Full Version: Incorporate rapid-cycle evaluation into studies.
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As HUD continues to adapt its programs and seek out new and innovative ways to achieve its mission of creating strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality, affordable homes for all, it does so in a rapidly changing housing landscape. However, efforts to identify what works and why are often a complex process that can be costly, burdensome on recipients and administrators, and time consuming. In addition, the results of long-term studies often take several years to be published and disseminated, which further delays the chances of meaningful impact.

Program administrators and HUD partners in communities across the nation need much more rapid feedback on what works and what does not. They need information that can help them quickly adapt their efforts to most effectively meet the needs of the populations they are serving. Rapid-cycle evaluation (RCE), which is a series of structured tests, can provide valuable insight into whether changes to programs or operations are effective. Critically, RCE findings can be used to quickly refine program interventions or operations. Equally important, the results can be disseminated immediately to help cultivate those successful approaches, while efforts that fail to show promise can be scaled back.

HUD should consider and, where appropriate, incorporate RCE methods in its forthcoming studies. Doing so will add an important tool in the department’s efforts to meet its important mission.