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Arkansas REACH Program

Allocation: 1997, $210,000

  • Reduce Energy Burden For Low Income Households
  • Reduce Dependence On Energy Assistance Dollars
  • Establish Community Partnerships On Which To Build Resources

Partnership and Collaboration

  • Families
  • Local Government
  • Utility Companies
  • Other Service Providers
  • Business Community
  • Faith-Based Organizations

Target Group

  • The Elderly And Disabled Have Greater Health And Safety Complications As A Result Of High Energy Costs.
  • 40,228 Pulaski County Householders 65+ Years
  • 14% Pulaski County Residents Living Below Poverty Level
  • 6,064 Older Persons (Age 65+) Live In Poverty In Pulaski County
  • There Is A High Correlation Between Older Housing Stock And Low Income Populations. Lower Income Inhabitants Have Less Ability To Refurbish Housing And Also Suffer Higher Utility Bills. (Average Cost For Owner-Occupied Unit Rehabilitation Is $6,500 Or $8,000 For Renter-Occupied Rehabilitations.)

Case Management

  • Multi-Dimensional
  • Culturally Sensitive
  • Outreaching
  • On-Going Investment
  • Customer Centered

Objectives and Indicators

Objective
Project Assumption Project Activities Immediate Outcomes Intermediate Outcomes Final Project Goals
Community partnerships and linkages, through an advisory/steering committee structure, will foster a cooperative and comprehensive service delivery system. Advise on the development and promotion of captivities designed to educate target consumers on energy-related matters, to determine energy consumption of targeted households, to foster cooperative linkages which maximize services to improve the quality of life through home repair and enhanced energy efficiency, and to reduce the energy burden to the most vulnerable population. Established base of energy-related knowledge, experience and expertise, of community assets and resources. Development of coordinated activities which maximize service benefits to household. Reduction of energy burden to low-income household.
Indicators
Project Assumption Project Activities Immediate Outcomes Intermediate Outcomes Final Project Goals
A Steering/Advisory Committee comprised of housing program officials of local governmental agencies, utility company representatives, community representatives, United Way representatives, aging program representatives, Department of Human Services representatives, and other identified to foster the cooperative linkages will be established by January 30, 1999. Suggested and contributing members, their organization, address and other relevant contact information will be gathered and membership recruitment efforts through personal contact and written information will take place during the month of January, 1999. A database of community resources will be identified to assist in the coordination of comprehensive services to customer in need of AR REACH Program. A calendar of activities and program services will be developed for publication in brochures, in poster/flyers and other print or broadcast media information for community distribution. Reduction of energy burden to low-income household.
Means of Verification
Project Assumption Project Activities Immediate Outcomes Intermediate Outcomes Final Project Goals
Participation/Partnership agreements will be developed and maintained to clarify roles of each. Committee membership list with all relevant contact information will be maintained. Energy Resource Guide will be developed and maintained. Meeting minutes, sign-in sheets, and published materials. Reduction of energy burden to low-income household.
Objective
Project Assumption Project Activities Immediate Outcomes Intermediate Outcomes Final Project Goals
An holistic service delivery system will promote a comprehensive response to addressing the energy self-sufficiency needs of customers. Customers will be enrolled in case management activities to maximize service response to need, to facilitate self-sufficiency, and to promote energy burden reduction. customers, in partnership with their case manager, will participate in an in-depth assessment of their circumstances, assets, needs, and environment, in a goal setting strategy, and in the decision-making process toward self-determination, self-reliance, and elf-sufficiency A customer/family development plan will be developed, appropriate referrals for action made, coordination plan for services established, and plan review schedule originated. Reduction of the energy burden of low-income households and decrease or eliminate energy assistance needs.
Indicators
Project Assumption Project Activities Immediate Outcomes Intermediate Outcomes Final Project Goals
Energy providers, housing improvement programs, and other community resources will participate in the development of a resource guide detailing services/programs designed to accomplish similar program goals. The resource guide will be developed which details energy provider programs, housing improvement programs, and other community resources responding to energy conservation and/or housing stock improvement needs of low-income persons, their eligibility guidelines, their application process, primary contact person, and other relevant information. The available resources which will result in maximum services and service coordination will be readily available to the case management and family development plan. A coordinated service delivery system will provide minimum household energy conservation measures to those most in need. Reduction of the energy burden of low-income households and decrease or eliminate energy assistance needs.
