This paper considers an important building block for management of new-style public assistance systems: the management information system, or MIS. The MIS for a public assistance program encompasses procedures for collection, storage, retrieval, and presentation of information essential for operating and improving the program. It develops a model of the management information required to operate the new, change-oriented welfare reform schemes developed by states during the 1990s. The discussion highlights strategic problems that must be addressed in MIS development and implementation for all such programs, with the most ambitious of these initiatives, Wisconsin Works, used as the point of departure.
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