Projects

The National Evaluation of the Performance Partnership Pilots for Disconnected Youth (P3)

2015 – 2021

Project Overview

Objective

To better meet youth’s needs and improve their education and employment outcomes, Performance Partnership Pilots for Disconnected Youth (P3), an endeavor of multiple federal agencies, provided pilot communities with flexibilities to coordinate their efforts across the discretionary programs of the participating agencies.

Project Motivation

The national evaluation studied the P3 pilots’ efforts to realize the P3 authority by using available flexibilities, such as waivers from program requirements, to improve the system for providing services to disconnected youth. The national evaluation also provided technical assistance to support pilots’ local evaluations. 

Partners in Progress

Social Policy Research Associates

Prepared For

U.S. Department of Labor

Chief Evaluation Office

Performance Partnership Pilots provide flexibilities, so state, local, and tribal entities can coordinate services across multiple federal discretionary programs to improve outcomes for youth and other populations.

Disconnected youth—those who are not enrolled in school and do not have early work experience—may be less prepared for work than other youth, face unstable employment, and follow a trajectory of lower-wage jobs (Loprest et al. 2019). The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 (the 2014 Act) initially authorized P3 to improve systems serving disconnected youth. As a performance partnership model, P3 offers flexibility for states, localities, and tribes to pool funds and obtain waivers to help them overcome struggles in improving disconnected youth outcomes.

The 2014 act authorized five federal agencies’ participation in P3—the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Labor, the National and Community Services Corporation, and the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences. Two other agencies, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, were authorized in the 2015 and 2016 acts, respectively. Through the three acts, the federal partners awarded 14 pilots, each of which consisted of the P3 grantee and its local partner organizations. Mathematica and Social Policy Research Associates evaluated 14 pilots under P3 and their implementation. The study team also provided evaluation technical assistance to 12 of the pilots and their local evaluators. Each pilot and its third-party local evaluator worked with their evaluation technical assistance liaison to discuss the planned local evaluation, troubleshoot challenges with programming and evaluation activities, and support analysis and reporting.

The implementation study found that P3 appeared to help all 14 pilots develop partnerships among local youth-serving agencies. In addition, lessons emerged that might inform future related efforts. For example, additional technical assistance and planning time could support efforts to fully capitalize on allowed flexibilities and prepare for systems change. The evaluation technical assistance supported eight pilots in conducting local evaluations that used a causal design and included a comparison group. Together, these evaluations covered six types of interventions; three of these interventions demonstrated evidence of improving expected youth outcomes. 

Related Staff

Alexandra Stanczyk

Alexandra Stanczyk

Researcher

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Elizabeth Brown

Elizabeth Brown

Researcher

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Linda  Rosenberg

Linda Rosenberg

Principal Researcher

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Cay Bradley

Cay Bradley

Principal Researcher

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