Evaluation of Living Cities Integration Initiative Client: Mt. Auburn Associates and Mathematica Policy Research Member of team assembled to evaluate an $80 million, five-city investment in community revitalization strategies and innovations designed to improve access to opportunity for low-income residents in the areas of education, housing, health care, transit, and jobs. The evaluation design is formative and summative and focuses on project- and systems-level outcomes.
Family-Centered Community Change Client: Annie E. Casey Foundation Conducted pre-site selection assessments of 11 sites being considered for newly-created Family-Centered Community Change Initiative, a two-generation approach to poverty alleviation. Assessed collective impact potential and organizational capacity in multiple areas, including adult family economic success, workforce development, housing, early childhood education, civic leadership, and resident engagement. Examined local and regional economic context and made recommendations for site suitability.
Evaluation of Community Revitalization Program Client: Mt. Auburn Associates, Inc. Part of the team assembled to evaluate the Surdna Foundation's Community Revitalization Program, which uses a Strong Market-Weak Market framework to advance equitable, environmentally sustainable strategies for low- and moderate-income communities. Assessed Weak Market strategies, activities, emerging themes and innovations. Examined the impact of Surdna's grantmaking and other investments on the community revitalization field. Designed cross-site learning activities.
Program Planning for Community Development Client: Annie E. Casey Foundation Conducted a study of key lessons emerging from the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Jobs Initiative to inform the development of the Economic Opportunity component of the Foundation's Making Connections Initiative. Conducted interviews and reviewed documentation, evaluations, and background reports to extract lessons from the design, planning, and capacity building phases of the Jobs Initiative. Documented focus groups held with site representatives. Synthesized findings for application to the new initiative.
Evaluation Planning for Comprehensive Community Initiative Client: Annie E. Casey Foundation Developed an evaluation framework for the Foundation's Making Connections Initiative, a long-term, multi-site effort to improve neighborhood conditions and family stability. Provide technical assistance to sites in the areas of process documentation, developing neighborhood indicators, creating data warehouses, and the strategic use of data in social change and policy reform.
Technical Assistance Guidebooks for Economic Opportunity Client: Annie E. Casey Foundation Conducted research and analysis necessary to prepare guidebooks for implementing the Economic Opportunity component of the Casey Foundation's Making Connections Initiative. The guidebooks focus on three areas: jobs, asset development, and neighborhood economic development. They provide overviews of salient public policies, models and best practices, references, and sources of technical assistance.
Community Economic Development Learning Network Client: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Provided technical assistance to the MacArthur Foundation to development the multi-disciplinary learning networks. Developed strategies for convening multiple groups of economic and workforce development researchers, practitioners and policymakers to promote interdisciplinary understanding of, programming in, and feedback about community economic development initiatives in Chicago. Conducted interviews and literature reviews, developed analytic framework and information dissemination options.
Evaluation of Comprehensive Community Initiative Client: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Evaluated the Fund for Community Redevelopment and Revitalization, a comprehensive community initiative operating in two Chicago neighborhoods. Assessed the organization's capacity to promote and sustain physical and social development and made recommendations to the MacArthur Foundation regarding future support. With Brophy & Reilly.
Evaluation of Comprehensive Community Initiative Client: Edna McConnell Clark Foundation Conducted a process evaluation of the Foundation's Neighborhood Progress Initiative, a five-site comprehensive community initiative of the Program for New York Neighborhoods. The evaluation examined technical assistance delivery, organizational development, and project implementation. The final report led to major changes in the initiative and stimulated an unprecedented level of open dialogue and partnership.
Evaluation Planning for Community Economic Development Pilot Client: Ms. Foundation for Women Developed an evaluation design for the Ms. Foundation to capture learning from a pilot project to assist community-based human service providers to incorporate a community economic development framework into their mission and activities. Analysis proceeded along four lines: operations, organizational development, technical capacity building, and external linkages. Used a participatory evaluation design, documented processes, and facilitated learning by the Foundation and its partners. Funded by the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation.
Evaluation of Community Economic Development Pilot Client: Ms. Foundation for Women Follow-up assessment of the Ms. Foundation's Education and Action Process for Neighborhood and Economic Development, a four-site pilot designed to enhance the capacity of direct service providers to incorporate a community economic development framework into their mission and programs. Evaluated extent to which technical capacity was built and the ability of organizations to influence local economic development. Developed outcome indicators for expanded project. Funded by the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation.
Evaluation of Comprehensive Community Initiative Client: The Chapin Hall Center at the University of Chicago Provided technical assistance in the area of program evaluation to comprehensive neighborhood development collaboratives in Detroit, Hartford, Memphis and Milwaukee. Assisted local assessment teams in the development of methods and instruments to document processes, measure progress and analyze outcomes. Conducted cross-case analyses. Part of a long term evaluation of the Ford Foundation's Neighborhood and Family Initiative.
Evaluation Planning for Youth Development Client: The Chapin Hall Center at the University of Chicago Directed an evaluation planning exercise to assist the National Urban League in determining how to structure and conduct an evaluation of its Youth Development Mobilization Initiative. Conducted on-site assessments in seven sites. Utilized a participatory planning and evaluation model to document the progress of the initiative and solicit design input. Strategic Planning to Mississippi Delta Initiative Client: W.K. Kellogg Foundation Member of strategic planning team assembled to help design WKKF's Mid-South Delta Initiative, an effort to promote economic development that will benefit the most disadvantaged in a tri-state region of the Mississippi Delta. Recommended strategies to build rural institutions, social capital, leadership development, and regional partnerships across diverse stakeholder groups.
Evaluation of Comprehensive Community Initiative Client: The Conservation Company Conducted the economic development and education components of the evaluation of Community Building in Partnership, a comprehensive neighborhood transformation initiative in Baltimore's Sandtown-Winchester area. Identified baseline data, conducted on-site interviews, and assessed planning and implementation processes.
Assessment of Leadership Development Programs Client: The Conservation Company Conducted a management assessment of ten leadership development grants made by the Ford Foundation's Urban Poverty Program. The grants were designed to generate new community development leadership strategies, including programs to expand CDCs' knowledge of economic analyses, expose CDCs to innovative community development and organizing approaches, and connect CDCs to new constituencies. This assessment provided the Foundation with a mid-course review and led to program improvements.
Environmental Scan of Community Development Field Client: Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation Managed primary data collection process and conducted in-depth interviews with community development researchers, practitioners, and policymakers as part of an environmental scan to understand how macro-level trends, capital availability, public policies, and organizational capacity issues are affecting the field. Study informed internal planning and restructuring. With Brophy & Reilly.
Analysis of Support for Community Development by Minority Organizations Client: Structured Employment and Economic Development Corporation Assessed the capacity and inclination of minority professional, social, and fraternal organizations to engage in partnerships with and provide support to community development organizations. Methodology included mail survey of national and regional minority organizations, telephone interviews and focus groups. This study was funded by the Ford Foundation.