Means of Verification
Project Assumption Project Activities Immediate Outcomes Intermediate Outcomes Final Project Goals
Program listings, contact information, written agreements A resource guide will be developed, implemented, and shared with all participant, DHS and United Way. Referrals and coordination agreements, schedule of improvements, anecdotal records. Improvement schedule, inspection reports, client reports. Reduction of the energy burden of low-income households and decrease or eliminate energy assistance needs.
Objective
Project Assumption Project Activities Immediate Outcomes Intermediate Outcomes Final Project Goals
The elderly and disabled have greater health and safety complications as a result of high energy costs. Attain energy efficiency through enhanced weatherization for qualified households, provide public workshops on energy conservation instructed by local energy suppliers, identify specific needs of the target population through case management. Create comfortable living environment for the clients served, and increase awareness of home efficiency needs. Coordination of all maximized benefits to lessen the intrusion into the household by various agencies and their personnel. Create independence from energy assistance for low-income households.
Indicators
Project Assumption Project Activities Immediate Outcomes Intermediate Outcomes Final Project Goals
The elderly, as the target group have the greatest need for services.  The elderly are generally on a fixed income and more likely to spend money to pay their high energy bill rather than paying for food and medicine.  The elderly are generally less mobile allowing them to gain the full benefits of the REACH Program. A summary of eligible funding for LIHEAP will be distributed on a diminishing, regular payment schedule through the first year following housing stock improvements.  Case managers, in cooperation with health care official, will measure the health benefits of elderly or disabled customers. A reduction in the stress level for the household and a comfortable living environment created for the household. A calendar of activities will be scheduled and carried out by case managers, monthly visits to the home, provide information such as pamphlets, videos, and classes to maintain healthy lifestyles. Create independence form energy assistance for low-income households.
Means of Verification
Project Assumption Project Activities Immediate Outcomes Intermediate Outcomes Final Project Goals
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program has demonstrated that elderly are most in need of the ongoing service. A comfortable assessment survey will be given, stress test, and blood pressure checks.  A control group not receiving REACH services will be provided these same assessments. Health and safety guide will be maintained. Case management files, test results, sign-in sheets, and published materials. Create independence form energy assistance for low-income households.
Objective
Project Assumption Project Activities Immediate Outcomes Intermediate Outcomes Final Project Goals
Providing enhanced weatherization to the home and regularly scheduled utility assistance payments on behalf of the customer through the LIHEAP program will help move a household to an independent status. A complete home assessment will be conducted to determine housing stock improvement needs; services scheduled and performed; and a regular, diminishing payment schedule through the first year following housing stock improvements will be established. Home becomes more energy efficient thus decreasing the energy burden; energy budgeting can now become a regular activity of the household. Increased awareness of home energy needs and comfort levels and alleviation of energy crises. Create independence form energy assistance for low-income households.
Indicators
Project Assumption Project Activities Immediate Outcomes Intermediate Outcomes Final Project Goals
Providing enhanced weatherization services will reduce energy inefficiency in the home. Public education programs on energy awareness areas, home energy audits, provision of energy efficient devices, leveraging additional funding and programs, Crisis and Emergency utility assistance, and incentive program for assumption of energy costs. Increased awareness of home energy needs, household stock improvements, and reduction of energy burden.    
Means of Verification
Project Assumption Project Activities Immediate Outcomes Intermediate Outcomes Final Project Goals
The customer, in partnership with the case manager, will establish an energy usage budget and take advantage of energy conservation and efficiency knowledge gained through other program activities. Household energy activity will be monitored, records maintained, and home energy audits conducted. Household's energy crisis is alleviated through coordinated program service delivery. Household's monthly utility bills, application for assistance, etc. Reduce high energy burden to low-income households.


