NAWRS 2014 Call for Presentations

Putting the Pieces Together: Using Research and Analysis to Improve Program Effectiveness and Reduce Poverty

Program Chairs: Heather Hahn, The Urban Institute
George Falco, New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
Deadline: April 30, 2014
Conference Date: August 17-20, 2014
Location Providence Biltmore Hotel
Providence, Rhode Island

Mission of NAWRS

To promote the exchange of ideas on how research and statistical analysis can contribute to the development and administration of effective human services programs.

Before the War on Poverty, people were attending the NAWRS Annual Workshop to share their work and build relationships with like-minded staff of local, state, and federal human service agencies and research partners. Since the War on Poverty, many pieces other than cash welfare have been added to government efforts to alleviate economic need. Join the dialogue on how to put the interrelated pieces of the US safety net together to be more effective at reducing and preventing poverty at our 54th annual workshop.

The 2014 NAWRS Workshop welcomes presentations on the following anti-poverty programs:

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Employment and Training
  • Medicaid
  • Affordable Care Act’s Health Care Marketplace
  • Housing Subsidies
  • Child Welfare
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
  • Child Support
  • Unemployment Compensation
  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)


The theme for the 54th NAWRS Annual Workshop is Putting the Pieces Together. This means:
Putting together and improving data from multiple programs to increase understanding of program utilization and its impact on economic well-being and to expand the opportunities for productive research and analysis.
Using effective data development, data analysis, and program evaluation practices in one program area to inform practice in other program areas.

  • Putting together the perspectives and needs of federal, state, and local governments in the implementation, administration, and analysis of safety net programs.
  • Bringing staff from local, state, and federal agencies together with staff from academic and research institutions to forge productive partnerships.
  • Putting findings from research and analysis together with practitioners’ day-to-day experiences to develop more efficient and effective designs and strategies for anti-poverty programs.
  • Creatively drawing on lessons from one program to improve practice in another program, and perhaps integrating programs to improve client outcomes.
  • Drawing on the lessons of the first 50 years of the War on Poverty to address the next 50.
  • Putting children’s needs together with parents’ needs to address intergenerational poverty.
  • Understanding the combined impact of the various safety net programs on child well-being, including the well-being of the many TANF child-only cases.
  • Understanding how economic opportunities and well-being of young, less educated men can contribute to child and family well-being.

The NAWRS 2014 Workshop is ideal for bringing together people, research, and ideas for improving anti-poverty programs. The Program Committee is especially interested in proposals that contribute to the theme, either by bringing new insights about one piece of the puzzle or by putting pieces together in a new way.

The Research Academy

The 2014 NAWRS Program will also include a Research Academy. Launched during the 2012 Annual Workshop, the Research Academy is a “hands on” component of the workshop that is designed to offer specific strategies and technical assistance for conducting rigorous research at the state and local level. The Program Committee is soliciting proposals for sessions to be included as part of the Research Academy that provide good examples of:

  • Random assignment evaluations;
  • Rigorous methods other than random assignment;
  • Tools for supporting rigorous research at the state/local level;
  • Efforts to motivate conducting rigorous research at the state/local level.

Submission Requirements

Proposals can be submitted for individual presentations, a panel session of three related presentations, or a roundtable. Submissions should include the following information:

Title: Title of the presentation (for full panel submissions, include the title of each individual presentation, as well as an overall panel title)

Author(s): Contact information for the presenting author(s) and all corresponding authors. Contact information should include full name, email address, phone number, mailing address, and affiliation. For full panel submissions, submit the contact information for presenting and corresponding authors for each individual presentation.

Topic Areas/Research Academy: Please briefly identify the appropriate topic area (e.g., TANF and workforce development, Homelessness, SNAP access, etc.), including whether the presentation is intended for the Research Academy.

Type of Presentation: Indicate if you are submitting a proposal for an individual presentation, a full panel, or a roundtable.

Note: A roundtable is a one-hour discussion around a specific topic led by a knowledgeable facilitator or panel of facilitators. The facilitator(s) can set the stage in any way that seems appropriate. This might be a somewhat formal presentation with PowerPoint, a handout, or a general summary of the issues without multimedia. This “stage setting” should take no longer than 10 minutes, so that the remaining 50 minutes can be dedicated to discussion of the issues. The purpose of the session is to be able to delve into a specific topic in more depth than might be possible in a traditional session and for others who might have insight into related issues to be able to share their knowledge.

Abstract (no more than 300 words): Please explain the: (1) purpose of the presentation, (2) its relevance to the conference theme, and if appropriate, (3) how it addresses one of the key topic areas listed above. For presentations that summarize findings from a study, describe the research questions, methodology, and key findings, including implications for policy or practice. Presentations focused on research methods or tools for supporting rigorous research should describe the key components of the methods/tools, along with examples of how they have (or could be) used by state or local social service agencies. Note that panel submissions should include an abstract for each individual presentation, as well as a brief (200 words or less) overall session description. Proposals for a roundtable should include the key topic area for discussion, the specific issues that will be discussed, and what is intended to be accomplished through the discussion.

Proposals should be submitted between March 1, 2014 and April 30, 2014.  A link will be available on the home page.  Questions about the 2014 NAWRS Program, this Call for Presentations, or the 2014 Annual Workshop should be directed to