Projects

Projects By Jurisdiction

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Projects by Policy Area

Behavioral Health & Homelessness Projects

Bernalillo County Behavioral Health Services

In Bernalillo County, a series of high-profile behavioral health-related challenges led to an allocated $17 million per year for the county to spend on providing high-risk populations with targeted behavioral health services. The GPL provided pro bono technical assistance to help the county develop a strategic procurement system to most effectively spend the newly allocated dollars, which included identifying behavioral health service needs, best practices, and priority populations as well as developing and implementing a problem-based procurement template that minimized prescriptiveness and focused on specific outcomes. The County’s first initiative will provide over 10,000 children with a variety of behavioral health interventions that aim to prevent adverse childhood experiences. Since then, the county has continued to expand its behavioral health service array through the new procurement framework, providing new youth transitional living services, community engagement teams, and mobile crisis teams.

Denver Permanent Supportive Housing Pay for Success

Denver sought to provide individuals experiencing homelessness with permanent alternatives to costly emergency services such as hospitals and shelters. As part of the Permanent Supportive Housing Pay for Success initiative, the GPL helped Denver identify the most costly chronically homeless individuals who were also involved with the criminal justice system as candidates for supportive housing. With its project partners, the City is building 160 new units and using 90 existing units to house these individuals and testing the results with a five-year randomized control trial. The evaluation of the program will be one of the longest and most rigorous studies of supportive housing in the country.

Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Performance Improvement

Between 2011 and 2017, homelessness in Los Angeles had increased 75% to an estimated 55,000. To combat this epidemic, voters in the region passed Measure H and Proposition HHH, which will provide $1.2 billion in bond revenue for new housing for the homeless and $355 million annually in sales tax revenue for homeless services such as diversion/prevention, interim housing, rapid re-housing, and permanent supportive housing.

 

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) is an independent joint powers authority whose role is to coordinate the use of federal and local funding for homeless services across Los Angeles County. Measure H and Proposition HHH brought a large influx of resources to an agency that already managed over $243 million annually in federal, state, county, and city funds. The increase in resources highlighted the urgency for accountability and demonstrable progress in ending homelessness in Los Angeles. 

 

To help them accomplish this goal, GPL helped LAHSA set up a performance management system called Active Contract Management (ACM) that allows LAHSA to engage in high frequency reviews of performance and outcomes data with providers, and work collaboratively to improve results.

Massachusetts Permanent Supportive Housing Pay for Success

In 2012, Massachusetts was home to 1,200 chronically homeless individuals, who were among the highest utilizers of expensive emergency services such as shelter, hospital, and jail beds. To better serve this population, the Massachusetts Supportive Housing Pay for Success project aimed to shift spending on homelessness away from temporary shelters towards permanent supportive housing. The GPL worked with project partners to remove funding barriers, allowing for the establishment of 500 housing units across the state and greater access to wraparound, community-based services for the chronically homeless.

Seattle, WA Homeless Service Contracts

Although the number of people experiencing homelessness in Seattle has risen over the past few years in part due to structural factors such as housing affordability and inadequate mental healthcare, the city’s increased spending on homeless services has had a limited impact on the problem. The city of Seattle held a conglomeration of contracts with service providers, but it renewed almost any contract that complied with requirements and rarely evaluated the effectiveness of the services themselves. The GPL worked with Seattle’s Human Services Department (HSD) to consolidate its contracts, allowing staff to shift their focus from compliance to performance. After consolidating these contracts, HSD held its first competitive procurement for homeless services in over a decade. This project has allowed HSD to reevaluate its spending on homeless services and fund the programs with the highest impact.

Chicago, IL Homelessness Services Performance Improvement

 

Chicago’s Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) has been working to improve performance outcomes achieved by the shelter system, including addressing low exit rates into permanent housing, long lengths of homelessness, and a rising unsheltered population. To assist these efforts, the GPL:

  1. Assessed the current shelter system through site visits and analysis of historical performance data, and
  2. Executed $19 million in results-driven RFPs for the Department's shelter portfolio to reflect an updated understanding of the system's spectrum of services and emphasizing program goals,
  3. Is working to implement active contract management for all shelter providers with the goals of adjusting service offerings to better meet the needs of individuals experiencing homelessness and to reduce lengths of stay before transitions to permanent housing.

