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The following is a list of selected projects with brief descriptions completed by the ISR. To view an extended list of reports and publications click here. To see the relevant completed projects, please select an issue area below:
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- Environmental Issues
- On-Road Motorcycle Usage and Storage Survey (2011)
On behalf of the California Air Resources Board (ARB), the ISR conducted a survey of California registered owners of on-highway motorcycles in order to collect information about motorcycle characteristics, usage, and storage. From a sampling frame provided by the Department of Motor Vehicles, ISR randomly selected motorcycle owners to participate in a Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI). Questions asked of each respondent assessed where and when the motorcycle is used, reasons for usage, any modifications that have been made, and how the motorcycle is stored. The analysis and report provided by ISR will be used by the ARB to update information on California’s estimates of on-highway motorcycle activity and emissions. (Report)
- School Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Survey (2010)
The School Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program in the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) conducted a pest management survey of all California public school districts in 2010. The purposes of the survey were to: (1) measure compliance with requirements of the Healthy Schools Act (HSA), (2) measure adoption of IPM policies, programs and practices, (3) relate demographic and geographic factors to survey responses, (4) identify barriers to IPM adoption and (5) examine changes over time relative to four previous surveys. (Report)
- Estimation of Portable Fuel Container Ownership and Use (2010)
The Air Resources Board (ARB) survey obtained information on usage and storage for portable fuel containers. The survey employed Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) to obtain data, and focused on portable fuel containers, utility jugs, and portable refueling stations. Respondents were asked questions to determine what type of equipment they use, how often they use their equipment, how often it is refueled, where they use their equipment, and where, how, and for what length of time the equipment is stored. Individual households in California were randomly contacted by telephone for the information regarding portable fuel containers. (Report)
- Off-Highway Vehicle Use and Storage Telephone Survey (2009)
This survey was conducted as part of the California Air Resources Board’s (ARB) study of Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV) usage and storage in the state of California. OHVs are vehicles that are used off road including three and four wheel vehicles, all terrain vehicles, dune/sand buggy, motocross, and trail bikes. The ISR conducted a statewide survey of registered owners to inquire about OHV usage and storage patterns. Based on the results, the ISR analyzed the usage and storage characteristics, estimating the percentage means of usage during the week, in different seasons, counties, and popular tracks where the OHVs are used. This information will be used to refine the ARB’s existing estimates of statewide emissions.
- Pleasure Craft Use and Storage Telephone Survey (2009)
This survey was conducted as part of the California Air Resources Board’s (ARB) study of Pleasure Crafts (PC) usage and storage in the state of California. PCs consist of watercrafts that use inboard, outboard, jet, and auxiliary sail propulsion. The ISR conducted a statewide survey of registered owners to inquire about PC usage and storage patterns. Based on the results, the ISR analyzed the usage and storage characteristics, estimating the percentage means of usage during the week, in different seasons, counties, and popular waterways where the PCs are used. This information will be used to refine the ARB’s existing estimates of statewide emissions.
- School Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Survey (2007)
In order to monitor the progress of the Healthy Schools Act of 2000, the ISR conducted a statewide survey of California school districts for the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. The goal of this project was to track the voluntary adoption of IPM policies and programs in California’s schools. Responses were compared to those provided in the 2004 survey (also conducted by the ISR) to better track the progress of particular schools. The ISR provided analysis of data collected from IPM Coordinators. (Report)
- Refueling Tank Telephone Survey (2007)
This survey was conducted as part of the California Air Resources Board’s study of portable and fitted refueling tanks. Portable and fitted refueling tanks are used to supply fuel to vehicles and equipment. The ISR conducted a statewide telephone survey of households, businesses and owners of trucks, recreational vehicles, and toy haulers. Based on the survey results, the ISR computed estimates of the number of refueling tanks statewide and analyzed refueling tank use characteristics. This information will be used to refine the ARB’s existing estimates of statewide emissions. (Report)
- Assessment of Public Education and Outreach Programs for the Used Oil Recycling Program (2007)
The California Integrated Waste Management Board’s (CIWMB) Used Oil Block Grant Program provides grants to support local used oil recycling programs. More than 250 grantees from jurisdictions throughout California participate in the program each year. Public education and outreach are an important part of these programs. The ISR conducted an independent analysis of grantees’ past public education and outreach programs promoting used oil and filter recycling to Do-It-Yourself oil changers. With this information, the lSR determined which public education and strategies have been the most effective.
