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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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The SSRC Library includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Anzelone, Caitlin; Dechausay, Nadine; Alemany, Xavier
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    The Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) project conducted 15 randomized controlled trials of behavioral interventions across eight states, in the domains of work support, child support, and child care. BIAS used a systematic approach called “behavioral diagnosis and design” to develop the interventions and their associated materials. This process involved identifying problems that were appropriate for behavioral interventions, diagnosing the underlying behavioral reasons for each problem, designing interventions, and conducting rigorous tests to determine whether the interventions improved outcomes. The Behavioral Interventions Materials Compendium contains all of the written materials that the project designed and tested as part of those interventions. The compendium is arranged by program area domain, site/agency, and type of intervention. Each section begins with a one-page summary of the particular intervention that was implemented, followed by a list of the printed materials for that intervention and copies of the materials themselves. (Author...

    The Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) project conducted 15 randomized controlled trials of behavioral interventions across eight states, in the domains of work support, child support, and child care. BIAS used a systematic approach called “behavioral diagnosis and design” to develop the interventions and their associated materials. This process involved identifying problems that were appropriate for behavioral interventions, diagnosing the underlying behavioral reasons for each problem, designing interventions, and conducting rigorous tests to determine whether the interventions improved outcomes. The Behavioral Interventions Materials Compendium contains all of the written materials that the project designed and tested as part of those interventions. The compendium is arranged by program area domain, site/agency, and type of intervention. Each section begins with a one-page summary of the particular intervention that was implemented, followed by a list of the printed materials for that intervention and copies of the materials themselves. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Richburg-Hayes, Lashawn; Anzelone, Caitlin; Dechausay, Nadine; Landers, Patrick
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    This report represents the final synthesis of the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency project. Overall, the project’s findings demonstrated that applying behavioral insights to challenges facing human services programs can improve program efficiency, operations, and outcomes at a relatively low cost.

    The report discusses in detail:

    •overall findings from the project;

    •lessons learned during the knowledge development period as well as across the project’s sites;

    •the broader context in which the findings are situated, with respect to both applied behavioral insights and human services; and

    •implications for future research and practice.

    Each chapter is accompanied by at least one independent commentary by an expert in the field. (Author abstract)

    This report represents the final synthesis of the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency project. Overall, the project’s findings demonstrated that applying behavioral insights to challenges facing human services programs can improve program efficiency, operations, and outcomes at a relatively low cost.

    The report discusses in detail:

    •overall findings from the project;

    •lessons learned during the knowledge development period as well as across the project’s sites;

    •the broader context in which the findings are situated, with respect to both applied behavioral insights and human services; and

    •implications for future research and practice.

    Each chapter is accompanied by at least one independent commentary by an expert in the field. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Schultz, Caroline; Elliot, Mark; McKernon, Signe-Mary; Lehman, Gretchen
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2016

    This video from the 2016 Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency (RECS) includes presentations of findings from three programs intended to promote financial empowerment. Panelists discussed the implications of these findings for policy and practice in expanding economic opportunity.

    This video from the 2016 Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency (RECS) includes presentations of findings from three programs intended to promote financial empowerment. Panelists discussed the implications of these findings for policy and practice in expanding economic opportunity.

  • Individual Author: Hendra, Rick
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2015

    This powerpoint presentation from the 2015 NAWRS conference describes an implementation study of an employment retention and advancement program based in three cities.

    This powerpoint presentation from the 2015 NAWRS conference describes an implementation study of an employment retention and advancement program based in three cities.

  • Individual Author: Azurdia, Gilda; Freedman, Stephen; Hamilton, Gayle; Schultz, Caroline
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    SaveUSA, a voluntary program launched in 2011 in four cities (New York City, Tulsa, San Antonio, and Newark), encourages low- and moderate-income individuals to set aside money from their tax refund for savings. Tax filers at participating Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites can directly deposit all or a portion of their tax refund into a special savings account, set up by a bank or credit union, and pledge to save between $200 and $1,000 of their deposit for about a year. Money can be withdrawn from SaveUSA accounts at any time and for any purpose, but only those who maintain their initially pledged savings amount throughout a full year receive a 50 percent match on that amount. Account holders, irrespective of match receipt, can deposit tax refund dollars in subsequent years and become eligible to receive additional savings matches on their new tax refund deposits.

    This report presents findings on SaveUSA’s implementation in all four cities and its early effects on savings and other financial outcomes in two cities: New York City and Tulsa. In these latter...

    SaveUSA, a voluntary program launched in 2011 in four cities (New York City, Tulsa, San Antonio, and Newark), encourages low- and moderate-income individuals to set aside money from their tax refund for savings. Tax filers at participating Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites can directly deposit all or a portion of their tax refund into a special savings account, set up by a bank or credit union, and pledge to save between $200 and $1,000 of their deposit for about a year. Money can be withdrawn from SaveUSA accounts at any time and for any purpose, but only those who maintain their initially pledged savings amount throughout a full year receive a 50 percent match on that amount. Account holders, irrespective of match receipt, can deposit tax refund dollars in subsequent years and become eligible to receive additional savings matches on their new tax refund deposits.

    This report presents findings on SaveUSA’s implementation in all four cities and its early effects on savings and other financial outcomes in two cities: New York City and Tulsa. In these latter cities, a randomly selected half of the tax filers who were interested in SaveUSA in 2011 could open accounts (the “SaveUSA group”), but the other half could not (the control group). The report compares the savings and other financial behaviors of the two groups over time to estimate SaveUSA’s effects. The findings thus suggest the effects that savings policies structured similarly to SaveUSA might have.

    SaveUSA’s operation and evaluation are funded through the federal Social Innovation Fund (SIF), a public/private partnership administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service. This particular SIF project is led by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) in collaboration with MDRC. Matching funds required by the SIF were provided by several foundations and organizations. CEO, with the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE), which conceived and launched an early version of the model, leads SaveUSA operations; MDRC is conducting the program’s evaluation.

    Key Findings:

    •SaveUSA was implemented successfully in all four cities. During the first program year, individuals in the SaveUSA group directly deposited an average of $506 of their tax refunds into SaveUSA accounts.

    •About two-thirds of those in the SaveUSA group saved for about a year and received a first savings match, which averaged $291 among those who received it. About two-fifths of the SaveUSA group pledged to save part of their tax refund again in the program’s second year.

    •At the 18-month follow-up point, SaveUSA had increased the percentage of individuals with any short-term savings (by 7 percentage points) and increased the total amount of savings individuals held on average (by $512), compared with what they would have saved without the program. The program also had increased the proportion of those who expressed a continued commitment to save.

    •No effects were found on individuals’ amount of debt, material hardship, or other aspects of financial security over the 18-month follow-up period.

    A subsequent report in late 2015 will examine SaveUSA’s effects over 36 to 42 months and will present a much more complete assessment of whether SaveUSA can sustain savings and improve individuals’ overall financial well-being. (author abstract)

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