When Congress authorized the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 1968, it intended for the program to encourage community initiatives in flood risk management, charge insurance premiums consistent with actuarial pricing principles, and encourage the purchase of flood insurance by owners of flood prone properties, in part, by offering affordable premiums. The NFIP has been reauthorized many times since 1968, most recently with the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW 2012). In this most recent reauthorization, Congress placed a particular emphasis on setting flood insurance premiums following actuarial pricing principles, which was motivated by a desire to ensure future revenues were adequate to pay claims and administrative expenses. BW 2012 was designed to move the NFIP towards risk-based premiums for all flood insurance policies. The result was to be increased premiums for some policyholders that had been paying less than NFIP risk-based premiums and to possibly increase premiums for all policyholders. Recognition of this possibility and concern for the affordability of flood insurance is reflected in sections of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA 2014). These sections called on FEMA to propose a draft affordability framework for the NFIP after completing an analysis of the efforts of possible programs for offering "means-tested assistance" to policyholders for whom higher rates may not be affordable. BW 2012 and HFIAA 2014 mandated that FEMA conduct a study, in cooperation with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which would compare the costs of a program of risk-based rates and means-tested assistance to the current system of subsidized flood insurance rates and federally funded disaster relief for people without coverage. Production of two reports was agreed upon to fulfill this mandate. This second report proposes alternative approaches for a national evaluation of affordability program policy options and includes lessons for the design of a national study from a proof-of-concept pilot study.
Information on The American Community Survey
The Children's Health Act mandated the National Children's Study (NCS) in 2000 with one of its purposes being to authorize the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to study the environmental influences (including physical, chemical, biological, and psychosocial) on children's health and development. The NCS examines all aspects of the environment including air, water, diet, noise, family dynamics, and genetics, on the growth, development, and health of children across the United States, for a period of 21 years. The purpose of NCS is to improve the health and well-being of children and to contribute to understanding the role of these factors on health and disease. The research plan for the NCS was developed from 2005 to 2007 in collaboration among the Interagency Coordinating Committee, the NCS Advisory Committee, the NCS Program Office, Westat, the Vanguard Center principal investigators, and federal scientists. The current design of the study, however, uses a separate pilot to assess quality of scientific output, logistics, and operations and a "Main Study" to examine exposure-outcome relationships. The NCS proposed the use of a multilayered cohort approach for the Main Study, which was one of the topics for discussion at the workshop that is the subject of this publication. In the fall of 2012, NICHD requested that the Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) of the NRC and the IOM convene a joint workshop, to be led by CNSTAT. The workshop was to focus on issues related to the overall design (including the framework for implementation) of the NCS. The committee was provided a background paper which it used to select the challenges that were discussed at the workshop. Design of the National Children's Study: A Workshop Summary presents an overview of the workshop held on January 11, 2013. The publication includes summaries of the four sessions of the workshop, a list of participants, and the agenda.
The United States is responsible for nearly one-fifth of the world's energy consumption. Population growth, and the associated growth in housing, commercial floor space, transportation, goods, and services is expected to cause a 0.7 percent annual increase in energy demand for the foreseeable future. The energy used by the commercial and residential sectors represents approximately 40 percent of the nation's total energy consumption, and the share of these two sectors is expected to increase in the future. The Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) and Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) are two major surveys conducted by the Energy Information Administration. The surveys are the most relevant sources of data available to researchers and policy makers on energy consumption in the commercial and residential sectors. Many of the design decisions and operational procedures for the CBECS and RECS were developed in the 1970s and 1980s, and resource limitations during much of the time since then have prevented EIA from making significant changes to the data collections. Effective Tracking of Building Energy Use makes recommendations for redesigning the surveys based on a review of evolving data user needs and an assessment of new developments in relevant survey methods.
