Research, Monitoring & Evaluation

Rapid Cycle Evaluation

A cornerstone of Abt Associates’ mission is to improve the education, housing, and health outcomes of people worldwide. Abt staff advance this mission by pioneering and refining new evaluation methodologies to meet society’s need for evidence-based practices, including the use of rapid cycle analytics.

Rapid Cycle Evaluations (RCEs) measure the effectiveness of interventions more rapidly than traditional evaluations and provide ongoing feedback to program implementers to support continuous quality improvement. RCEs typically apply rapid-but-rigorous methodologies that blend quantitative and qualitative research approaches.

These approaches are designed to provide reliable impact estimates and an understanding of how the interventions affect program participants. This information is used to adjust the interventions as needed and improve the chances of program success. Thus, unlike traditional evaluations, RCEs blur the lines between evaluator and program implementer, placing evaluators in the role of influencing the ongoing implementation of programs.

Abt, as one of 15 prime contractors for the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation’s (CMMI) Research, Measurement, Assessment, Design, and Analysis contract vehicle, is using RCEs to examine programs supported by Health Care Innovation Awards, Accountable Care Organizations, and the Bundled Payment for Care Improvement (BPCI) initiative, among others. Abt also is exploring the use of RCEs in other projects around the world.