Tribal HPOG 1.0 Evaluation

The Tribal Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) program provides opportunities for health education and training for recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and for other low-income individuals in tribal communities.

The Tribal Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) program provides opportunities for health education and training for recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and for other low-income individuals in tribal communities. It is authorized through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and administered by the Office of Family Assistance in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The HPOG program supports 32 demonstration projects, including 5 Tribal Organizations and Colleges.

ACF’s Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) contracted with NORC at the University of Chicago and its partners Red Star Innovations and the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) to design and conduct a comprehensive process and outcome evaluation of the Tribal HPOG program.

The Tribal HPOG evaluation team coordinated and consulted with the five Tribal HPOG grantees; stakeholders; partners; and a committee composed of experts in the tribal health care field to develop a culturally responsive evaluation approach that emphasizes grantee collaboration and benefit. The Tribal HPOG evaluation approach was based on active participation of grantee staff, and addresses meaningful questions that support program improvement and knowledge-building.

The questions guiding this evaluation were specifically designed to examine structures, processes, and outcomes of the Tribal HPOG programs. Evaluation questions related to structure examine grantees’ development of relationships and frameworks designed specifically for tribal populations. These questions also show how the social, political, and economic contexts of individual tribal communities influence program design and implementation. Evaluation questions related to process examine the delivery of training and supportive services, including grantees’ incorporation of supportive services aligned with the needs of their communities. Evaluation questions related to outcomes examine factors related to the enhancement of tribal workforce capacity.

Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to address these evaluation questions. Over the duration of the Tribal HPOG program, the evaluation team reviewed program documents, such as grantee applications, semi-annual reports, administrative documents, and program literature and curricula. The evaluation team also conducted site visits over the course of the grantee programs. These site visits included in-person interviews with grantee and partner administrative staff (e.g., project directors and managers), program implementation staff (e.g., instructors, service providers), and local employers; and focus groups with students enrolled in the programs. Telephone interviews were also be conducted both with participants who completed the programs and with those who did not complete the programs.

Qualitative data analysis identifies common themes across the programs, including facilitators and barriers to program implementation and participant outcomes, as well as the nuances of each tribe’s culturally informed and holistic approach to the HPOG program. To support the qualitative findings, the evaluation team analyzed quantitative program operations data collected through the HPOG Performance Reporting System.  This system collected uniform data across all 32 tribal and non-tribal grantees for program performance management and evaluation purposes.

The key research questions that this study addresses are:

  1. Have grantees incorporated structures necessary to enhance the health care workforce of the community?
  2. Have grantees implemented processes that successfully prepare participants for employment in the tribal health care sector?
  3. Is there evidence that participation in the program resulted in successful employment and workforce capacity-building outcomes?

Timeline for Tribal HPOG

The Tribal HPOG Evaluation was awarded in September 2010 and continued through December 2015. The final report was submitted to ACF in December 2015.

HPOG Grantees Participating in Tribal HPOG Study

  • College of Menominee Nation
  • Cankdeska Cikana Community College
  • Turtle Mountain Community College
  • Cook Inlet Tribal Council
  • Blackfeet Community College 

Tribal HPOG Partners and Sponsors

Primary Evaluation Sponsor

OPREThe PACE evaluation is funded by The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE). OPRE is the principal advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, on increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of programs designed to improve the economic and social well-being of children and families.

Lead Evaluator

logo-NORCNORC at the University of Chicago is an independent research institution that delivers reliable data and rigorous analysis to guide critical programmatic, business, and policy decisions. NORC collaborates with government agencies, foundations, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and businesses to develop enduring knowledge that supports evidence-based decisions.

Evaluation Partners

Additional Links


Tribal HPOG Project Director
Michael Meit
Senior Fellow
NORC at the University of Chicago
(301) 634-9324

Federal Project Officer
Amelia Popham
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Administration for Children and Families

Other ACF-Sponsored Studies