 

 

Massachusetts Shelter Contract Performance Improvement

Massachusetts’ family shelter system has struggled to meet its mandate of quickly re-housing homeless families, with over 40% of families staying in shelter longer than one year. To improve outcomes for this population, the GPL helped Massachusetts better understand the state of the current shelter system by analyzing contract spending and interviewing stakeholders, including shelters providers and families who have used the system, and helped release a Request for Information to identify current challenges and brainstorm solutions for system improvement. The GPL is now working with the state to use this information to help Massachusetts reprocure its $155 million family shelter system, which serves roughly 12,000 people in families with children each year, to focus on outcomes and prepare for active contract management.

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Children & Families Projects

Arizona Child Welfare Performance Improvement

Developing a performance-based contracting strategy for delivery of critical services to ensure children are placed in the most appropriate setting and are provided the most effective services

Connecticut Family Stability Pay for Success

In 2013, over 50 percent of the 36,000 cases investigated by Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) had an indication of parental substance use. DCF hoped to support these recovering parents by matching them to recovery and support services while limiting removals of their children, so the agency worked with the GPL to launch the Family Stability Pay for Success project. This project identified a crucial gap in services for families with children aged 3-6 and expanded these services to support 500 additional families in need. The GPL also worked with DCF to tailor its identification, referral, and enrollment processes to better address the specific needs of families with substance use issues. Although the project is still underway, initial results have shown promise, and the final results will be evaluated by a randomized control trial.

Illinois Wraparound Services for Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice-Involved Youth

In Illinois, approximately 700 youth per year become simultaneously involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. These dually-involved youth experience very poor outcomes; on average 1,300 arrests per year and 230,000 days spent in congregate care. With pro-bono technical assistance from the GPL, the state tested a new model for supporting families involved with multiple agencies and has re-engineered data systems to improve performance management and referral processes. It now takes the state child welfare agency less than three days to identify a dually-involved youth, down from over 90 days on average. Once flagged as dually-involved, youth are matched to a wraparound facilitator who serves as their primary contact for support and refers them to appropriate services in a coordinated manner.  As part of the project, Illinois is also expanding the clinical and social services available to dually-involved youth (including family therapy and community-based placement), with the goals of reducing days spent incarcerated and in congregate care and improving child well-being.

Michigan Strong Beginnings Pay for Success

Michigan sought to expand prenatal and postpartum support in order to reduce the likelihood of negative health outcomes for new mothers and their children. With pro bono technical assistance from the GPL, Kent County is expanding comprehensive nurse home visiting services to every Medicaid-eligible, first-time mother to provide prenatal care, breastfeeding support, parenting and life skills-building, and additional services as needed. Assessed by a rigorous evaluation, the program is helping to reduce preterm births and rapid repeat pregnancies for new moms.  

Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth, and Families Performance Improvement

The GPL worked with DCYF on strategic planning to assess service needs and design an approach for improving services for children and families, executing a results-driven procurement for a new set of service contracts, strengthening their contract and provider performance management practices, and designing a strategic procurement management system to improve the results of contracted spending throughout the agency.

South Carolina Nurse Family Partnership Pay for Success

Striving to lower rates of preterm births and child injuries, the South Carolina Nurse-Family Partnership aims to give new moms the care they need to have healthy pregnancies and babies. The GPL worked with South Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) to provide nurse home visiting services to 4,000 low-income, first-time mothers from the second trimester of their pregnancy until their child’s second birthday. The model incentivizes NFP to focus on enrolling mothers from low-income zip codes, reducing child injuries and pre-term births, and increasing healthy birth spacing. After the project concludes in 2022, the state will make success payments that will be reinvested into NFP in South Carolina based on outcomes evaluated by a randomized control trial.