Evaluation Design: How the evaluation will be conducted.

The Logic Model described in "Project Design and Evaluation Guidebook" (1995) will be implemented using the CIPP approach developed by Stufflebaum and his colleagues (1971). CIPP is an acronym for Context, Input, Process, and Product evaluation. Each type of evaluation is tied to a different set of measurement criteria and a different set of decision s that must be made in planning and operating a program.

Context evaluation identifies discrepancies between an existing condition and a desired condition and provides a basis for establishing appropriate goals, objectives, and measurement criteria. Input evaluation involves judgment about the resources and strategies needed to accomplish program goals and objectives. Process evaluation focuses on the collection of data and record keeping once the program is operational. Finally, product evaluation determines the extent to which the goals of the program have been achieved. The CIPP approach to evaluation is distinguished by the following features: 1) it is comprehensive; 2) it is an ongoing process; and 3) its purpose is to guide decision- making in program management.

Qualitative data will be collected through the use of questionnaires, interviews, and observations with various stakeholders. Once the grant is awarded, the Evaluator will meet with the grantee, REACH Program staff and Advisory Group to finalize the evaluation questions or variables and the appropriate criteria for measurement. Following Cronbach's (1982) model, these stakeholders will generate a comprehensive list of questions, issues, concerns, related factors, and information needs that might be addressed in the evaluation study. The initial list will be reduced to a manageable number in light of priorities and available resources.

The Evaluator will then design the grantee interim and final evaluation report forms. site visit observation checklists, client interview protocols, and other appropriate evaluation instruments. The Evaluator will then design the date base, code book, and analysis plan for the comprehensive evaluation. In addition, the Evaluator will design a Quarterly Data Report for program monitoring and modification.

The Evaluator will develop and conduct orientation and training for grantee and REACH Program staff on data collection, compilation, and reporting requirements. The Evaluator will conduct quarterly site visits to ensure that the evaluation process goes smoothly. Program operations will be observed to note such items as overall efficiency, adequacy of staff and resources, whether the evaluation instruments and plans are being properly implemented, and consistency between what is observed and what is reported. These visits will include a discussion of any problems encountered and how to advise REACH Program staff with recommended solutions.

Interviews with clients will be conducted by REACH Program staff to gather data related to outcome measures and to assess their satisfaction with the program. Interviews and questionnaires may also be used with a sample of grantees and REACH Program staff to collect data related to outcome measures and satisfaction. Data collected through site visits will be coded, entered, checked and ensured for accuracy of data, and translated into usable formats for analysis. Other data, both quantitative and qualitative, derived from the grantee, REACH program staff and clients, will also be coded or categorized for analysis. The final evaluation design will determine what data will be collected initially, quarterly, and for the full project period. The Evaluator will review and monitor the date collection efforts on a quarterly basis.

The Evaluator will analyze the date and provide information in a usable format for the general public as well as program personnel.

Project Evaluation

Grantee success will be measured by:

1. achievement of stated goals and objectives;

2. effectiveness in producing outcomes that mitigate factors associated with high energy burden on low income citizens;

3. timeliness of implementation and

4. overall quality of the program

The proposed Evaluator (Arkansas Pivotal Development Services [APDS]), in consultation with the applicant, the REACH Program staff, the Steering/ Advisory Committee, will develop appropriate measures and evaluation instruments immediately following negotiation and award of this grant.

This evaluation will be comprehensive and will include:

5. process and outcome measures

6. quantitative and qualitative approaches

7. formative and summative evaluation procedures

8. objective and subjective data.

Process measures will be used to document what actually was done, to what extent, when, for whom and by whom during the program. Quantitative data will describe program and project efficiencies, including client participation rates, client characteristics, number of training sessions or other interventions, quantifiable performance measures, and timely implementation and provision of services. Objective data will be collected and compiled by the program .

