In 2011, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Financial Security launched the Financial Coaching Outcome Measures Project to test a set of standardized measures. Four nonprofit community-based organizations collected data on client outcomes and shared the results to form a consistent database of similar measures.
The goal of this project was to develop measures that satisfy standards of social science while also being attuned to the practical issues of data collection and analysis. Development of the Financial Capability Scale (FCS) was a result of this project.
The partner research material The Financial Capability Scale: A Question & Answer Follow-Up to the Webinar builds upon this scale to answer questions about its use.
Financial capability programs have proliferated in recent years, but research into which programs or methods are actually effective has not kept pace. Researchers have conducted very few rigorous studies in this field, and practitioners, policymakers, and public and private funders are increasingly calling for research to help identify programs and methods that improve consumers’ financial decisions. The Urban Institute explores the Financial Capability scale and capability programs’ effectiveness.
The strategy spotlight is sponsored by The Annie Casey Foundation and the Center for Financial Security.