Chicago, IL Coordinated Case Management for High-Needs Families

Within most human services agencies, there is a subset of highly vulnerable families who have particularly multi-faceted or complex needs that are not being adequately addressed. In the traditional approach to serving these families, government treats each facet of the family’s challenges through a separate, siloed agency, usually focusing only on the family members who present to the system. As a result, these vulnerable families are likely to either engage with many services in a disjointed, ineffective way, or to receive one siloed service even though they have much more complex needs.

To reimagine a system of supports for these vulnerable families, the GPL is working with Chicago to develop a system to better coordinate services that address vulnerable families’ overall needs, thereby providing the holistic supports these families need to attain social and economic mobility. To do so, the GPL is helping the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) assess the current challenges for highly-vulnerable families interacting with DFSS and designing a pilot intervention to provide more holistic supports for a priority subset of these families by better coordinating resources across DFSS' workforce, youth services, homelessness and domestic violence, and children's services divisions.

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Criminal Justice Projects

Illinois Wraparound Services for Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice-Involved Youth

In Illinois, approximately 700 youth per year become simultaneously involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. These dually-involved youth experience very poor outcomes; on average 1,300 arrests per year and 230,000 days spent in congregate care. With pro-bono technical assistance from the GPL, the state tested a new model for supporting families involved with multiple agencies and has re-engineered data systems to improve performance management and referral processes. It now takes the state child welfare agency less than three days to identify a dually-involved youth, down from over 90 days on average. Once flagged as dually-involved, youth are matched to a wraparound facilitator who serves as their primary contact for support and refers them to appropriate services in a coordinated manner.  As part of the project, Illinois is also expanding the clinical and social services available to dually-involved youth (including family therapy and community-based placement), with the goals of reducing days spent incarcerated and in congregate care and improving child well-being.

California Criminal Justice Pay for Success Grant Competition

In 2014, California passed a bill authorizing the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) to grant $5 million dollars to up to three counties to launch outcomes-driven recidivism reduction projects. With pro-bono technical assistance from the GPL, BSCC designed and implemented a competitive process to select county projects that would reduce recidivism while shaping a new model for how local governments deliver programming - focusing on tracking and using data effectively, reducing traditional siloes within government, and incentivizing performance. Alameda County, Los Angeles County, and Ventura County each launched a Pay for Success project that have collectively produced approximately $30 million dollars of preventative and outcomes-driven services to reduce recidivism across the state.

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Education & Jobs Projects

California Department of Social Services SNAP Job Training and Employment Services

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) operates a workforce development program for CalFresh recipients called SNAP Employment and Training (E&T). In California, counties run their own E&T programs, with funding provided by the state and federal governments. GPL helped expand and improve E&T programming in three ways. First, GPL helped the state explore new ways to use federal matching funds that can create a perpetual, sustainable funding stream with a one-time investment of state dollars. Second, GPL facilitated a data match of county E&T participants to state wage records. Counties can now determine which E&T clients were ultimately able to find employment with the help of dashboards that GPL created. Finally, GPL helped pilot a statewide contract for E&T services, which will allow the state to supplement services in under-resourced communities.

Massachusetts Pathways to Economic Advancement Pay for Success

While Massachusetts has some of the highest educational performance in the country, the state continues to face challenges in supporting the employment and career success of English language learners and those who have not achieved high school credentials. With pro bono technical assistance from the GPL, Massachusetts launched a project to provide vocationally-oriented adult basic education and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) services to approximately 2,000 adults over the course of three years. The program is expected to improve earnings and education outcomes for participants.

