Program Evaluation

Evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of homeland security programs is essential to both ensure the public safety and save taxpayer dollars. IHSS conducts independent, rigorous, and comprehensive program evaluations for homeland security agencies and also assists in the design development of such evaluations. Proper data collection efforts enable government partners to make informed, evidence-based decisions on policies and resource allocation.




Program Evaluation for Rapid DNA Testing

The majority of immigrants to the United States qualify for ent based on family relationship. Currently, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) uses fingerprints to check for criminal history or immigration violations on benefits applicants, but these biometrics do not determine if persons are related to one another. To address this concern, the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) funded the development of a low-cost, rapid DNA screening technology. That technology is ready to be employed in a limited capacity in the field. IHSS will evaluate the success of the pilot program and recommend procedures to improve its transition, implementation, and long-term use within USCIS.

Biometric Air and Sea Exit Strategy (BASES)

In 2003, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) developed the United States Visitor and Immigration Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) system to improve security at U.S. ports of entry. In 2007 Congress mandated that US-VISIT collect biometric and biographic information from  foreign nationals as they enter and exit the United States. Currently, US-VISIT collects only biographic information upon entry, and has not implemented a biometric exit system equivalent to the entry system.

IHSS was tasked with developing a program evaluation framework for the Biometric Air and Sea Exit Strategy (BASES) that can be used by DHS to: 1) identify and validate evaluation procedures conducted during the pilot studies of the biometric exit program, 2) conduct process and outcome evaluations of previous biometric exit pilots,  3) provide recommendations for the implementation of future biometric exit activities, and 4) develop a plan to conduct a cost/benefit analysis of recommendations.



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