What Works Toolkit

About the Toolkit

Toolkit Development

The development of this Toolkit was guided by Robert Doar, Morgridge Fellow in Poverty Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, former commissioner of New York City’s Human Resources Administration (Bloomberg Administration), and RFA Senior Fellow, and Linda Gibbs, a principal with Bloomberg Associates, former New York City Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services (Bloomberg Administration), and RFA Senior Fellow, as a follow-up to their policy paper entitled Unleashing the Power of Administrative Data: A Guide for Federal, State, and Local Policymakers (2017). The paper lays out the barriers and solutions for better sharing and integrating administrative data to drive greater impact for clients of government-funded human services.

This Toolkit was also informed by Results for America’s Local Government Fellows and What Works Nonprofit Fellows, who worked together to identify ways to enhance the working relationship between government and human services providers at their primary point of intersection—the government contracting process. These recommendations are outlined in the blog post, “Turbocharging Government’s Human Services Contracting: 5 Ways to Improve Impact at the Intersection of Government and Nonprofit Interventions” by Matthew Klein, Executive Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity (NYC Opportunity) and a Senior Advisor in the New York City Mayor’s Office of Operations, and Lauren Sanchez Gilbert, Chief Executive Officer of BELL.

Based on the insights of Results for America’s Fellows, further research, and the review of the work of leading organizations such as Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities, the Government Performance Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative, among others, Results for America compiled this Toolkit to guide the way to more effective human services contracting in state and local government.


The What Works Toolkit was produced with the generous support of the Kresge Foundation and the Nielsen Foundation.

Results for America gratefully acknowledges the assistance of all of the individuals and organizations who provided their insight, advice, and expertise during the development of the 2018 What Works Toolkit. Results for America would especially like to recognize RFA Senior Fellows Robert Doar and Linda Gibbs for guiding the development of this toolkit. We would like to thank our What Works Nonprofit Fellows and Local Government Fellows for their insights, which were the foundation of this report. Further we would like to recognize the pioneering work of the Government Performance Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative for their contributions to the evidence-based policy field and this report.


Explore the Toolkit