Rhode Island TANF Work Supports

Improving workforce participation and employment outcomes for TANF employment programs through more integrated service array and active contract management

Rhode Island Workforce Development

To address a skills gap among the workforce, the State of Rhode Island rolled out a $14 million workforce development program called Real Jobs Rhode Island to help ensure that demand for talented workers was met across growing industries. The GPL helped Rhode Island's Department of Labor and Training develop a rigorous strategy for data collection and performance management of its new job programs, streamline intake procedures by eliminating burdensome application processes, and pilot collaborative, high-frequency meetings with program providers to improve service performance. Rhode Island was able to reconfigure the way it manages and evaluates its job training programs to capture meaningful long-term employment outcomes, improve customer service, and better meet employer demand.

San Francisco, CA Workforce Development Contract Alignment

As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative, the GPL provided pro bono technical assistance to help San Francisco improve its workforce development outcomes by 1) better aligning services, funding, and contracting across departments and 2) incorporating performance-based payments in contracts held by the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD).

Washington, DC Workforce Development Agency Coordination

As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative, the GPL provided pro bono technical assistance to help Washington, D.C. apply results-driven contracting strategies to improve the outcomes of its workforce development services.

Chicago, IL Workforce Services Performance Improvement

The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services’ workforce programs are designed to improve employment outcomes for high-need populations, but less than 40% of program participants have historically been priority populations, and the average 30-day job retention rate was only 54% across all programs in 2017. To help improve targeting and outcomes for these programs, the GPL assisted the city's Workforce Division by:

  1. Analyzing historical program data that had always been collected but never used to assess performance,

  2. Executing results-driven procurements for the Division's three largest employment programs worth $5M total per year, and

  3. Developing new performance payments to align vendor incentives with the Division's goals of improving employment for priority populations and improving the Division's understanding of longer-term outcomes.

Illinois Career Outcomes for Higher Education

Improved transparency and decision-making for students and parents by developing a user-friendly website that matches labor market outcomes (such as wages) to every school and program of higher education in Illinois

Rhode Island Adult Basic Education Performance Improvement

To further Rhode Island's goal of increasing jobs and job readiness in the state, the GPL supported the Rhode Island Department of Education in reforming their adult education services to create a more coordinated provision of trainings and supplemental supports to improve employment outcomes. This work included:

  1. Conducting a comprehensive analysis of demand and the historical performance of various adult education services,

  2. Connecting with stakeholders to understand challenges and desired changes in the existing system, and

  3. Development of an RFI that explored opportunities to strengthen contextualized instruction models that integrate workforce preparation and training with adult education.

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Procurement Systems Projects

Boston, MA Asphalt Resurfacing

The Boston Public Works Department’s  contracts for road resurfacing were overly focused on achieving mileage targets to the detriment of other key goals, such as maintaining steady work flows and minimizing inconvenience to constituents. With pro-bono technical assistance from the GPL, the city incorporated results-driven contracting strategies to reorient the roadway resurfacing contracts around a holistic set of goals, provide vendors with incentives to meet these goals, and increase the flow of performance data enabling the Department to course correct issues in real-time. The new contracts, worth $6 million a year, set out a performance payment structure to align stakeholder interests and reduce vendor uncertainty around anticipated work hours. The Public Works Department has expanded this pilot and is implementing results-driven contracting strategies in all of the City’s yearly capital programs (worth $40 million per year).

Boston, MA Capital Project IT System

The City of Boston spends over $120 million on construction projects every year but lacked the infrastructure to systematically share project information and effectively coordinate project management across departments. As a result, multi-departmental projects were falling behind schedule and running over budget. With pro-bono technical assistance from the GPL, the city launched a problem-based procurement for a cross-department capital project management IT system. The procurement aimed to standardize project management processes, increase the flow of data, and improve service delivery both across and within departments. After receiving more than twice the number of anticipated proposals, the city purchased a new standardized IT system that has promoted the sharing of best practices, process improvement, and increased coordination across departments.

