The Federally Funded Research and Development Center, RAND, recently released its report “FVAP and the Road Ahead.” In 2013, the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) commissioned this research effort to align its strategy and operations to better reflect its core mission. RAND’s report details the project findings and recommended organization alignments for FVAP, some of which have already been instituted.
Key findings from the RAND report include:
- FVAP relies heavily on intermediaries, such as Voting Assistance Officers, to reachUniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) voters.
- To play this role more effectively, FVAP needs to take several steps: (1) Create a clearer, shared understanding of its mission; (2) build trust and strengthen its relationships with its stakeholders, and (3) embrace a culture and principles of effectiveness.
- FVAP has taken substantial steps to become one FVAP, improve its relationships with stakeholders, and embrace effectiveness. For example, FVAP reoriented its mission, reorganized its operations, and began providing more hands-on voting assistance.
- Through training, especially in-person training, FVAP can engage its intermediaries more directly, get closer to UOCAVA voters and reap other ancillary benefits.
- To lock in and build on recent gains, FVAP will need to continue working on unifying the organization, improving its relationships with stakeholders and embracing effectiveness.
FVAP has already begun implementing initiatives that align with RAND’s recommendations. “Through their collaboration and expertise, RAND provided guidance through the identification and implementation of necessary changes. Additionally, they have armed us with the knowledge and tools to continue making improvements,” said FVAP Director Mr. Matt Boehmer. “For example, we are currently utilizing adult learning methodologies and incorporating evaluations to revamp training modules for voters, election officials and Voting Assistance Officers. It is also reassuring that FVAP’s restructuring, which occurred during the time of the research, is aligned with RAND’s overall recommendation for FVAP — focus on our core mission of assisting military voters, their families, and overseas citizens and perform that mission well.”
View RAND’s full report at: http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR882.html.
Editor in Chief