Research on the progress of welfare reform commonly relies on multi-year state and national evaluations and surveys, leaving city officials and practitioners hungry for data on the immediate impacts of welfare changes on their inner-city neighborhoods. This study describes the Milwaukee neighborhood indicators project, an effort directed by the Employment and Training Institute, which tries to fill this information gap. Using a variety of geographically specific data sources from state, county, and city agencies, the project provides a more timely set of economic indicators for the city of Milwaukee and its neighborhoods than do other sources. The indicators allow local officials to measure the impact of welfare reform and worker benefit policies on families, to identify continuing employment barriers for inner-city residents, and to craft policies that help these families attain economic self-sufficiency. The research model described in this paper can be replicated in cities across the country.
Quinn, Lois M. and Pawasarat, John, "Tracking the Progress of Welfare Reform Quickly: A Model for Measuring Neighborhood Health and Change, prepared for The Brookings Institution" (2001). ETI Publications. Paper 126.