- Portable Outboard Marine Tank (OMT) Telephone Survey (2007)
This survey was conducted as part of the California Air Resources Board’s study of portable outboard marine tanks (OMTs). OMTs are used to supply fuel to outboard marine engines. Statewide uncontrolled emissions from OMTs are currently estimated at 4 to 8 tons per day. The ISR conducted a statewide telephone survey of outboard boat and sailboat owners. Based on the survey results, the ISR computed estimates of the number of OMTs statewide and analyzed OMT use characteristics. This information was used to refine the ARB’s existing estimates of statewide emissions. (Report)
- Colusa Subreach Planning Project Landowner Survey
The objective of the Colusa Subreach Planning Project, funded by the California Bay-Delta Authority, was to develop plans for the restoration of riparian habitat and related flood control and land use considerations for a twenty mile reach of the Sacramento River between the Princeton Ferry site and the Colusa Bridge. The Colusa Subreach Planning Project focused on the involvement of a wide range of groups and individuals than can or will be affected by conservation activities within the floodway of the Sacramento River. The two main partners in the project, The Sacramento River Conservation Forum and The Nature Conservancy, contracted with ISR to conduct a survey examining landowner’s perspectives on the restoration of riparian habitat in the subreach, their concerns about restoration, and their expectations for the planning process. A baseline survey was conducted at the beginning of the planning project in January 2004, and a follow-up survey was conducted in January 2008. (Report)
- 2004 California School Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Survey (2005)
In order to monitor the progress of the Healthy Schools Act (HSA) of 2000, the ISR conducted a statewide survey of California school districts for the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. The HSA aims to reduce exposure of children to pesticides in schools through the voluntary adoption of IPM and least-toxic methods of pest control. The goal of this project was to track this voluntary adoption of IPM policies and programs in California’s schools. The ISR provided analysis of data collected from IPM Coordinators. (Report)
- American River Parkway Survey (2005)
The American River Natural History Association funded a study to examine use-levels and recreational activity participation on the American River Parkway (ARP) by area residents. In cooperation with professors from the Sociology and Environmental Studies Departments at Sacramento State University, the ISR conducted a telephone survey in August 2005 to solicit information from a random sample of residents in the area surrouding the ARP. (Report)
- Estimation of Portable Fuel Container Ownership and Use (2003-2005)
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) funded a study aimed at obtaining information regarding statewide ownership and usage of portable fuel containers. To this end, the ISR designed and conducted a statewide telephone survey of California households and businesses. Follow these links for the Residential and Commercial Reports.
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- Health and Health Care Services
This project was conducted for the DMH to restructure the administration of their Consumer Surveys. The objectives included reducing administration burden and enhancing reliability and validity (and therefore the usefulness) of collected data. The surveys assess Consumers’ perceptions of quality of care and are currently being used for broad-based evaluation of California’s community-based mental health services. The ISR developed a random sampling methodology to take the place of the former convenience sampling methodology. The ISR also created a system that resulted in an annual administration process to take the place of the current biannual administration. Our work included evaluation of existing data platforms, obtaining stakeholder review and feedback, field testing, development of a training program and manual, survey administration, data analysis, data quality assessment and the development of reports and recommendations. (Website)
- Assesment of Representativeness of the Mental Health Services Consumer Perception Survey (2010)
The California Department of Mental Health (CDMH) administers the Consumer Perception Survey (CPS) to consumers who receive face-to-face community mental health services from county-operated and contract providers. The CPS survey administration utilizes a convenience sampling approach in which consumers who come into the mental health service organization during the two week sampling period receive a survey to complete and return on the premises. CDMH contracted with the ISR to perform an analysis of the representativeness of the CPS to the larger consumer population. (Report)
- Annual Sacramento State Survey of Public Opinion and Life Quality in the Sacramento Region (2009)
The Annual Sacramento State Survey of Public Opinion and Life Quality project was composed of annual telephone surveys, the objective of which was to assess and track the opinions of residents in the Sacramento region regarding their overall quality of life and important local, state, and national issues. For the purposes of this study, the Sacramento region included Sacramento, Yolo, Placer, and El Dorado counties. The topics covered each year varied to reflect current issues including traffic congestion, affordable housing and health care, public education, air-pollution, growth, and the economy. A set of core questions were maintained for longitudinal analysis. (Website)
