Conducting Rapid Cycle Learning with Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education Programs for Adults
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation
In SIMR, each grant recipients developed, and tested improvement strategies tailored to their specific needs, service populations, and individual contexts, using an approach to program improvement and rapid cycle learning known as Learn, Innovate, Improve (LI2). Through their work with the SIMR team, grant recipients:
- Addressed pressing implementation challenges: Three grant recipients focused on improving recruitment, two focused on improving engagement in virtual services, and two focused on improving engagement in case management.
- Increased their capacity to collect and use data to inform decision-making: Through rapid cycle learning, grant recipients staff administered feedback surveys to participants, tracked recruitment data, and analyzed social media analytics. They reviewed these data with the SIMR team and developed insights to refine their improvement strategies.
- Developed skills for identifying and responding to emerging implementation challenges: At the end of each learning cycle, the SIMR team met with grant recipients to review and interpret data and determine next steps. When new challenges emerged, grant recipients were able to pivot to address them in later learning cycles.
- Strengthened capacity and developed tools and strategies to support strong implementation through the rest of the grant period: Grant recipients developed promising tools and strategies to improve recruitment, enhance the delivery of virtual services, enhance case management services, and deepen relationships with participants. At the end of SIMR, the grant recipients planned to continue using these tools and strategies.
In the SIMR project, Mathematica and its partner, Public Strategies, collaborated with 10 HMRE grant recipients—five youth-serving grant recipients and five adult-serving grant recipients—to conduct iterative rapid cycle testing aimed at strengthening their services. SIMR focused on common implementation challenges related to recruitment, retention, and content engagement.
SIMR had two main goals:
- to improve the service delivery of these grant recipients
- to develop lessons for the broader HMRE field about promising practices for addressing common implementation challenges
This report describes the rapid cycle learning process and findings for the five adult-serving HMRE grant recipients that participated in SIMR. It shares how each grant recipients addressed implementation challenges and improved services through participation in SIMR and insights that can help other HMRE grant recipients strengthen their own service delivery.