The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative in Kansas

The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative in Kansas

This page was updated in August 2017 to reflect progress in the state.


In 2011, the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative partnered with the Kansas Department of Corrections to establish a cost-benefit model customized to the state’s criminal justice system. The department then incorporated their findings into annual planning efforts.

In 2016, in an effort to centralize and scale up the process, the state’s Performance Based Budgeting (PBB) Steering Committee, composed of leadership from the Kansas Division of the Budget and the Legislative Research Department, and representatives from several related executive agencies, began using the Results First approach to inventory program investments as part of its legislative charge. Formed as part of 2016 legislation (H.B. 2739) requiring the state to implement performance-based budgeting, the committee has engaged state agencies to identify programs and subprograms by objective, function, and purpose. As part of this new engagement, the committee aims to pilot the Results First program inventory process, starting with the Department of Children and Families. 


Research staff at the Kansas Department of Corrections, with support from the state’s Sentencing Commission, developed the Kansas Results First model, which projects the expected return on investment of an array of adult criminal justice programs, including cognitive behavioral therapy for high-risk inmates, offender workforce development services, and community-based programming for nonviolent drug-possession offenders. The Department of Corrections included their findings in their 2014 and 2015 annual reports.

Since 2016, the PBB Steering Committee has been leading efforts to inventory agency program investments and assess the costs, evidence of effectiveness, and the core agency outcomes and objectives each program is intended to achieve. The committee selected the Department of Children and Families (DCF) as a pilot agency for the new approach and will begin with an inventory of programs intended to reduce child abuse and neglect and out-of-home placement.

This program inventory process is the first step in bringing outcomes and results to the forefront of budget decisions and allocating resources to programs proved to work. Staff from DCF and the steering committee will comprise a working group to identify and assess the agency’s program investments.

Next steps

Committee staff is actively working with DCF staff to develop the pilot program inventory, which will initially focus on the DCF’s protection and prevention programs. This includes community services and intensive in-home services designed to prevent child abuse and neglect and out-of-home placement. The team will work closely with the Division of the Budget to ensure alignment with performance-based budgeting goals.