- California Respiratory Care Practitioner Workforce Study (2007)
This project was designed in response to the Respiratory Care Board of California's need to plan and prepare for a potential shortage of Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCPs) in California and to consider future direction for the RCP education and certification requirements. The project involved surveying three groups: RCPs, Respiratory Care educational programs, and RCP employers. The study profiled the RCP workforce, forecasting future supply and demand for RCPs in California during the next decade. The study also examines the impact of possible changes to educational and examination requirements and includes models and recommendations. (Report)
- CARE Consortium Evaluation - California Department of Health Services, Office of AIDS (1999)
The Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act (RWCA) of 1990 provides for the establishment and support of HIV Care Consortia, whose responsibilities are to develop a service plan that will serve the community based upon local service needs, and fund the service providers who implement the service plan. The California State Office of AIDS (OA) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) funded a study of California’s Title II RWCA HIV Care Consortia model. This study evaluated the efficiency and effectiveness of California’s RWCA consortia in assessing needs, setting priorities, and delivering services to individuals and families living with HIV. (Report)
- Survey of Licensed Registered Nurses in California - California Board of Registered Nursing (1997)
The California Board of Registered Nursing funded a study seeking to describe California's registered nurses. Specifically, the purpose of this study was to describe California's working RNs in terms of demographic composition, educational experience, and work setting; to identify factors which may contribute to satisfaction and dissatisfaction with nursing work; and to examine changes in these patterns over time. The ISR conducted a mail survey to address these questions. (Report)
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- Law and Criminal Justice
This project was conducted for the DMV to help them learn more about factors related to DUI conviction rates and why conviction rates vary so much across California counties. Our research analysts traveled throughout California interviewing judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys who adjudicate and try DUI cases. The semi-structured, in-person interviews contained questions on topics such as workload, law enforcement practices, experience, training, media, grass roots organizations, and defense and prosecution strategies. This qualitative data was used to supplement quantitative research results generated in 2009 on the same issues.
- Language Need and Interpreter Use Study (2010)
The 2010 Language Need and Interpreter Use Study was conducted to evaluate spoken language need and interpreter use in California’s trial courts. On behalf of the Judicial Council of California’s Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), the ISR designed the legislatively mandated study to accomplish three specific objectives. First, the study utilized data collected from the courts from 2004 through 2008 to provide a descriptive overview of actual language use in California Superior courts. Second, U.S. Census’ Annual American Community Survey (ACS) data were used to illustrate immigration and language proficiency trends in California. Third, court data on actual interpreter use and ACS trend data on immigration and language proficiency were used to make recommendations regarding the designation or de-designation of spoken languages for the formal court interpreter certification process. As an additional component of the study, the AOC asked ISR researchers to collect court and census data to describe the courts’ use of American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters. (Report)
- Evaluation of the Sacramento County Probation Department Adult Drug Court Treatment Center (2008)
The Sacramento Adult Drug Court is part of a nationwide movement of innovation in court systems in the approach to certain types of crime. The first drug court opened in Dade County, Florida in 1989. Since then, the approach has spread throughout the country, spawning new types of “problem-solving” courts along the way. Partly a response to a growing prison population, and also to the perceived link between drug addiction and the development and continuation of other criminal behaviors, drug courts seek to break the recurring cycle by moving away from the traditional adversarial model toward a therapeutic model in which the court takes an active role in the attempt to help offenders get on the path to recovery. Drug court approaches have been shown not only to provide reductions in cost relative to incarceration, but to lower recidivism rates as well. The Sacramento Adult Drug Court has been in operation since 1995. In 2008, the Sacramento County Probation Department contracted with the ISR to begin conducting the state-mandated program reviews of the Drug Court, starting with a report on the 2006 and 2007 calendar years. The first report provided a basic description of program services, client population served, and treatment outcomes. In subsequent reports, a more in-depth analysis of drug court processes was added in order to provide detailed feedback on program implementation and specific treatment components.