Summary of a public policy workshop in 1999 sponsored by the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (CBASSE)
A report on Improving Access to and Confidentiality of Research Data
Information on Improving Data on America's Aging Population
The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), at the U.S. National Foundation, is 1 of 14 major statistical agencies in the federal government, of which at least 5 collect relevant information on science, technology, and innovation activities in the United States and abroad. The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 expanded and codified NCSES's role as a U.S. federal statistical agency. Important aspects of the agency's mandate include collection, acquisition, analysis, and reporting and dissemination of data on research and development trends, on U.S. competitiveness in science, technology, and research and development, and on the condition and progress of U.S. science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Improving Measures of Science, Technology and Innovation: Interim Report examines the status of the NCSES's science, technology, and innovation (STI) indicators. This report assesses and provides recommendations regarding the need for revised, refocused, and newly developed indicators designed to better reflect fundamental and rapid changes that are reshaping global science, technology and innovation systems. The book also determines the international scope of STI indicators and the need for developing new indicators that measure developments in innovative activities in the United States and abroad, and Offers foresight on the types of data, metrics and indicators that will be particularly influential in evidentiary policy decision-making for years to come. In carrying out its charge, the authoring panel undertook a broad and comprehensive review of STI indicators from different countries, including Japan, China, India and several countries in Europe, Latin America and Africa. Improving Measures of Science, Technology, and Innovation makes recommendations for near-term action by NCSES along two dimensions: (1) development of new policy-relevant indicators that are based on NCSES survey data or on data collections at other statistical agencies; and (2) exploration of new data extraction and management tools for generating statistics, using automated methods of harvesting unstructured or scientometric data and data derived from administrative records.
During the past decade and a half, the National Research Council, through its Committee on National Statistics, has carried out a number of studies on the application of statistical methods to improve the testing and development of defense systems. These studies were intended to provide advice to the Department of Defense (DOD), which sponsored these studies. The previous studies have been concerned with the role of statistical methods in testing and evaluation, reliability practices, software methods, combining information, and evolutionary acquisition. Industrial Methods for the Effective Testing and Development of Defense Systems is the latest in a series of studies, and unlike earlier studies, this report identifies current engineering practices that have proved successful in industrial applications for system development and testing. This report explores how developmental and operational testing, modeling and simulation, and related techniques can improve the development and performance of defense systems, particularly techniques that have been shown to be effective in industrial applications and are likely to be useful in defense system development. In addition to the broad issues, the report identifies three specific topics for its focus: finding failure modes earlier, technology maturity, and use of all relevant information for operational assessments.
"The purpose of the Worksshop on Transportation Indicators was to discuss issues relating to transportation indicators and provide the Bureau of Transportation Statistics with new ideas for issues to address. "--P. 1.
Information on the Local Fiscal Effects of Illegal Immigration
The Committee and the Board on Children, Youth, and Families convened in September a workshop to discuss ways to foster greater collaboration and sharing of information among principal investigators of several longitudinal surveys of children. Among many topics discussed were issues of coverage and balance of content, sampling design and weighting, measurement and analysis, field operations, legitimation and retention of cases, data disclosure and dissemination, and resources available for longitudinal studies. The workshop was sponsored by the National Institute on Justice.
A report on Measuring Housing Discrimination in a National Study
The workshop summarized in this report was organized as part of a study sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, with the goal of assisting SAMHSA in its responsibilities of expanding the collection of behavioral health data in several areas. The workshop brought together experts in child mental health, psychiatric epidemiology and survey methods to facilitate discussion of the most suitable measures and mechanisms for producing estimates of serious emotional disturbance in children, which are necessary to enable the distribution of block grants that support state-level mental health services for children. The report discusses existing measures and data on mental disorders and functional impairment, challenges associated with collecting these data in large-scale population-based studies, as well as study design and estimation options.
