1. Lin, Biing-Hwan PhD
  2. Smallwood, David PhD


This is the first of a 2-part article that summarizes a review of research designs for assessing the impact of the US Department of Agriculture's food assistance and nutrition programs on nutrition and health. The random assignment experiment is the "gold standard" design for such an evaluation. Where random assignment is impossible, quasi-experimental designs are used to infer what would have happened to program participants if the program had not existed. The random assignment and 4 quasi-experimental designs for evaluating ongoing food assistance and nutrition programs are discussed here. In Part 2, the random assignment and 3 quasi-experimental designs for evaluating demonstration projects will be discussed.