Arizona Department of Economic Security Case Study | ON THE MARK

Community Services Administration

Community Services Administration Funding Formula Redesign Project

Arizona Department of Economic Security:
Community Services Administration

Background & Scope:

The CSA administers a complex web of services and fund sources through contracts with Community Action Agencies (CAA) and Community Based Organizations (CBO). There are two purposes of programs and funding:

1. The primary purpose is to strengthen community capabilities for planning and coordinating a broad range of assistance and funds in a manner responsive to local needs.

2. The secondary function is the organization of a range of services related to the needs of low-income families and individuals, so that these services have a measurable and potentially major impact on the causes of poverty.

As the administrator of programs and fund sources, the CSA is obligated to ensure services and expenditures comply with federal and state requirements.


  • Methodology for the dispensation of funds no longer relevant
  • Focus on serving the target population was lost
  • Contention and distrust between agencies prevented moving forward
  • Ability to effectively run the process was hampered by existing relationships and historical baggage


  • Increased behavioral support of the new funding formula
  • Increased advocacy of DES by involved stakeholders and constituents within their own communities/organizations
  • Decreased number of complaints associated with funding formula
  • DES lauded for introducing objectivity into the process by going outside for project assistance
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