A report on Measuring the Government Sector of the U.S. Economic Accounts
The United States has seen major advances in medical care during the past decades, but access to care at an affordable cost is not universal. Many Americans lack health care insurance of any kind, and many others with insurance are nonetheless exposed to financial risk because of high premiums, deductibles, co-pays, limits on insurance payments, and uncovered services. One might expect that the U.S. poverty measure would capture these financial effects and trends in them over time. Yet the current official poverty measure developed in the early 1960s does not take into account significant increases and variations in medical care costs, insurance coverage, out-of-pocket spending, and the financial burden imposed on families and individuals. Although medical costs consume a growing share of family and national income and studies regularly document high rates of medical financial stress and debt, the current poverty measure does not capture the consequences for families' economic security or their income available for other basic needs. In 1995, a panel of the National Research Council (NRC) recommended a new poverty measure, which compares families' disposable income to poverty thresholds based on current spending for food, clothing, shelter, utilities, and a little more. The panel's recommendations stimulated extensive collaborative research involving several government agencies on experimental poverty measures that led to a new research Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), which the U.S. Census Bureau first published in November 2011 and will update annually. Analyses of the effects of including and excluding certain factors from the new SPM showed that, were it not for the cost that families incurred for premiums and other medical expenses not covered by health insurance, 10 million fewer people would have been poor according to the SPM. The implementation of the patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides a strong impetus to think rigorously about ways to measure medical care economic burden and risk, which is the basis for Medical Care Economic Risk. As new policies - whether part of the ACA or other policies - are implemented that seek to expand and improve health insurance coverage and to protect against the high costs of medical care relative to income, such measures will be important to assess the effects of policy changes in both the short and long term on the extent of financial burden and risk for the population, which are explained in this report.
National Patterns of R&D Resources is an annual report issued by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) of the National Science Foundation, which provides a national view of current 'patterns' in funding of R&D activities in government, industry, academia, federally funded research and development centers, and non-profits. Total R&D funds are broken out at the national level by type of provider, type of recipient, and whether the R&D is basic, applied, or developmental. These patterns are compared both longitudinally versus historical R&D amounts, and internationally. This report series, which is based on input from several censuses and surveys, is used to formulate policies that, e.g., might increase incentives to support different types, sources, or recipients of R&D than is currently the case. To communicate these R&D patterns, each report is composed of a set of tabulations of national R&D disaggregated by type of donor, type of recipient, and type of R&D. While this satisfies many key user groups, the question was whether some modifications of the report could attract a wider user community and at the same time provide more useful information for current users. National Patterns of R&D Resources: Future Directions for Content and Methods addresses the following questions: (1) what additional topics and tabulations could be presented without modifying the current portfolio of R&D censuses and surveys, (2) what additional topics and tabulations might be presented by expanding these current data collections, (3) what could be done to enhance international comparability of the tabulations, (4) since much of the information on non-profit R&D providers and recipients is estimated from 15 year-old data, what impact might this be having on the quality of the associated National Patterns tabulations, (5) what statistical models could be used to support the issuance R&D estimates at state-level and geographic regions below the national level, (6) what use could be made from the recent development of administrative sources of R&D information, and finally, (7) what graphical tools could be added to the current tabulations to enhance the communication of R&D patterns to the users of this series of publications.
For many household surveys in the United States, responses rates have been steadily declining for at least the past two decades. A similar decline in survey response can be observed in all wealthy countries. Efforts to raise response rates have used such strategies as monetary incentives or repeated attempts to contact sample members and obtain completed interviews, but these strategies increase the costs of surveys. This review addresses the core issues regarding survey nonresponse. It considers why response rates are declining and what that means for the accuracy of survey results. These trends are of particular concern for the social science community, which is heavily invested in obtaining information from household surveys. The evidence to date makes it apparent that current trends in nonresponse, if not arrested, threaten to undermine the potential of household surveys to elicit information that assists in understanding social and economic issues. The trends also threaten to weaken the validity of inferences drawn from estimates based on those surveys. High nonresponse rates create the potential or risk for bias in estimates and affect survey design, data collection, estimation, and analysis. The survey community is painfully aware of these trends and has responded aggressively to these threats. The interview modes employed by surveys in the public and private sectors have proliferated as new technologies and methods have emerged and matured. To the traditional trio of mail, telephone, and face-to-face surveys have been added interactive voice response (IVR), audio computer-assisted self-interviewing (ACASI), web surveys, and a number of hybrid methods. Similarly, a growing research agenda has emerged in the past decade or so focused on seeking solutions to various aspects of the problem of survey nonresponse; the potential solutions that have been considered range from better training and deployment of interviewers to more use of incentives, better use of the information collected in the data collection, and increased use of auxiliary information from other sources in survey design and data collection. Nonresponse in Social Science Surveys: A Research Agenda also documents the increased use of information collected in the survey process in nonresponse adjustment.
