This evaluation used random assignment to assess innovative approaches to helping welfare-dependent and other low-income families in rural areas to enter, maintain, and advance in employment and to secure family well-being.
- Multi-method program evaluation
- Implementation science
- Program cost analysis
- Evidence-based technical assistance
- Programs for vulnerable youth and families
- Teen pregnancy prevention
- Employment and training
- Human Services
- Family Support
- Youth Development
- TANF and Employment Issues
- Training and Re-employment
- Labor: Strengthening and Disseminating Research
Alicia Meckstroth has more than 25 years of experience evaluating programs for vulnerable youth and families and using research findings to inform program and policy improvements. She specializes in research on teen pregnancy prevention, youth development, and strategies to promote economic independence. Meckstroth has conducted many rigorous, multi-method evaluations, including those incorporating implementation science methods, and has designed and led in-depth implementation studies in more than 15 states. She has also provided technical assistance to support evaluations and guide program improvement and capacity-building.
Meckstroth has held leadership roles on various projects related to adolescent health and youth development—for example, the Outcome and Implementation Study of REAL Essentials Advance, the Development of Conceptual Models for Sexual Risk Avoidance and Cessation, the Personal Responsibility Education Program Evaluation, and the Evaluation of Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Approaches. In addition, she has expertise in policies to promote employment and strong families, having served as project director and principal investigator for the Rural Welfare-to-Work Strategies Demonstration Evaluation, an experimental impact and benefit-cost study of innovative programs. She also played leading roles on the Job Search Assistance Evaluation and Advancing Welfare and Family Self-Sufficiency Research.
To promote the development and use of evidence, Meckstroth is an experienced provider of evaluation and program technical assistance. She has provided evaluation technical assistance on a wide range of methodological issues encompassing both quantitative and qualitative methods. In addition, she has provided strategic planning guidance to policymakers and practitioners, convened and facilitated meetings of experts, and collaborated with practitioners on piloting and refining program innovations using formative, rapid-cycle learning methods.
Meckstroth holds a master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University and joined Mathematica in 1994. She has authored a wide range of publications on program effectiveness, program implementation, and related lessons for policy and practice, and she is published in Social Service Review, the Journal of Adolescent Health, and Policy and Practice of Public Human Services. She is a regular presenter to audiences that include policymakers, practitioners, and researchers. Before joining Mathematica, Meckstroth worked as an economist with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where she directed an annual descriptive study on private foundations and other nonprofit organizations.
Rural Welfare-to-Work Strategies Demonstration Evaluation
Evaluation of Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Approaches
This eight-year evaluation documented and tested promising pregnancy prevention approaches in seven sites across the United States, each of which implemented a different program.