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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This study was supported by Contract No. 53–3198–0–012 between the National Academy of Sciences and the United States Department of Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.
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National Research Council (2001) Estimating Eligibility and Participation for the WIC Program: Phase I Report. Committee on National Statistics, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Michele Ver Ploeg and David M.Betson (Eds.), Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
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PANEL TO EVALUATE THE USDA’S METHODOLOGY FOR ESTIMATING ELIGIBILITY AND PARTICIPATION FOR THE WIC PROGRAM
DAVID M.BETSON (Chair),
Department of Economics, University of Notre Dame
Statistical Services Branch, North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics
Department of Statistics, Iowa State University
Department of Economics, University of California, Los Angeles
RAND, Santa Monica, California
Department of Economics, University of Iowa
Department of Economics, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan
JOHN KARL SCHOLZ,
Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin, Madison
CAROL WEST SUITOR,
Consultant, Northfield, Vermont
MICHELE VER PLOEG, Study Director
CONSTANCE F.CITRO, Senior Program Officer
JAMIE CASEY, Senior Project Assistant
MICHAEL SIRI, Project Assistant
COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL STATISTICS 2000–2001
JOHN E.ROLPH (Chair),
Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California
Department of Economics, Northwestern University
Department of Statistics, University of Pennsylvania
RAND, Santa Monica, California
Joint Program in Survey Methodology, University of Maryland, College Park
Department of Economics, University of Iowa
Statistics Division, United Nations
Department of Biostatistics, University of North Carolina
School of Public Health, University of Michigan
RAND, Arlington, Virginia
AT&T Laboratories-Research, Florham Park, New Jersey
Division of Statistics, University of California, Davis
Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
ANDREW A.WHITE, Director
The Panel to Evaluate the USDA’s Methodology for Estimating Eligibility and Participation for the WIC Program wishes to thank the many people and institutions that contributed to the preparation of this interim report. Without their help, the panel could not have completed this initial examination within the short time frame provided for in the first phase of the project. As chair of the panel, I want to thank my fellow panel members for their commitment to the work of the panel under a rather demanding time schedule. Their quick and constructive responses to the numerous drafts of the report and follow-up emails made meeting the deadlines possible.
The panel wishes to thank the staff of the Food and Nutritional Service (FNS) for their patient explanation of the many rules and regulations pertaining to the WIC program: Jay Hirschman, Cindy Long, Dawn Aldridge, and Stefanie Schmidt. We also wish to acknowledge David Smallwood for his role as a liaison to the panel with the Economic Research Service (ERS), the funding agency for this project.
In the preparation of this report, the panel convened two meetings. The initial open meeting of the panel was held on December 8, 2000. At this meeting, informative and helpful presentations on the regulations and operation of the WIC program were provided by Cindy Long and Debbie Whitford of FNS; Anne Gordon of Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR); and Robert Greenstein and Leighton Ku of the Center for Budget Priorities and Policy.
The second open meeting of the panel was convened on March 15–16, 2001, for the purpose of gathering background information relevant to the estimation of eligibility and participation in the WIC program. The panel wishes to acknowledge the presentation at the workshop by Gregory Spencer of the Census Bureau; Booker Smith of Ross Laboratories; Marie Louise Harrell of Sigma One Corporation; Carole Trippe and Allen Schirm of MPR Inc.; Jenny Kenney and Lisa Dubay of the Urban Institute; Michael Brien of the University of Virginia; and Julie Kresge of FNS. The panel also greatly appreciated the panel discussion of four state WIC directors: Phyllis Bramson-Paul of California; Alice Lenihan of North Carolina; Frank Maisano of Pennsylvania; and Peggy Trouba of Nebraska.
The panel could not have completed their work without the assistance of Linda Giannarelli, Joyce Morton, Paul Johnson, and Laura Wheaton of the Urban Institute. Their original empirical work conducted for the panel represents the core evidence that we utilized in drafting this report. The panel also wishes to thank Sheila Zedlewski and the Urban Institute who made this work possible.
The panel was assisted by a very able staff. The work of the panel could not have been completed without the assistance of Michele Ver Ploeg, the study director. Shelly’s preparations of the various drafts of the report and attention to the overall project contributed to the timely completion of the report. Also we would like to thank Constance Citro, senior program officer at the National Research Council for her advice and counsel during this first phase of the panel’s work. Finally, the panel acknowledges the able project and research assistance provided by Jamie Casey, Marisa Gerstein, and Michael Siri.
This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s (NRC) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Michael J.Brien, Department of Economics, University of Virginia; Mary Kay Fox, Abt Associates, Cambridge, MA; Hermann Habermann, Statistics Division,
United Nations; Gordon Lewis, School of Urban and Public Affairs, Carnegie Mellon; Cynthia Miller, Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, New York, NY; Jeffrey Moore, Center for Survey Methods Research/Statistical Research Division, U.S. Census Bureau; and Bruce D. Spencer, Department of Statistics, Northwestern University.
Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Robert Moffitt, Department of Economics, Johns Hopkins University. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
David M.Betson, Chair
Panel to Evaluate the USDA’s Methodology for Estimating Eligibility and Participation for the WIC Program