- Survey of Job Satisfaction and Stress Among Sacramento's Corrections and Patrol Officers (2003)
Funded by a National Institute of Justice and Law Enforcement Family Support Grant, this study explored differences in job-related stress and job satisfaction among corrections officers, patrol officers and detectives in Sacramento county. The ISR, cooperating with the Sacramento County Depurt Sheriff's Association and the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, held a series of focus groups and conducted mail surveys that addressed varying measures of job stess and satisfaction. (Report)
- Sacramento Police Department’s Community Policing Coordination and Development Project (2000)
The National Institute of Justice funded an evaluation of the Sacramento Police Depatment's Community Policing Coordination and Development Project. The ISR was contracted to perform an evaluation of the effects of changes in communication, organizational structure, deployment and automation.
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- Social Services
- In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) - Quality Assurance and Hourly Task Guidelines Project (2010)
This project was conducted for the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to help improve its program supporting in-home services, which allows the elderly and disabled needing living assistance remain in their own homes. The ISR’s role in the IHSS Quality Assurance project involved several elements. One component was to conduct an assessment of training for social workers and its subsequent impact on the work of the participants. A second component was to help CDSS and its Time per Task initiative by collecting and analyzing information from focus groups with those receiving services (consumers) and social workers. A third component was to collect information on the implementation of Time per Task guidelines implemented in the fall of 2006 to help standardize the hours allocated for various services that are provided to the elderly and disabled. In this portion of the project, the ISR analyzed data on the number of hours provided to consumers, guideline exceptions, and appeals by consumers regarding the number of hours they were allocated. (Website)
- Evaluation of the Fast Track Math for Women Program (FTMW) at Sacramento State (CSUS) (2010)
As part of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Research on Gender in Science and Engineering, California State University, Sacramento (CSUS) was awarded a project to create the Fast Track Math for Women (FTMW) program at CSUS. FTMW was designed as a train-the-trainer program, with the purpose of creating a core of math educators who possess the knowledge needed to implement the FTM intervention program along with the tools and awareness needed to promote gender equity in the STEM fields. The FTMW launched its pilot program during the summer of 2010. The ISR conducted a formative evaluation of the FTMW training, which included an observational evaluation of the effectiveness of the practicum and both formal and informal feedback.
- Survey of Charitable Giving in the Greater Sacramento Region (2010)
The ISR was contracted by the Center for Strategic Economic Research (CSER) to conduct a computer-assisted telephone survey of households in the Sacramento region regarding charitable giving behaviors, motivating factors, and impediments to giving. ISR prepared a report summarizing the survey findings and comparing charitable giving in the Sacramento Region with findings from published reports on charitable giving in other geographic areas. This information is being used to assist a steering committee of local non-profit leaders to create an education and outreach campaign highlighting the importance of charitable giving and encouraging philanthropic gifts from households in the greater Sacramento region. The ISR's contribution can be viewed in the Greater Sacramento Generosity Project Quantitative Research Compilation report prepared by CSER. (Report)
- Employment Development Department (EDD) Branding Survey (2010)
This project was conducted for the Economic Development Department (EDD) to determine if the general public knows who to contact when they become unemployed or are in need of various employment and training services provided by the EDD One Stop Centers. These centers currently have different naming conventions and the EDD wishes to measure how familiar California residents are with the names of the centers within their locale, in their region, and outside their region. This project was a consortium with the Public Research Institute (PRI) at San Francisco State University, the Social Research Laboratory (SRL) at Fresno State and the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at Sacramento State.
- Survey of Parents of Children Receiving Child Welfare Assistance (2010)
The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has developed a comprehensive Program Improvement Plan (PIP) in partnership with Federal, State, and County governments, and public and private agencies regarding children receiving child welfare. Many of the program improvement goals can be measured using data from the automated Child Welfare Services/Case Management System (CWS/CMS). However, to measure progress toward PIP goals for which CDSS does not have data, surveys are conducted of the parents and foster parents of children receiving child welfare services. The annual survey, using methods that provide statistically significant statewide quantifiable information, is used to measure program changes.
