Latest Posts from New America Blogs

Recent posts from all the blogs on NewAmerica.net can be found below. A full listing of all the blogs to which New America fellows and scholars regularly contribute can be found here.

Fast Track Eases Medicaid Enrollment, but Implementation Matters Too

July 29, 2014
Publication Image Relatively simple policy changes can make a big difference in helping people get access to health insurance – and health coverage helps many families stay afloat in the wake of a medical issue. In the span of just a few months, approximately 750,000 people were newly identified as eligible for Medicaid in California. How? California recently implemented a new, streamlined approach to let people know they qualify for Medicaid. In anticipation of the increasing number of adults applying for health coverage due to the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) promoted a strategy called Fast Track to accelerate eligibility and enrollment processes. Fast Track has been highly successful in connecting more families with services they qualify for and states have also saved significantly because of its efficiency; however, California has provided a textbook example of how implementation challenges influence a policy’s effectiveness.

Asset Building News Week, July 21-25

July 25, 2014
Publication Image The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include financial services and knowledge, poverty, and jobs.

Case Study: Practical Principles to Encourage a Civic Youth Pipeline

July 24, 2014


Kids in Sayada, Tunisia working on a plan for their Community Wireless Network - Photo Credit: Ryan Gerety

When determining if a project or process was successful, frequently we look at what the outcomes were, detailed statistics about what happened, as well as thinking about if the experiment or intervention can be sustained or scaled?  More often than not though it’s the impact of the process itself that matters.

Process is a huge part of everyday life in communities. Whether you are organizing a neighborhood block party or attending a public meeting, you are engaging with the governance processes and community structures that comprise our lives. These engagement opportunities can be few and far between, and frequently lacking sufficient pathways to engage with young people. Framing each of these engagements as opportunities to enter into civic process, there is an opportunity to expand the civic pipeline for youth. This can be as simple as experimenting with including youth in the civic processes that impact their communities.

New Report: Child Development Accounts as an Early Childhood Intervention

July 22, 2014
Publication Image Properly designed Child Development Accounts (CDAs) can have lasting, positive effects on children's educational development and can improve their long-term economic outcomes. That's the argument of a new paper we're releasing today, "Investing in Children: Child Development Accounts as an Early Childhood Intervention," which was authored by two scholars at the University of Kansas' School of Social Welfare, Terri Friedline, an Asset Building Program Research Fellow, and Nik Schuetz. While much discussion of CDAs (also known as CSAs or Children's Savings Accounts; the terms are interchangeable) treats the accounts in isolation, Friedline and Schuetz argue that, to be most effective, CDAs should be situated within the broader context of other early childhood interventions like pre-K and Head Start.

The 2014 Allied Media Conference MagicNet: Third Time’s the Charm

July 21, 2014
Pair of network installers

OTI works with Digital Stewards to construct this year’s conference-wide network.

At the 2014 Allied Media Conference, the Open Technology Institute partnered with the Detroit Digital Stewards to construct the conference-wide mesh network, MagicNet. This network provides a basic wireless connection to the Internet, as well as a platform for local applications and services for conference attendees. In previous years, OTI has led the MagicNet planning and construction as a training exercise for Digital Stewards from both Detroit and Red Hook, Brooklyn. This year, the newest round of Detroit Stewards led the process with minimal assistance from Open Technology Institute staff.