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Opportunity NYC CCT Pilot Program in New York City Inter-American Social Protection Network September 22, 2009 Linda Gibbs, Deputy Mayor for Health & Human Services Office of the Mayor, City of New York
New Anti-Poverty Agenda • Mayoral Poverty Commission • In 2006, Mayor Bloomberg appointed a Commission to examine poverty and identify new solutions to help families • Looked around the country and across the globe for new, ambitious and evidence-based program models • NYC Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) • Established in the Mayor’s Office in 2006, the CEO manages a $150 fund to support the design, implementation, and evaluation of new anti-poverty programs conducted in partnership with 20 city agencies • Program data tracked and outcomes evaluated to determine success
Opportunity NYC Program • Launched in 2007, Opportunity NYC is the nation’s first conditional cash transfer program • The investment in research by Mexico’s Progresa/Oportunidades established an empirical foundation to support replication • Program model is based on other successful programs
Learning from Experience • Consultations • New York City was eager to draw on the conceptual framework of CCTs • Before beginning the design process, CEO consulted with a range of experts, including local and national poverty researchers and policy makers, several government agencies, and the World Bank • Learning Exchange with Oportunidades • Program officials and researchers • Conference in New York City • Site visit to Mexico
Promising Evidence Evidence from CCT programs provided a strong case for New York City’s pilot Source: Olinto (2004)
Adapting the CCT Model • Challenges • Modifying the approach to meet the needs of poor families in the U.S. • Adapting the program model for an urban setting • Program Differences • Opportunity NYC is layered on top of an extensive social safety net • Small pilot (2,400 families eligible for incentives) means that the program is targeted to select families in 6 communities • Strong network of non-profit organizations works with families • Opportunity NYC Innovations • Incentives for academic performance, in addition to effort • Rewards for full-time work and training for adults • Financial incentive to open bank accounts
Will CCTs Work in the US? • Opportunity NYC Research • Comprehensive research agenda includes five year evaluation • Some promising preliminary results • 12% gain in meeting high attendance standard for high school students • 9% gain in taking and passing rigorous state exams • Upcoming report on education, health and work outcomes (year 1) • Using Research to Inform Policy • If early evaluation results are promising, CEO will advocate for federal policy change and promote program changes that reflect lessons learned from the Opportunity NYC experiment
Learning Networks • New York City learned a great deal from our partners in other states and countries – and now we’re eager to give back. • New York City’s Learning Network • Develop federal support and knowledge base • Build capacity for discussion and local network • Inform foundations and other organizations • Convene national and international experts • OAS Social Protection Network • Eager to share Opportunity NYC research and evaluation results • New opportunities to learn about other ambitious anti-poverty programs and share best practices