A report on Reliability Issues for DoD Systems
Section 141 of The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 20101 provides funding for a research program on the causes and consequences of childhood hunger and food insecurity, and the characteristics of households with childhood hunger and food insecurity, with a particular focus on efforts to improve the knowledge base regarding contributing factors, geographic distribution, programmatic effectiveness, public health and medical costs, and consequences for child development, well-being, and educational attainment. The Economic Research Service and Food and Nutrition Service of the US Department of Agriculture conducted two outreach efforts to obtain input from the research community and other stakeholders to help focus on areas and methods with the greatest research potential. First, Food and Nutrition Service sought written comments to selected questions through publication of a Federal Register Notice. The second option was to convene a workshop under the auspices of the Committee on National Statistics of the National Research Council and the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine. Research Opportunities Concerning the Causes and Consequences of Child Food Insecurity and Hunger is the summary of that workshop, convened in Fall 2012 to examine research gaps and opportunities to advance understanding of the causes and consequences of child hunger in the United States. This report reviews the adequacy of current knowledge, identifies substantial research gaps, and considers data availability of economic, health, social, cultural, demographic, and other factors that contribute to childhood hunger or food insecurity. It also considers the geographic distribution of childhood hunger and food insecurity; the extent to which existing federal assistance programs reduce childhood hunger and food insecurity; childhood hunger and food insecurity persistence, and the extent to which it is due to gaps in program coverage; and the inability of potential participants to access programs, or the insufficiency of program benefits or services. Research Opportunities Concerning the Causes and Consequences of Child Food Insecurity and Hunger will be a resource to inform discussions about the public health and medical costs of childhood hunger and food insecurity through its focus on determinants of child food insecurity and hunger, individual, community, and policy responses to hunger, impacts of child food insecurity and hunger, and measurement and surveillance issues.
The growing importance of immigration in the United States today prompted this examination of the adequacy of U.S. immigration data. This volume summarizes data needs in four areas: immigration trends, assimilation and impacts, labor force issues, and family and social networks. It includes recommendations on additional sources for the data needed for program and research purposes, and new questions and refinements of questions within existing data sources to improve the understanding of immigration and immigrant trends.
Subjective well-being refers to how people experience and evaluate their lives and specific domains and activities in their lives. This information has already proven valuable to researchers, who have produced insights about the emotional states and experiences of people belonging to different groups, engaged in different activities, at different points in the life course, and involved in different family and community structures. Research has also revealed relationships between people's self-reported, subjectively assessed states and their behavior and decisions. Research on subjective well-being has been ongoing for decades, providing new information about the human condition. During the past decade, interest in the topic among policy makers, national statistical offices, academic researchers, the media, and the public has increased markedly because of its potential for shedding light on the economic, social, and health conditions of populations and for informing policy decisions across these domains. Subjective Well-Being: Measuring Happiness, Suffering, and Other Dimensions of Experience explores the use of this measure in population surveys. This report reviews the current state of research and evaluates methods for the measurement. In this report, a range of potential experienced well-being data applications are cited, from cost-benefit studies of health care delivery to commuting and transportation planning, environmental valuation, and outdoor recreation resource monitoring, and even to assessment of end-of-life treatment options. Subjective Well-Being finds that, whether used to assess the consequence of people's situations and policies that might affect them or to explore determinants of outcomes, contextual and covariate data are needed alongside the subjective well-being measures. This report offers guidance about adopting subjective well-being measures in official government surveys to inform social and economic policies and considers whether research has advanced to a point which warrants the federal government collecting data that allow aspects of the population's subjective well-being to be tracked and associated with changing conditions.
SUMMARY OF A WORKSHOP ON INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH for Federal Statistics
A summary Toward a Health Statistics System for the 21st Century
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