Boston, MA Procurement for Bike Share Operator

Boston faced a number of challenges with its bike share system – some stations frequently had no available bikes while others were completely full, total ridership was lower than expected, and access was limited in low-income and minority communities. To address these challenges, the GPL provided pro bono technical assistance to help the city reshape the bike share system through the procurement of a new system operator. The procurement implemented performance metrics that better capture the user experience, improved system operations by balancing operator oversight and flexibility, and recruited private financing for the system expansion. As a result, Boston and neighboring municipalities will expand the bike share network by more than 70 stations over the next two years without spending additional public dollars, increase access for low-income and minority communities by reaching new neighborhoods, and incorporate new procedures to improve the user experience.

Boston, MA Vendor Diversity

As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative, the GPL provided pro bono technical assistance to help Boston improve its vendor diversity by contracting with more Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs).

Boston aimed to increase the racial and gender diversity of its vendors. The city established concrete vendor diversity goals and, with pro-bono technical assistance from the GPL, created a performance tracking system to monitor progress, streamline procurement practices to improve accessibility and transparency, and expanded technical assistance for diverse vendors. Initial signs, including an increase in vendor diversity for maintenance contracts, suggests that these strategies are working. Additionally, the city launched a New Small Business Center to serve as a one-stop resource for small business owners and entrepreneurs, providing professional training, networking, and one-on-one coaching sessions.

Charleston, SC Waste Collection Services

As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative, the GPL provided pro bono technical assistance to help Charleston increase price flexibility for the City's waste collection contracts, and ultimately, improve service delivery.

In Charleston, the city provides a mix of in-house and contracted waste collection services and seeks to ensure that seeks to ensure that all neighborhoods – regardless of service provider - receive safe, high-quality, and timely waste pick-up. With key contracts for waste collection services set to expire, the GPL provided pro bono technical assistance to help the city develop a new procurement process that targets the city’s goals and is oriented around clearly-defined performance metrics (such as route completion and response times).  The new procurement improves the collection of key data, provides vendors with the incentives to meet the city’s goals, and encourages excellent performance of waste collection services across the city.

Indianapolis, IN Technology Service Contracts

As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative, the GPL provided pro bono technical assistance to help Indianapolis increase competition, reduce costs, improve service quality, and enhance the City’s information technology (IT) capabilities by adopting results-driven contracting strategies for its IT application services contracts.

The Government Performance Lab is using results-driven contracting strategies to enhance IT capacity in local government. In Indianapolis, the city sought to improve the performance and value for money of its contracted IT application services. To do so, the GPL helped the city create several performance metrics to track the outcomes of IT application services, including timeliness of project work and department satisfaction surveys. The city then designed a competitive procurement approach which enabled them to compare vendor competencies in an actual project setting and accommodate both recurring support and special project needs through a new pricing structure. The GPL also made a number of recommendations to improve contract management and unbundle services from the master IT application services contract. In 2017, Indianapolis negotiated a contract renewal that reduced annual costs by approximately $900,000—nearly $3.6 million total over the remaining life of the contract.

Little Rock, AR Vendor Report Cards

 

As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative, the GPL provided pro bono technical assistance to help Little Rock adopt results-driven contracting strategies across its entire procurement portfolio, improving consistency, vendor management, and data usage throughout the City.

Little Rock aimed to reform its entire procurement portfolio and to improve the city’s procurement process. With pro-bono technical assistance from the GPL, a new outcomes-focused procurement template was designed based on in-depth interviews, and a vendor performance review form was created to better track vendor performance. Little Rock has transitioned 100 percent of their procurements to the outcomes-focused template, and regularly uses the performance review form to discuss project progress with vendors. As a result, there has been a decrease in re-procurements and change orders, increased cost control, and poor performing vendors are beginning to be replaced. Furthermore, the city has created a cross-departmental Procurement Task Force to review existing procurement policy and make recommendations for changes based on best practices and the work done with the lab.

 

Louisville, KY Strategic Procurement System

As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative, the GPL provided pro bono technical assistance to help Louisville design and pilot a strategic procurement system to improve the outcomes of the City’s contracted dollars.

