Stephen Bell and Coauthors Honored with 2018 Raymond Vernon Memorial Award

Stephen H. Bell, Ph.D., a Westat Vice President and Director of Evaluation Research, and coauthors are to receive the Raymond Vernon Memorial Award for the best article published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (JPAM) in 2018. This prestigious scholarly honor is conveyed each year by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM). The award will be presented during the APPAM conference, Friday, November 9, 2018, at the Membership & Awards Breakfast.

“What Interventions Work Best for Families Who Experience Homelessness? Impact Estimates from the Family Options Study" was coauthored by Daniel Gubits, Marybeth Shinn, Michelle Wood, Scott R. Brown, Samuel R. Dastrup, and Dr. Bell.

Dr. Bell served as co-principal investigator for 8 years on the Family Options Study that is the basis for the article, and as the leading expert on the research team on random assignment impact evaluation design and analysis.

The study successfully implemented a path-breaking 4-cell random assignment design allocating families in homeless shelters in 12 cities to different forms of housing assistance.

The findings produced vital policy information on how to help such families gain housing stability and better quality lives generally, testing the nation’s three most prominent housing assistance strategies for homeless people against each other and against the status quo of no special help. “We now know that permanent housing subsidies give homeless families a leg up in many domains of their lives; it’s the one assistance strategy that emerges favorably from this definitive research,” noted Dr. Bell.

The results have received a great deal of attention at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and other domestic departments concerned about America’s most disadvantaged families and are featured in HUD’s 2018-2022 Strategic Plan.


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