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Research Designs for Assessing the USDA’s Food Assistance and Nutrition Programs Outcomes, Part 2: Impact Evaluation of Demonstrations

Lin, Biing-Hwan PhD; Smallwood, David PhD; Hamilton, William PhD; Rossi, Peter H. PhD


This is the second part of a 2-part article that summarizes a review of research designs for assessing the impact of the USDA’s food assistance and nutrition programs on nutrition and health. The first part focused on the research designs for evaluating ongoing national programs. Here, the random experiment and 3 quasi-experimental designs that can be used to evaluate the impacts of demonstration projects are reviewed.

Part 2 of an all-purpose guide to program evaluation

Biing-Hwan Lin, PhD, is an agricultural economist with the Economic Research Service, USDA, Washington, DC.

David Smallwood, PhD, is the Deputy Director for Food Assistance Research with the Food and Rural Economics Division, Economic Research Service, US Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC.

William Hamilton, PhD, was a Vice President with Abt Associates, Inc.; he is now retired.

Peter H. Rossi, PhD, is an Emeritus Professor with the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Corresponding author: Biing-Hwan Lin, PhD, Economic Research Service, USDA, 1800 M St NW, Washington, DC 20036 (e-mail:

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.