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.

Scholars Have Applied Their CREE Skills to Support These Projects:

Center for Justice Research Texas Southern University Logo

Center for Justice Research at Texas Southern University

Impact of Prosecutor Caseloads on Case and Personnel Outcomes

This study expands prior research on prosecutorial outcomes by examining data on 581,000 felony and misdemeanor cases disposed of by nearly 350 prosecutors in the third largest county level criminal justice system between 2014 and 2017. In addition, this study integrates theoretically important prosecutor- and community-level factors to examine the relationship among prosecutor, county, and case characteristics across several outcomes – case dismissal, a guilty plea to lesser charges, and a guilty plea involving a noncustodial sentence. Dr. Kimberly Harris is tasked with incorporating CREE into every level of this study, from the development of research questions to the analysis and preparation of the final report.

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Child Trends

Marriage Strengthening Research and Dissemination Center

The Marriage Strengthening Research and Dissemination Center (MAST Center) supports research and evaluation on marriage, relationships, and families in the United States to help inform Marriage and Relationship Education and related programs. Dr. Rachel Powell is developing a work plan for the MAST Center around their research and capacity building evaluation activities to ensure they are culturally responsive and equitable. This work is contributing to the MAST Center’s knowledge base in three priority areas: (a) relationship patterns and trends, (b) program design and implementation, and (c) program effectiveness and evaluation.

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Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

A Needs Assessment of Resources and Supports for Women and People of Color to Start and Grow Successful Small Business Enterprises

As part of the Foundation’s effort to understand locally-relevant and promising practices to reduce the racial wealth gap, this project seeks to assess what practices and supports are needed by women and people of color to initiate and expand their small businesses and enterprises. In this work, Dr. Kimberly Harris uses her CREE knowledge to help the Foundation staff develop their research approach and ensure that the data collection is sensitive to the COVID-19 environment, and that findings are responsive to emerging factors affecting small business owners and entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 crisis. The results of the research will inform the Foundation’s future investments, resources, and will be shared with local and national funders, small business infrastructure organizations (e.g. banks, community development financial institutions, small business administration), small business owners and entrepreneurs, and the community at large.

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IMPAQ International

Evaluation Planning and Formative Research for the Tobacco Free Communities Equity in Funding Initiative

The mission of the Tobacco-Free Communities (TFC) Program is to strive for optimal health of all residents and the workforce in Santa Clara County by eliminating illness and premature death attributed to the use of tobacco products. Dr. L. Brooke Keliikoa is applying her CREE skills to this project by reviewing and enhancing the equity in the evaluation framework, including timeline, data sources and inputs and data elements, to determine whether there is any room for refinement. Dr. Keliikoa is also ensuring that focus group protocols used with residents (including youth, key community partners, and elected leaders) are culturally responsive and equitable.

McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition in Mali

This five-year project in northern Mali aims to improve the literacy, health, and hygiene attitudes and practices of 77,104 children in 264 primary schools in the regions of Mopti and Koulikoro through a variety of school feeding-related activities. The primary role of the Dr. Tamarah Moss is to review the evaluation framework, research questions, and qualitative protocols from previous evaluation rounds to improve the framework as well as the protocols. This work is especially important as IMPAQ International embarks on measuring the effectiveness through baseline and midline evaluations of the project. Additionally, Dr. Moss is tasked with applying a CREE lens to the coding, analysis, and report writing of these evaluations.

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Manhattan Strategy Group

Marginal Tax Rate Calculator Pilot

The Marginal Tax Rate Calculator Pilot is a planning tool that is being created by the Manhattan Strategy Group and the National Center for Children in Poverty to provide families and caseworkers with clear and accurate information about benefits cliffs – the income level at which families no longer qualify for government assistance. Dr. Kimberly Harris is helping with the development of this tool by leading user-testing/cognitive interview for benefit recipients, ensuring that this process is accessible, culturally responsive, and equitable. Furthermore, Dr. Harris’ work will inform a how-to-guide for other counties to be able to replicate this product and contribute to a memorandum prepared for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.

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Mathematica

Middle Years Math

The purpose of this Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation project is to dramatically improve middle years math instruction, so that students who are Black, Latino, and/or experiencing poverty deeply know, are able to use, and enjoy math by the time they reach high school. Mathematica provides research and evaluation support and technical assistance for the Foundation’s grantees in order to measure the efficacy of their proposed solutions. The role of Dr. Tiberio Garza is to lead the development and implementation of CREE virtual trainings for grantees. The purpose of these training sessions is to support the grantees’ ability to implement CREE into their measurement and evaluation plans and to grow the knowledge of staff at the Foundation on key topics related to measurement and evaluation.

Evaluation of the School District of Philadelphia’s Renaissance Initiative

The School District of Philadelphia’s Renaissance Initiative is a multiyear effort to improve the outcomes of students in low-performing schools by shifting school management to either external charter providers, called Renaissance Charters, or designating schools as Turnaround Network schools. Along with Mathematica and Research for Action, Dr. Jochebed Gayles is supporting the evaluation of this initiative which aims to document how selected schools implement the Initiative, describe lessons learned during the process, determine the Initiative’s effectiveness, and explore whether there is a cost benefit to the Initiative. Specifically, Dr. Gayles is applying a CREE lens to the data collection and analysis process. She will be conducting interviews with school leaders around how they allocate funds and set budgets to achieve a better school climate and improve academic achievement.

