Aspen Forum for Community Solutions
Portfolio Evaluation of Aspen Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund
Equal Measure is conducting a five-year portfolio evaluation of the Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund (OYIF). The Fund supports cross-sector partnerships in 21 communities across the United States, with the goal of bringing 6.7 million young people back into education and the workforce. Opportunity Youth are defined as young people between the ages of 16 to 24 who are neither enrolled in school nor participating in the labor market. Equal Measure is evaluating the collective impact model as an effective strategy to build education and career pathways for Opportunity Youth; assessing the impact of OYIF’s learning community; and providing insights on the performance of the Aspen Forum and its intermediary, Jobs for the Future, to support continuous improvement of the initiative.
RISE for Boys and Men of Color
Executives' Alliance for Boys and Men of Color
Equal Measure is co-directing, with the University of Pennsylvania GSE, RISE (Research, Integration, Strategy and Evaluation) for Boys and Men of Color. The aim of this initiative is to identify and better understand the strategies that will ultimately improve life outcomes for boys and men of color in four key areas: education, health, criminal justice, and economic opportunity and workforce development. The work will identify best practices and opportunities for new research that can inform equitable policies, and ultimately create positive change in communities across the United States. RISE is supported by members of the Executives’ Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Men of Color, a national philanthropic network committed to evaluating promising approaches, advocating for effective public policy and systems change, and investing in young men of color. The Atlantic Philanthropies, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Marguerite Casey Foundation – members of the Executives’ Alliance to Expand Opportunity for Boys and Men of Color – invested $8.5 million into this $10 million three-year field advancement initiative. Along with co-directing RISE, Equal Measure is providing an array of philanthropic services – including facilitating national learning community convenings, grantmaking, and grants management.
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Designing a learning community for the evaluation field
Equal Measure is working with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to facilitate a learning community focused on building the capacity of small and mid-sized evaluation firms in sharing lessons, insights, and tools with the broader evaluation field. Equal Measure will convene key practitioners and create a table of small- to mid-sized evaluation firms and foundations to discuss these issues, devise new strategies, and test those strategies. Based on this work, Equal Measure will publish a framing paper to define key issues in evaluation for philanthropy and propose a formal process for strengthening the field.
Helmsley Charitable Trust
Advanced Placement Science Study
Equal Measure is conducting a study of advanced placement (AP) science courses for the Helmsley Charitable Trust. The Advanced Placement Science Study will explore policies and practices that promote participation in advanced science courses by youth of underrepresented backgrounds. During the 2017-18 school year, Equal Measure will conduct interviews to gather insights from educators as well as school and district staff across several districts, and discuss a range of district and school policies and instructional practices that help prepare all students to excel in AP science courses. In addition, the interviews will seek to understand school culture, administrative support, student supports, and coordination mechanisms for improving access to AP science courses. A summary of the study’s findings will be released in 2018.
Evaluation of Community Partnership for Attainment Strategy
Equal Measure is conducting a mixed-method evaluation of Lumina Foundation’s Community Partnerships for Attainment strategy. Seventy-five communities are partnering with Lumina and national thought leaders to establish postsecondary attainment goals and implement plans to increase the percentage of high-quality credentials held by community residents. Equal Measure’s evaluation focuses on communities’ efforts to strengthen their cross-sector partnerships and increase the effectiveness of their attainment strategies, thereby increasing attainment rates within their communities. The evaluation will identify factors that help catalyze cross-sector partnerships to improve postsecondary outcomes, and elevate and share those lessons with communities and funders engaged in similar work. Findings also will help communities and technical assistance providers make mid-course adjustments, develop new strategies, and prioritize areas of work.
National Science Foundation
Technical Assistance and Capacity Building Services for NSF INCLUDES
Equal Measure is providing Technical Assistance and Capacity Building services to support the National Science Foundation’s INCLUDES (Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science) initiative. The NSF INCLUDES Program is dedicated to developing strategies and strengthening networks that enable STEM diversity, inclusion, and equity programs to scale up to the national level – uplifting proven approaches to broadening participation in STEM, particularly among those individuals from underrepresented backgrounds. In its engagement working in collaboration with its partners EDC and Westat, Equal Measure will support the initiative to foster a culture of continuous program and project improvement during the inaugural phase of the NSF INCLUDES Launch Pilots, and broaden the skills of leaders and participants within the NSF INCLUDES Launch Pilot organizations.
Pennsylvania Humanities Council
Evaluation of the 2016 Community Heart & Soul Grant-making Program
Equal Measure conducted an evaluation of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council’s Community Heart & Soul (H&S) grant-making program. The grant-making program provided year-long grant awards in Greater Carlisle, Meadville, and Williamsport in 2016 to support the humanities-infused planning and implementation of the Orton Family Foundation’s Community Heart & Soul framework. This resident-driven framework seeks the collective wisdom of all residents, including those whose voices are often missing – leading to insights into what matters most to guide decision-making about the community’s future. Keeping long-term impacts on community-planning in mind, Equal Measure documented the progress of communities through four phases; Laying the Groundwork, Exploring Your Community, Making Decisions, and Taking Action. Each of the three communities evaluated progressed over the course of 2016.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
New Connections: Increasing Diversity of RWJF Programming
Equal Measure is the National Program Office for New Connections: Increasing Diversity of RWJF Programming. New Connections seeks to diversify the perspectives that inform RWJF program strategy by introducing the Foundation to new researchers and consultants from underrepresented groups in health and healthcare research. The program also supports the career trajectories of a broad network of diverse scholars working in health policy, health care, and social sciences (and related disciplines). New Connections awarded its first grants in 2006, and since that time has funded a diverse group of more than 150 early and mid-career researchers. Additionally, the network of diverse scholars who have taken advantage of New Connections’ mentoring and networking opportunities currently stands at over 900 underrepresented researchers. These scholars served as grantees or are from racial ethnic/minority groups and low-income communities, or are the first in their family to graduate from two- or four-year colleges.
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Evaluation of Family Economic Security Workforce Development Pilots
Equal Measure is conducting formative and summative evaluations for two of the Kellogg Foundation’s Family Economic Security grants, which support organizations that work to increase a family’s assets, employment opportunities, and access to resources. The two Family Economic Security Workforce Development Pilots (STEPS and MOVE-UP) support community-based and workforce development organizations working to help families gain and grow skills and knowledge, along with access to networks and pathways that lead to employment and success in higher-skilled, higher-paying careers. Equal Measure’s evaluation of the Family Economic Security Workforce Development Pilots is focused on conducting a national cross-site evaluation, which will help build grantee capacity, strengthen impact, and strengthen field level knowledge. By elevating lessons learned and promising approaches, the evaluation also will help others working in the Family Economic Security field adopt these best practices, influencing a national dialogue about innovative and impactful strategies that help families and their children achieve economic stability and success.