Analysis of Alternatives for Implementing a Cash Value Voucher Program
In August 2006, FNS issued a proposed rule that would expand the WIC food package and allow for a cash value voucher (CVV) ($8 for women and $6 for children) for the purchase of fruits and vegetables. In order to explore the impact the proposed CVV would have on various WIC Program stakeholders, FNS contracted with the State Information Technology Consortium (SITC) to study various alternatives for implementing the CVV.
SITC’s research methods included a literature review, structured interviews, and focus groups. The project began with a literature review and then a focus group with an Expert Panel to identify alternatives, potential interviewees and key factors for data collection and analysis. The literature review included a survey of industry and academic publications, a review of existing electronic benefits transfer (EBT) and CVV evaluations, and a review of technical documentation related to the full cycle of transactions necessary for a CVV implementation.
The Expert Panel consisted of representatives from USDA, state government, local WIC offices, EBT vendors, the Food Marketing Institute, and academia. The Expert Panel offered guidance and input throughout the project, including recommendations of interviewees, confirmation on CVV options for analysis, and comments on the CVV descriptions and alternatives analysis.
Structured interviews were conducted with representatives from State WIC programs, local WIC offices, card technology vendors (including EBT vendors), cash register vendors, payment association representatives, and food retailer representatives. All interviews are listed in the Bibliography. Additionally, a focus group was held with current WIC participants to gather information about their experience, preferences, and assessment of different CVV alternatives.
Final Report (PDF)