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:
Integrating Equity into Quantitative Evaluation Solution Toolkits
Over the years, Abt Associates has developed substantial internal resources for staff to facilitate the quality and efficient execution of evaluation research in practice. Dr. Diana Serrano worked to enhance Abt’s existing resources to provide concrete, nuts-and-bolts methodological practice guidance that ensures integration of equity throughout an evaluation project’s life cycle. Dr. Serrano produced updated resources that can serve Abt staff in their ability to integrate equity into the quantitative methods and approaches used to carry out major impact evaluations in practice and led a workshop that taught staff about the enhanced resources and how best to use them.
Updating Five Principles of Effective Financial Education
In 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its “Five Principles of Effective Financial Education” report. CFPB’s mission is to ensure that the consumer financial marketplace is fair, transparent, and reliable. To that end, CFPB conducts research on effective financial education to help consumers make sound financial choices and improve their financial well-being. In collaboration with DFPB, Abt is updating the report with an equity lens to reflect new research and best practices that have emerged since 2017. In this work, Dr. Paula Caffer reviewed existing financial education programs and conducted qualitative data collection with financial education practitioners.
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. Noemi Avalos worked 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.
Hartford Foundation for Public Giving
Reinforcing Learning and Evaluation for Foundation Staff — Strengthening CREE Approaches
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving seeks to improve its staff’s understanding of culturally responsive and equitable evaluation (CREE) approaches and how to incorporate these into organizational learning practices and evaluative thinking. Elidé Flores-Medel served as a thought partner to create content for a learning session for Foundation staff to learn how to incorporate CREE strategies, concepts, and thinking in their day-to-day work (e.g., conversations with grantees, reporting expectations, funding programs such as RFPs, landscape assessment). Elidé also developed internal tools that the Community Impact staff will use in practice.
The Improve Group
Preschool Development Grant: Evaluation Design and Potential Implementation
The Preschool Development Grant was implemented to make it easier for children and families to get what they need to thrive. Embarking on its third year, the grant builds on the work of Early Childhood Systems reform and shares the same vision of focusing on racial, geographic, and economic inequity to ensure all children are born healthy and thrive. Dr. Ozen Guven Yildiz collaborated with the grant’s evaluation team to design and implement Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) family workshops with a culturally responsive and equitable lens.
Youth in Transition Longitudinal Study and Innovation Grant Program
The Minnesota Department of Human Services Child Permanency and Safety Division has participated in a longitudinal survey since 2010 to gather data about educational attainment, employment, public benefits use, housing, and incarceration of youth ages 19 and 21 who have experienced out-of-home placement. The survey gives Minnesota the opportunity to understand how it compares nationally; monitors youth outcomes over time, at different ages, and in different regions; and respond appropriately with funding and advising to local agencies. With The Improve Group, Dr. LaJoy Spears reviewed the design of the grant evaluation and longitudinal study with an equitable lens. Grounded in the knowledge of the systemic and structural racism that has resulted in the disproportionate separation of families, Dr. Spears engaged stakeholders in interviews and strategizing with the team on effective youth engagement.
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. Brittany Marshall, Dr. Janelle Armstrong-Brown, and Natalia Ibañez assisted 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, updating the Racial Equity Anchors Portfolio Theory of Change, and providing technical assistance.
NORC at the University of Chicago
Using Qualitative Research to Understand How Medicaid Policy Informs Collection of Social Determinants of Health and Race, Ethnicity, and Language Data
This project seeks to understand how data on social determinants of health (SDOH) and race, ethnicity, and language spoken at home (REL) are collected in Medicaid claims and encounter data, and how federal and state Medicaid policy can better support collection of this data to advance health equity for Medicaid populations. Dr. Jovita Murillo worked with NORC to conduct an environmental scan to understand how state Medicaid policy informs documentation of SDOH and REL data. The scan will include a literature review of existing state policies around SDOH and REL documentation; virtual interviews with key states, providers, managed care organizations, and other key players to understand barriers and facilitators to collection of SDOH and REL data and strategies to address these barriers; and review of public use files in other data sources that could provide SDOH or REL data at the census track, zip code, or county level. Dr. Murillo also worked to produce data and policy briefs on the state of SDOH and REL data collection in Medicaid claims and encounter data, and describing states’ experiences collecting the data, challenges, and lessons learned to improve the collection of these data to improve health equity. This project sought to understand how data on social determinants of health (SDOH) and race, ethnicity, and language spoken at home (REL) are collected in Medicaid claims and encounter data, and how federal and state Medicaid policy can better support collection of this data to advance health equity for Medicaid populations. Dr. Jovita Murillo worked with NORC to conduct an environmental scan to understand how state Medicaid policy informs documentation of SDOH and REL data. The scan included a literature review of existing state policies around SDOH and REL documentation; virtual interviews with key states, providers, managed care organizations, and other key players to understand barriers and facilitators to collection of SDOH and REL data and strategies to address these barriers; and review of public use files in other data sources that could provide SDOH or REL data at the census track, zip code, or county level. Dr. Murillo also worked to produce data and policy briefs on the state of SDOH and REL data collection in Medicaid claims and encounter data, and described states’ experiences collecting the data, challenges, and lessons learned to improve the collection of these data to improve health equity.
Two Gems Consulting
Exploration and Advancement of Liberatory Evaluation: Learning Circle
Two Gems Consulting is facilitating a Liberatory Evaluation Learning Circle — a collaborative space for analyzing and envisioning liberatory evaluation — with committed members of the Global Majority. Chloé Greene, Elidé Flores-Medel, and Erika Gaitan worked to co-facilitate exploration of liberatory approaches to evaluation by organizing readings and developing discussion questions for the Learning Circle, as well as collecting and delivering insights in a way that builds collective power. Building on resources that Two Gems Consulting Services have either created and/or applied with their clients, the Scholars applyied their CREE expertise to the refinement of these strategies and tools to ensure they are empowering communities through data collection and evaluation.