Office of Policy Initiatives and Budget - Policy and Research Section

The Policy and Research Section provides leadership and support to advance strategic Department initiatives, working across divisions, with other state agencies and with multiple external stakeholders. The Section also conducts research and policy analysis and prepares briefing papers, develops evaluation studies to determine program effectiveness and manages the Department’'s federal grant process and legislative mandates.

Quality Improvement
Policy and Research analysts lead efforts to identify evidence-based solutions to pressing issues, then work with division staff to design and implement these innovative approaches. Staff also lead and support efforts to incorporate best practices to improve the quality and effectiveness of existing programs. For example, analysts serve as leads for several of the Department-wide performance measures, e.g., improving birth outcomes and addressing the needs of individuals with dementia, including supporting family caregivers.

Strategic Initiatives
The Policy and Research Section provides support for the Secretary’'s Office in developing and implementing strategic initiatives that are cross-divisional and/or inter-agency involve external stakeholders. For example, staff recently served as lead and project manager for a joint DHS/DCF initiative to design and implement the foster care medical home initiative; staff led and facilitated the design and implementation of the medical home initiative for high risk pregnant women Medicaid members. Analysts also frequently assist in identifying potential linkages with disparate programs to improve effectiveness and efficiency.

Evaluation Studies
Policy and Research analysts work closely with program staff and administrators to design studies of existing programs and services to assess efficacy. Each study generally includes documenting the implementation process to facilitate replicability in other areas. Policy and Research analysts also serve as consultants to program staff in developing measures for new programs to help ensure accountability and provide guidance for the evaluation component of applications for federal funding. In addition, staff conduct program and surveys as needed.

Policy Research and Analysis
Policy and Research analysts provide “quick turn-around” and in-depth research and analysis to inform decisions about Department priorities and explore solutions to pressing issues that impact Wisconsin citizens. Recent examples include: evidence-based approaches to medication compliance; impact of smoking on pregnant women and effective cessation strategies; and effective strategies for meeting the needs of individuals with dementia.

Grants Management and Legislative Mandates
Staff in the Policy and Research Section manages the Department's grant process which includes technical assistance in preparing applications, guidance in developing evaluation components and budgets/budget narratives.  The Section develops and maintains the Departmnet's grant manual, works with fiscal staff in documenting awards fand provides reports as requested, including an annual accounting of grants received.

The Policy and Research Section manages the Department's process for submitting legislative mandated reports and responding to legislative inquiries as requested.

Linda McCart, Director
Policy and Research Section
P.O. Box 7850
Madison, WI 53707-7850
Phone: (608) 266-9296
Fax: (608) 267-0358

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Last Revised: November 26, 2014