- First 5 California Special Needs Project (2008)
ISR conducted two surveys to evaluate how well First 5 California’s School Readiness (SR) program and Special Needs Project (SNP) were meeting the needs of children under the age of five years old. One survey was conducted electronically with SR programs at schools throughout the state to collect information about their preschool programs and the types of accommodations they provide for special needs children at their site. The second survey was a computer-assisted telephone survey of families served at one of the 10 SNP demonstration sites, which are facilities which provide access to early childhood developmental screening. This family survey focused on collecting information about the parent’s overall impression of the screening program and how well the program staff met the needs of both parents and children. (Report)
- Sacramento County Food Stamps Eligible Population Estimate (2007)
Sacramento County is in the process of developing performance measures for it programs in Department of Human Assistance. One of the indicators of success is the percentage of County residents who are eligible to receive food stamps that are actually receiving them (a measure of hunger prevention). There are two key factors that go into this computation - income and immigrant status. The first is that Food Stamps is an income-eligible program; people below poverty level are eligible. The determination of eligible residents using this criterion is not too difficult. The second issue, being a citizen or a legal immigrant is more difficult (undocumented immigrants are not eligible for food stamps). The Institute for Social Research engaged in a project with the County to develop a model for estimating how many otherwise eligible individuals were excluded from participating in the food stamp program due to being illegal immigrants.
- In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Enhancement Initiative (2003-2006)
The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) was awarded a Real Choice Systems Change grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. CDSS contracted with the ISR to carry out the majority of the grant’s activities. Called the IHSS Enhancement Initiative, the grant's goal is to develop educational materials for IHSS consumers and providers that will be shared with the state's counties and public authorities. Project activities included: (1) Performance of an assessment of the need for training among IHSS consumers and providers; (2) Inventory of existing training materials for consumers and providers; and (3) Development of new educational materials and revision of existing materials to serve the needs of both IHSS consumers and providers. (Consumer Materials | Provider Materials)
- Evaluation of the Licensing of Engineers in California (2003)
The ISR completed a legislatively mandated evaluation, determining whether there was a justification for California's distinction between the "practice act" disciplines of civil, electrical and mechanical engineering and the remaining "title act" disciplines. The study resulted in a set of recommendations for restructuring the licensing of engineers in the state. (Report)
- Licensing Program Analysts Workload Study (2001)
California Department of Social Services, Division of Community Care Licensing funded a study of the state's 450 Licensing Program Analysts pursuant to a revision of the budgeting standard that funds this expanding program. (Report)
- Evaluation of Managed Care in Tulare County (1995)
On November 1, 1992, the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) approved a demonstration project to test whether all eligible IHSS clients in a county could be fully and competently served at Fiscal Year 1992/93 program allocation levels by a private contractor. The Managed Care Demonstration Project was initiated in Tulare County and CDSS contracted with the ISR to evaluate the outcome of this experiment in managed care in terms of coverage, cost and quality of care. The ISR conducted a comparison between Tulare County and eight other counties over a four year period. (Report)
- How Californians See Cooperatives (1995)
In cooperation with the University of California, Davis Center for Cooperatives, the ISR conducted a statewide telephone survey. The goal of this survey was to to examine awareness, knowledge, and perceptions of cooperatives and to obtain reliable estimates of co-op membership. (Report)
- Administrative Adjudication Division Study (1994)
In cooperation with The Results Group, ISR evaluated the California Department of Social Services Administrative Adjudications Division's State Hearing process from 1992 to 1994, assisting in the design of a streamlined process to handle the increasing number of hearing requests in the state's social programs. Follow-up work for AAD involved a time study of the Administrative Law Judges' hearing and decision-writing activities in order to distribute fair hearing costs between two state agencies: the Departments of Health and Social Services.
- Surveys of Visitors to Sacramento (1991-1992 & 1996-1997)
Funded by the Sacramento Convention and Visitor's Bureau, the ISR conducted two separate year long surveys of visitors to the Sacramento region. The survey sought to provide a broad discription of Sacramento visitors, including information on their origin, reasons for visiting, and the kinds of attractions and locations visited.
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