Finding a Yardstick

Field Testing Outcome Measures for Community-based Financial Coaching and Capability Programs

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Despite a strong emphasis on building people’s capability to manage their household finances, the “field” lacks a clear set of standards for measuring the condition of any individual’s financial status.  The goal of this report by J. Michael Collins and Collin O’Rourke is to describe a small set of standardized measures that could be worthy of consideration as “benchmarks” for the field.

The goal of this project is to develop measures that satisfy standards of social science while also being attuned to the practical issues of data collection and analysis. To that end, this document serves as a starting place for a discussion about outcomes measurement standards for the financial coaching field. Ideally, the recommendations from this project can be applied to financial capability interventions broadly, increasing our collective understanding of how, and why, programs work.