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PROSPER (PROmoting School-community-university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience)

Public Health & Prevention: Community-based
Benefit-cost methods last updated December 2019.  Literature review updated June 2016.
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The PROSPER (PROmoting School-community-university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience) delivery system is a partnership-based prevention model designed to help communities implement effective programs to reduce substance use and problem behaviors in youth. In addition to supporting program delivery, the model includes needs assessments, quality monitoring, sustainability strategies, and evaluation. Communities participating in PROSPER form local teams consisting of staff from the Cooperative Extension System (CES); representatives from the public school system and service providers; youth and parents; and other community stakeholders. University researchers and CES staff partner with the local teams and provide a menu of effective programs, technical assistance, coordination, and other supports. Local teams select and implement a family-based program for students in 6th grade and a school-based program in 7th grade from the menu of effective practices. In the studies included in this analysis, each community chose to provide the Strengthening Families Program: 10-14 in 6th grade. In 7th grade, communities chose to implement three different school-based programs including All Stars, LifeSkills Training, and Project Alert.
The estimates shown are present value, life cycle benefits and costs. All dollars are expressed in the base year chosen for this analysis (2018). The chance the benefits exceed the costs are derived from a Monte Carlo risk analysis. The details on this, as well as the economic discount rates and other relevant parameters are described in our Technical Documentation.
Benefit-Cost Summary Statistics Per Participant
Benefits to:
Taxpayers $383 Benefits minus costs $344
Participants $353 Benefit to cost ratio $1.63
Others $298 Chance the program will produce
Indirect ($140) benefits greater than the costs 57 %
Total benefits $894
Net program cost ($549)
Benefits minus cost $344
1In addition to the outcomes measured in the meta-analysis table, WSIPP measures benefits and costs estimated from other outcomes associated with those reported in the evaluation literature. For example, empirical research demonstrates that high school graduation leads to reduced crime. These associated measures provide a more complete picture of the detailed costs and benefits of the program.

2“Others” includes benefits to people other than taxpayers and participants. Depending on the program, it could include reductions in crime victimization, the economic benefits from a more educated workforce, and the benefits from employer-paid health insurance.

3“Indirect benefits” includes estimates of the net changes in the value of a statistical life and net changes in the deadweight costs of taxation.
Detailed Monetary Benefit Estimates Per Participant
Benefits from changes to:1 Benefits to:
Taxpayers Participants Others2 Indirect3 Total
Crime $33 $0 $79 $16 $128
Property loss associated with alcohol abuse or dependence $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Labor market earnings associated with cannabis abuse or dependence $136 $320 $0 $0 $456
Health care associated with illicit drug abuse or dependence $213 $33 $219 $107 $572
Mortality associated with smoking $0 $1 $0 $12 $12
Adjustment for deadweight cost of program $0 $0 $0 ($275) ($275)
Totals $383 $353 $298 ($140) $894
Detailed Annual Cost Estimates Per Participant
Annual cost Year dollars Summary
Program costs $104 2010 Present value of net program costs (in 2018 dollars) ($549)
Comparison costs $0 2010 Cost range (+ or -) 10 %
The per-participant annual cost is derived from the total economic cost of PROSPER delivered in seven communities in Pennsylvania over a five-year period as reported in Crowley, D. M., Jones, D. E., Greenberg, M. T., Feinberg, M. E., & Spoth, R. L. (2012). Resource Consumption of a Diffusion Model for Prevention Programs: The PROSPER Delivery System. Journal of Adolescent Health, 50, 3, 256-263. The estimated costs were incurred at the university, cooperative extension, and local team levels and include salaries and wages; operations (e.g. travel, copying, printing, etc.); overhead; program implementation and delivery (e.g. facilitators, materials, meals, etc.); and opportunity costs. To calculate a per-participant annual cost, we use the total average economic costs divided by the number of participants served and the number of years of program implementation.
The figures shown are estimates of the costs to implement programs in Washington. The comparison group costs reflect either no treatment or treatment as usual, depending on how effect sizes were calculated in the meta-analysis. The cost range reported above reflects potential variation or uncertainty in the cost estimate; more detail can be found in our Technical Documentation.
Estimated Cumulative Net Benefits Over Time (Non-Discounted Dollars)
The graph above illustrates the estimated cumulative net benefits per-participant for the first fifty years beyond the initial investment in the program. We present these cash flows in non-discounted dollars to simplify the “break-even” point from a budgeting perspective. If the dollars are negative (bars below $0 line), the cumulative benefits do not outweigh the cost of the program up to that point in time. The program breaks even when the dollars reach $0. At this point, the total benefits to participants, taxpayers, and others, are equal to the cost of the program. If the dollars are above $0, the benefits of the program exceed the initial investment.

^WSIPP’s benefit-cost model does not monetize this outcome.

Meta-analysis is a statistical method to combine the results from separate studies on a program, policy, or topic in order to estimate its effect on an outcome. WSIPP systematically evaluates all credible evaluations we can locate on each topic. The outcomes measured are the types of program impacts that were measured in the research literature (for example, crime or educational attainment). Treatment N represents the total number of individuals or units in the treatment group across the included studies.

An effect size (ES) is a standard metric that summarizes the degree to which a program or policy affects a measured outcome. If the effect size is positive, the outcome increases. If the effect size is negative, the outcome decreases.

Adjusted effect sizes are used to calculate the benefits from our benefit cost model. WSIPP may adjust effect sizes based on methodological characteristics of the study. For example, we may adjust effect sizes when a study has a weak research design or when the program developer is involved in the research. The magnitude of these adjustments varies depending on the topic area.

WSIPP may also adjust the second ES measurement. Research shows the magnitude of some effect sizes decrease over time. For those effect sizes, we estimate outcome-based adjustments which we apply between the first time ES is estimated and the second time ES is estimated. We also report the unadjusted effect size to show the effect sizes before any adjustments have been made. More details about these adjustments can be found in our Technical Documentation.

Meta-Analysis of Program Effects
Outcomes measured Treatment age No. of effect sizes Treatment N Adjusted effect sizes(ES) and standard errors(SE) used in the benefit - cost analysis Unadjusted effect size (random effects model)
First time ES is estimated Second time ES is estimated
ES SE Age ES SE Age ES p-value
Alcohol use before end of high school 12 1 3961 0.000 0.040 18 0.000 0.040 18 0.000 1.000
Cannabis use before end of high school 12 1 3961 -0.037 0.028 18 -0.037 0.028 18 -0.098 0.001
Drinking and driving^ 12 1 3752 -0.012 0.031 18 n/a n/a n/a -0.032 0.312
Illicit drug use before end of high school 12 1 3961 -0.070 0.023 18 -0.070 0.023 18 -0.183 0.001
Smoking before end of high school 12 1 3961 -0.020 0.028 18 -0.020 0.028 18 -0.051 0.069

Citations Used in the Meta-Analysis

Spoth, R., Redmond, C., Shin, C., Greenberg, M., Feinberg, M., & Schainker, L. (2013). PROSPER community-university partnership delivery system effects on substance misuse through 6 1/2 years past baseline from a cluster randomized controlled intervention trial. Preventive Medicine, 56, 190-196.

Spoth, R.L., Trudeau, L.S., Redmond, C., Shin, C., Greenberg, M.T., Feinberg, M.E., & Hyun, G.H. (2015). PROSPER partnership delivery system: Effects on adolescent conduct problem behavior outcomes through 6.5 years past baseline. Journal of Adolescence, 45, 44-55.