A service is a state- or locally-implemented intervention (treatment, program, or practice) that attempts to affect one or more outcomes (e.g. reducing recidivism or hospitalization, increasing employment).
The inventory of services collects data on all practices, treatments, and interventions administered by the state or participating local partners. MMB conducts benefit-cost analyses for those services that meet the following criteria.
A benefit-cost analysis is a systematic approach to determining the cost effectiveness of alternative services or policies by comparing expected benefits to expected costs. The comparison statistic is a benefit-cost ratio. This ratio represents anticipated benefits to state residents for every dollar in cost to deliver the service. Future benefits and costs are adjusted in recognition that a dollar today is more valuable than a dollar in the future. Colloquially, the ratio means "for every dollar invested in this service, there are X dollars in benefits."
Yes, to the extent that adequate data is available, the Results First model can differentiate between benefits realized by state, local, and federal taxpayers, participants, and other beneficiaries. The model also provides information on the estimated timing of benefits.
No, the aggregated nature of the research used to determine a level of evidence does not make this possible. The Results First Initiative combines existing research in a meta-analysis. A meta-analysis collects all existing evaluations on the service or practice and calculates an average effect size on the distinct outcome. Often the underlying studies do not have outcomes broken out by demographic groups. Because the Results First framework relies on a meta-analysis if the service is being delivered to a population that is comparable to the population served in the underlying research.
No. MMB works with the state and counties to understand if the service model applied in each jurisdiction matches the structure of services reviewed by Washington Institute of Public Policy (WSIPP), including having a similar treatment population and treatment components (e.g. dosage and duration). In cases where they do not meet these requirements or staff articulate a concern for fidelity, the service is not included in the benefit-cost analysis.
Yes. The Results First framework uses findings from multiple rigorous evaluations for each service and practice. Each of these evaluations is sophisticated in their own right, as is the process for summarizing their findings and incorporating them into the benefit-cost model. The analysis may include local evaluations, assuming they meet a set criteria of rigor.
For more information and the technical documentation visit Washington Institute of Public Policy (WSIPP): http://www.wsipp.wa.gov/BenefitCost