Outcome measures will be used to assess the immediate and intermediate effects of the program or activities on factors related to high energy burden on low-income citizens and lack of an energy self-sufficiency. Subjective or qualitative data will describe program and project effectiveness, including attitudes and satisfaction of participants or behaviors (i.e. participating in project training, daily conservation techniques, and timely payment of utility bills). These data will be collected by the evaluation team through site visit observations, questionnaires and interviews with client and/or staff, and other means determined within the final overall evaluation design .

Formative evaluation procedures will be used to (1) monitor the process of program start-up, implementation and operation; (2) identify problems/barriers being encountered during the process and their causes; and (3) suggest actions which may be considered. Data derived from formative evaluation procedures will be helpful for ongoing, practical decision-making at all levels of operation of the program (i.e. grantee, REACH program staff, and the Consumer Steering/Advisory Committee.

Summative evaluation procedures will focus on the collection and analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data to accurately determine the overall degree of effectiveness and outcomes of the REACH Program . This evaluation of the end product will be helpful in the decision-making related to program continuation, expansion, replication, or modification.

Interim Evaluation Report

The interim evaluation report, along with written policies and procedures resulting from the process evaluation, will be submitted 30 days after the first 18 months of the project. The interim report will focus on whether, when, and how the grant project activities have been implemented and if they comply with grant obligations and commitments. Moreover, project activities will be assessed to determine whether they are having the effects intended and to identify any changes or corrections that should be made in project operations.

Final Report

The final report, submitted 90 days after the end of the project, will focus on REACH Program outcomes from beginning to end of the grant period to describe the immediate and direct effects of program activities on the participants. A summary of the process measures and formative evaluation procedures will also be included. The format of the final report will follow the suggested outline in the "Project Design and Evaluation Guidebook" ( 1995).

When it will occur/time-line.

The evaluation component will have three general phases:

Stage# 1: Design and Development (Months 1-6)

Stage #2: Ongoing and Periodic (Months 7-36)

Stage #3: Closure (Months 31-36)

Primary activities during the grant period are noted in Appendix Evaluation Matrix with corresponding data elements, sources, and collection approach.

Dr. Johnson and Dr. Williams are independent evaluators and are not associated with the grantee or REACH Program. APDS is jointly owned by Dr. Virginia Johnson and Dr. Ed W illiams.

Specific measures/criteria and rationale for selection.

Upon award grant,thc Evaluator will attend OCS training and then meet with REACH Program staff, the grantee, and the Advisory Group to identify specific evaluation questions, variables,and measures. Particular attention will be paid to identifying variables associated with energy vulnerability to be measured in the Program. Below are some possibilities for selection:

Evaluation Questions

» Did Project activities reduce energy costs of participating low-income households?

» Did Project activities increase the regularity of home energy bill payments by participating households?

» Did Project activities increase energy vendor contributions towards reducing energy burdens of eligible households?

Demographic Variables

» Gender

» Age

» Race/ethnicity

» Grade level

» Household income

1. Previous participation in utility assistance program

2. Number of employed adults in the household

3. Need for assistance to install, energy saving devices,

4. Need for transportation to program activities

5. Number of people in the household

Variables Associated with Energy Burden for Low-Income Citizens

» Elderly poor on a fixed income

6. Completion of home energy audit

7. People of work force age with families who are poor

8. Increase in income Attendance at the project training program

9. Installation of devices

10. Single mothers on public assistance

Variables Associated with Project Activities

Attendance at public education programs on energy efficiency

11.Number of home energy audits

Number of energy efficiency devices

12. Financial assistance with energy bill(s)

Attendance at training in family installation of devices

» Client satisfaction with each activity

13. Number of staff installed devices (where necessary)

14. Amount of additional funding and programs leveraged

15. Program staff satisfaction with each activity

16. Knowledge acquired from public education programs

17. Knowledge acquired from project training