LEEAD Practicum Host Sites

Foundational for the Evaluation Pathway

LEEAD Practicum Sites are partnered evaluation firms, foundations, think tanks, universities, and non-profit agencies who contract with LEEAD Scholars to enhance evaluation projects with their unique insights informed by their research experience and evaluation training in culturally responsive and equitable evaluation (CREE).

Projects Promoting Equity

The evaluation practicum experience is often virtual and involves having Scholars complete one or more discrete components of an evaluation project (e.g., collaborating to design evaluation, logic model/theory of change development, measure development, data collection and analysis, and report writing) over a 6 to 8-month period.

Cohort 5 Scholars Are Applying Their CREE Skills to Support These Projects:

Birthright AFRICA

Birthright AFRICA Impact Report & Measurement Tools

Birthright AFRICA inspires youth and young adults of African descent ages 13-30 to explore their cultural roots and legacy of innovation as a birthright (free) within the U.S. and nations in Africa. With impact data from 5 years of travel programs, Birthright AFRICA is poised to publish its first impact report next year and to continue subsequent annual reports. Lisa Sargent is working with Birthright AFRICA to evaluate this data and co-author the impact report as well as providing expertise on how to better sync their theory of change with their assessment measures to tell the current story of program impact, while refining their assessments to convey that impact with greater accuracy moving forward. The impact reports will also support fundraising efforts as Birthright AFRICA conveys its case for support — transforming the African diaspora for generations to come to be global leaders and entrepreneurs that are proud, confident, and connected to the continent.

Decision Information Resources, Inc.

Greenwood Initiative Debt Reduction Program – Bloomberg Philanthropies Historically Black Medical Schools Award Evaluation

In September 2020, Bloomberg Philanthropies made a $100 million commitment as a part of the Greenwood Initiative to invest in a generation of Black doctors by providing debt relief to medical students attending the nation’s four historically Black medical schools. Each school was awarded a portion of this commitment based on the number of eligible students and complementary wraparound services. Across the schools, 962 students were initially identified to participate in the Debt Reduction Program (DRP) at the start of the 2020-2021 academic school year. Shardae Osuna is working with Decision Information Resources to design and implement a project that evaluates DRP’s goals to enable Black medical students to attend school with reduced financial burden and to invest in future Black doctors toward building Black wealth.

Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Impact and Evaluation

The overarching goal of Dornsife School of Public Health’s (DSPH) diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging (DEIB) and antiracism assessment tools is to create and sustain the structures, policies and culture changes needed to ensure both the success of diverse scholars and the production of scientific knowledge relevant to eliminating health inequities in our society. Endaisia Love is working with DSPH to update and design new metrics that better reflect their growth and emerging challenges in tandem with the development of the school’s strategic plan.

Hartford Foundation for Public Giving Logo

Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

Post-Grant Application Survey Analysis and Recommendations

In 2021-2022, the Hartford Foundation engaged in a grantee and staff-informed redesign of its grants process with the goal of ensuring that it is inclusive, accessible, and functional for both staff and grantees. One of the changes made to the grants process was the re-introduction and update to a post-application survey that would be sent to any organization that applies for a grant. Vanessa Segundo is working with the Foundation to apply CREE approaches to analyze post-application survey data collected to date; summarize findings, including identifying any strengths or needed improvements to the grants process; and identify potential improvements to the survey instrument, its administration (e.g., encouraging responses), its future use, and dissemination of results and results-based actions or grants process modifications with grantee partners.

Manhattan Strategy Group

Deepening Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Knowledge and Practice

Manhattan Strategy Group (MSG) has drawn from staff and subject-matter-expert understanding and skill to develop a diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) lens for specific initiatives, such as its National Charter School Resource Center and the Equitable Transition Model Technical Assistance Support. Sophonie Fenaud is collaborating with MSG to catalog DEIA use across projects, highlight where they are excelling, and identify opportunities for deeper engagement.

MXM Research Group

Evidence Building with a CREE Lens to Improve the Lives of Children and Families Impacted by Domestic Violence

The Promising Futures National Capacity Building Center to Expand Services to Children, Youth, and Abused Parents is a project of Futures Without Violence that provides technical assistance and training to strengthen and advance prevention and intervention innovations, systems change, and policy solutions to improve the lives of children and families impacted by domestic violence (DV). MXM Research Group is conducting a principles-focused evaluation of Promising Futures and supporting the Promising Futures team to take stock of its TA approach and cross-site evaluation methods. Swathi Reddy is supporting a component of the cross-site evaluation to strategize, design, and execute an approach that answers the following questions: What types of evidence are important to spotlight and emphasize to decision-makers in the ecosystem to improve outcomes for children and families who experience domestic violence and address inequities? What are grantees measuring? What are their outcomes? What are some universal measures that every DV program should look to capture and design around? How can we promote these while holding context sensitivity and centering equity?

Developing the Theory and Groundwork for a Data + Soul Approach to Research and Evaluation

In recent years, the fields of social science, research, evaluation, and design have undergone a new round of critical examination with a lens of power, equity, ethics, and participation. There are a plethora of tools and frameworks available to researchers and evaluators around data equity and ways to incorporate CREE approaches to the work, however, shifting practice takes time, exercise to change muscle memory, and shifts in the way teams and institutions do this work. Building off a decade of research and evaluation practice, the team at MXM Research Group has spent the past year exploring and developing what a Data + Soul approach to research and evaluation looks like at the individual and team levels. The Data + Soul approach is grounded in CREE, appreciative inquiry, data equity principles, emergent strategies, and trauma-informed evaluation. This year, MXM is designing and rolling out Data + Soul Studio as a new project and service offering that aims to bridge gaps in the current evaluation ecosystem. Dr. Miranda Hill is supporting the team in establishing the pedagogical underpinnings of the Studio and documenting its roots by synthesizing literature and capturing ideas from team discussion and practice. Dr. Hill is bringing CREE and her professional and lived experience into conversation with the team as they design and roll out the Studio.

WhitworthKee Consulting

The Evaluation of the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program

The National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program provides funding to higher education institutions via (a) scholarships, (b) stipends, and (c) other means of programmatic support to recruit and prepare science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors and other professionals to become K- 12
teachers. The overall goal of the Noyce program is to “increase the number of K-12 teachers with strong STEM content knowledge who teach in high-need school districts.” WhitworthKee’s evaluation is focused on understanding the recruitment and application process and perceptions of the Noyce program within the community. Eniola Idowu is collaborating with WhitworthKee Consulting to support the engagement of an equity advisory committee, bring a CREE lens to the evaluation plan, support the development and refinement of qualitative data collection instruments, and develop a pilot testing approach.

Interested in becoming a LEEAD Practicum Site?

If you’re interested in serving as a Practicum Site for Cohort 6, email team@expandingthebench.org!

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