Evaluation Partner for Transforming Health and Health Care Systems

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Transforming Health and Health Care Systems (THHCS) grants promote systems and policy changes—particularly within the Medicaid program—to help achieve goals around accessible, equitable, and patient-centered health care, public health, and social services systems. As RWJF’s evaluation partners, Mathematica and its subcontractor, Change Matrix, are designing and conducting standalone evaluations to help RWJF assess the extent to which specific grants align with THHCS’s strategic focus, meet grant-specific goals, shape the policy environment, and advance health equity. Dr. Rosemary Nabaweesi‘s role is to apply CREE throughout this evaluation process, contributing to a theory of change, in-depth stakeholder interviews, site visits, observational activities, focus groups with program participants, document or literature reviews, surveys, data analysis, and report writing. Additionally, Dr. Nabaweesi is providing support though evaluation and learning activities with grantees focused on different issues related to Medicaid, children, low-income families, and racial equity.

Next Generation of Enhanced Employment Strategies Project

The Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation in the federal Administration for Children and Families has contracted with Mathematica to conduct the Next Generation of Enhanced Employment Strategies (NextGen) Project. This project is identifying and testing approximately nine innovative, promising employment interventions designed to help individuals facing complex challenges secure a pathway toward economic independence. Dr. Tanisha Tate Woodson is supporting Mathematica by ensuring that they are integrating CREE into their evaluation approach, which includes surveys, site visit protocols, and interview guides. Additionally, Dr. Woodson is building CREE capacity amongst the Mathematica Team so that can apply CREE in future evaluations, study procedures, written materials, and other dissemination products.

Michigan Public Health Institute

Michigan Public Health Institute

Supporting Michigan Public Health Institute’s Learning and Evaluation Partnership with W.K. Kellogg Foundation and their Racial Equity Anchor Grantees

Racial Equity Anchor Institutions prioritize outcomes addressing systemic barriers to opportunity that lead to a lack of access to early childhood education, employment, healthcare, and reduced community power; and, increase funding and partnerships in support of vulnerable children, their families and communities, to eliminate racialized outcomes. Michigan Public Health Institute (MPHI) is assisting grantees of this Initiative to build their evaluation skills, so they are better able to measure individual and joint efforts and ensure they are contributing to equitable communities where children thrive. Dr. Ebony Reddock and Dr. Jennifer García are assisting the Institute with evaluation for annual grantee portfolio-level, and building CREE capacity amongst grantees through debriefing and discussing findings, providing tools and resources around CREE, and providing technical assistance.

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ORS Impact

Supporting Framework-Based Monitoring, Learning, and Evaluation

This project primarily supports a foundation with substantial K-12 investments to develop a framework-based approach to measurement, learning, and evaluation (MLE). The MLE team has decided to employ a framework-based MLE approach to appropriately and effectively measure and monitor progress, learn from the best available data and evidence, and evaluate the impact of K-12 strategies. Dr. Sandy-Asari Hogan is co-leading the development of this framework, reviewing draft frameworks and materials and assessing alignment with CREE principles and approaches. Dr. Hogan is also applying a CREE lens as they assist in prototyping an innovative solution; test that prototype; and determine the viability for commercial distribution for successful prototypes.

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Two Gems Consulting

Re-envisioning a Legacy of Evaluation Tools in a Liberatory Light: A Collaborative Learning Circle for Analyzing and Envisioning Liberatory Evaluation

In order to inspire pathways for improved collaborative action in the field, this project is implementing a collaborative approach to analyze and refine culturally responsive strategies, languages, tools, and resources that Two Gems Consulting Services have either created and/or applied with their clients. Dr. Jennifer Torres and Dr. Nitya Venkateswaran are applying their CREE expertise to the refinement of these strategies and tools to ensure they are empowering communities through data collection and evaluation. Additionally, Drs. Torres and Venkateswaran are serving as learning partners for this much needed collaborative approach. As they participate in learning circles with Two Gems Consulting Services, their process is being documented so that others in the field can replicate it and help reduce the support of white supremacist practices that taint and underscore the field of evaluation.

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Westat

Applying a Culturally Responsive and Equity Lens to Families First Prevention Services Act Evidence Based Interventions

The power of evaluators increased with the recent passage of the Families First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), which ties funding to child welfare agencies’ use of evidence-based interventions (EBI). Interventions are defined as evidence-based if methodologically rigorous research shows that the intervention works better than a control or comparison service. Dr. Jaymie Lorthridge‘s role in this project is to determine if and how the EBIs work for diverse populations, ensuring that they are effective in measuring equitable outcomes, cultural appropriateness, and cross-cultural validity.

Interested in becoming a LEEAD Practicum Site?

If you are interested in serving as a Practicum Site for the next LEEAD cohort, make sure you subscribe to the ETB monthly newsletter, Bench (Re)Marks, where we will announce the next recruitment period. Feel free to email the ETB Team at team@expandingthebench.org with any questions.

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