Managing in the Hollow State: Best Practices to Maintain Accountability in Service Implementation Networks

Julia L. Carboni, PhD and Sarah Maxwell, PhD
Rutgers University's Cases and Simulations Portal
The federal government funds programs through a streamlined grant process. However, once large contracts are awarded to organizations, those organizations often subcontract with other organizations to provide services. There is little oversight over the financial health or capacity of organizations once contracts are awarded and government funders have little or no connection to service delivery organizations. We review the federal grant process and highlight risks associated with fragmented service delivery systems and provide best practices to overcome risk. To illustrate concepts, we profile the Home Builder’s Institute (HBI), a large nonprofit that holds over $20 million in federal government grants and contracts to provide mentoring, job training, and pre-apprenticeship programs in 49 states. In most states, and specifically with social service programming such as mentoring, HBI contracts with networks of local providers to deliver services. HBI has developed novel methods to establish quality partnerships with subcontractors and monitor organizational capacity of subcontractors. We refer to this as the “Due Diligence Networked Model.”
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