Mesa, AZ Blight Remediation

As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative, the GPL supported the City of Mesa, AZ in procuring for a partner organization to implement the Love Your Neighborhood (LYN) program, which is a community engagement and home rehabilitation initiative. The City wanted to provide residents with resources and services to create sustainable improvements in a neighborhood that was particularly challenged with high instances of code violations, graffiti, police calls, and vacancies. A program was launched to help homeowners qualify for and implement home rehabilitation activities and to engage residents with information and resources related to home and property maintenance. After a pilot run, the city realized that a third-party partner was needed to deeply engage community members, identify homeowners to participate in the program, and carry out home rehabilitation projects. The GPL worked with the City to strategically procure for a partner organization, while emphasizing key performance metrics like number of exterior home rehabilitation activities completed and number of households engaged in community training. The GPL then helped the City implement strategies of active contract management that enabled the city and partner organization to meet frequently to discuss opportunities for collaboration, celebrate successes, and flag program challenges in real-time.

Saint Paul, MN Street Construction

As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative, the GPL provided pro bono technical assistance to help Saint Paul expand the pool of vendors that bid on street reconstruction contracts and improve vendor management during construction.

The City of Saint Paul faced several key challenges with their street reconstruction contracts. Vendor competition was low, and projects ran past agreed-upon budgets and timelines. With pro bono technical assistance from the GPL, the city conducted a vendor survey and implemented pre-bid meetings to improve vendor competition, streamlined project management responsibilities from design to construction completion, and created a dashboard to track vendor performance and enable real-time improvements. As a result, the city has seen a significant expansion of the vendor pool, and there are early indications of fewer contract amendments for recent projects. In addition, the Procurement Office has continued to foster a culture of continuous feedback by following up with vendors at the end of each project to understand strengths and opportunities for improving the procurement process.

Tempe, AZ City Employee Wellness

As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative, the GPL provided pro bono technical assistance to help the City of Tempe apply results-driven contracting strategies to improve the outcomes of its employee wellness program.

In Tempe, the city’s employee wellness program provides low-intensity supportive health and wellness services to all employees. However, the city had not clearly articulated the goals of the program nor set in place a method for evaluating the impact of the services. With the help of the GPL, Tempe reworked the procurement process to incorporate performance metrics of interest, such as reduction in negative health outcomes and increase in physical activity. The city also established a governance structure to review progress and refine program design over the course of the contract in order to continuously drive towards better outcomes. This process will provide the city leadership with insight into the overall impact of the program and help identify which components of the program have the greatest impact.

Wichita, KS Ground Maintenance Contracts

As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative, the GPL provided pro bono technical assistance to help Wichita reform its solicitations for grounds maintenance and landscaping services to improve the quality of City parks while reducing costs.

Wichita aimed to improve the quality of the city’s parks while reducing costs. In 2015, grounds maintenance bid amounts were up 30 percent over the prior year, contractors were failing to meet parks inspectors’ quality standards, and Wichita City officials had received numerous complaints about the height of the grass on playgrounds and playing fields. With pro-bono technical assistance from the GPL, the city created a mobile tool to track performance on key indicators (including grass height, debris on site, and property damage) for inspectors to fill out on-site. They then conducted a competitive procurement to select vendors for smaller parcels based on both quality of service and price, and included a bonus payment to reward strong performance. As a result, the city boosted overall competition (number of vendors submitting responses rose by 38 percent, and more than 95 percent of parcels had more than one bid) while keeping costs roughly the same as during the prior year. Most importantly, residents’ lives have improved as indicated by the fact that complaints to the City Manager about grounds maintenance have substantially fallen.

Los Angeles Strategic Procurement System

The GPL is helping the City of Los Angeles create a formalized outcomes-oriented strategic procurement system that aims to modernize and improve the results of their contracting process. Currently, the City has a decentralized procurement system, which has contributed to departments often not achieving top results from their contracted dollars.

Massachusetts Strategic Operations

The GPL improved operational processes across state Secretariats by increasing agency staff's project management and performance improvement abilities.

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