenges, including evaluating outcomes while navigating HIPAA and patient privacy concerns, accessing historical patient data, and working with data across state government agencies.

Over the next two years, Urban will provide TTA to the current group of four PFS-AD sites on the spectrum of data issues related to PFS, in an effort to move projects from planning to implementation using the most rigorous methods possible. This includes tackling the many barriers that have slowed or complicated past PFS efforts, including identifying where data live and how to access them; navigating complex legal and regulatory requirements around data sharing; establishing data-sharing agreements and exchanging data securely; linking and cleaning administrative data; and analyzing data to inform PFS project development. A goal of this work is to help jurisdictions build local capacity to share and use data for PFS projects, as well as for general program development and evaluation.


The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) was a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service that received funding from 2010 to 2016. Using public and private resources to find and grow community-based nonprofits with evidence of results, SIF intermediaries received funding to award subgrants that focus on overcoming challenges in economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development. Although CNCS made its last SIF intermediary awards in fiscal year 2016, SIF intermediaries will continue to administer their subgrant programs until their federal funding is exhausted.  

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