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BIAS - Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency

The BIAS project uses a behavioral economics lens to examine human services programs that serve poor and vulnerable families. The project demonstrates the value of applying behavioral insights to improve the efficacy of human services programs.

Presenters: Toija Riggins, Ph.D.National Program Leader, Division of Family and Consumer Sciences, Institute of Youth, Family and Community, NIFA/USDA; Barbara O'Neill, Ph.D., CFP, CRPC, AFC, CHC, CFEd, CFCS; Extension Specialist in Financial Resource Management; Distinguished Professor; Rutgers Cooperative Extension; Amanda Benton, Department of Health and Human Services; and Kim Clum, Administration for Children and Families.

Amanda Benton: Amanda Benton is a Social Science Analyst in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS, 2014 – present). She helps support the work by HHS' Administration for Children and Families on a series of Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) projects, helping to inform the design and implementation of efforts to leverage learnings from behavioral economics across a variety of human services policy domains. Amanda also serves as the lead analyst for family and youth homelessness, working to streamline and maximize this work both across HHS and with other federal departments. She often represents ASPE on interagency working groups and helps manage an evaluation of housing interventions for domestic violence survivors. Amanda works on family policy issues, such as parenting and responsible fatherhood. She has also led HHS efforts to address poverty and child well-being through coordinated technical assistance at the local level. Finally, Amanda contributes to ASPE's work on human trafficking and dissemination strategies for effectively reaching policy audiences. Amanda previously held multiple positions at the National Alliance to End Homelessness, including as Director of Policy Outreach. Amanda holds a bachelor’s degree from Dickinson College and a Master in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

 Kim Clum: Kim Clum is a Senior Social Science Research Analyst at the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) at the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). Her work focuses on low-income adults, economic self-sufficiency, comprehensive reviews of evidence, the application of behavioral sciences to human services, and racial and ethnic disparities in the human services. With Victoria Kabak, she co-leads OPRE’s work on behavioral interventions to advance self-sufficiency. Prior to joining OPRE, she held positions in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at HHS, where she worked on an array of policy and program areas, including those related to disconnected youth, low-income men, reentry, and the child support program. Before that, she was at the University of Michigan, where she conducted qualitative research on topics related to low-income families, well-being, and mobility. Kim holds a BA, MSW, and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Barbara O'Neill: Dr. Barbara O’Neill holds the rank of Distinguished Professor at Rutgers University, and is Rutgers Cooperative Extension’s Specialist in Financial Resource Management. She also provides national leadership for the Cooperative Extension programs Investing For Your Future and Small Steps to Health and Wealth™. A certified financial planner®, Dr. O’Neill received her Ph.D. in family financial management from Virginia Tech and has written over 1,700 consumer newspaper articles and over 160 articles for professional publications. She has also received over three dozen awards for program excellence and over $1 million in external funding to support her financial education programs and research.

Created by Laura Hendrix

Primary Audience: Extension Professionals