Finding A Yardstick

Submitted by Natasha Pei on November 10, 2016 - 12:00pm

Authors: J. Michael Collins and Collin O’Rourke

Publisher: Centre for Financial Security, University of Wisconsin-Madison

In 2011, the Center for Financial Security launched the Financial Coaching Outcome Measures Project to test a set of standardized measures for the financial coaching field. Four nonprofit community-based organizations collected data on client outcomes and shared the results to form a consistent database of similar measures. The goal of this report is to describe a small set of standardized measures that could be worthy of consideration as “benchmarks” for the field. The goal of this project is to develop measures that satisfy standards of social science while also being attuned to the practical issues of data collection and analysis. To that end, this document serves as a starting place for a discussion about outcomes measurement standards for the financial coaching field. Ideally, the recommendations from this project can be applied to financial capability interventions broadly, increasing our collective understanding of how, and why, programs work.

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