The WRMA team initially conducted a study of state policy options and procedures related to SNAP APT. In addition to reviewing reports on previous studies, the team thoroughly reviewed FNS and state websites to obtain any available material describing states’ SNAP application procedures, and any legal and policy documents associated with state administration of SNAP. The study team also collected administrative data from state agency leadership, including state policy documents, procedure manuals, and management information. These assisted the study team to better understand the current administrative environment for each state and how policy option changes have evolved over time.
The study team implemented a mixed-method approach of collecting quantitative and qualitative survey data from state and local agency personnel, using a web-based survey with a computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) option and telephone follow-up for clarification and non-response. Prior to conducting the survey, the study team convened Study Advisory Board of Regional Office and state SNAP personnel to support state recruitment and pilot test the draft survey instrument. After FNS approved the study plan and data collection instruments, the study team prepared all materials for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) clearance.
The study team conducted descriptive statistical analyses of survey results to summarize all categorical survey items by APT status group. For qualitative analyses of open-ended survey items and the administrative data sources, the study team conducted policy-driven qualitative analysis to examine common themes in the data, using qualitative analysis techniques as described in the section on processing qualitative data.
WRMA staff prepared a final report including findings from qualitative and quantitative analyses, and patterns, themes, and interrelationships found among the survey responses. The final report included a state profile for each of the 51 states and a case study of application processing procedures for each of five selected states. Following completion of the report, the study team conducted a briefing for FNS staff to explain the study’s objectives, research questions, methods, and findings.