SPR has a wealth of experience conducting evaluations of programs that promote youth development among vulnerable and ethnically diverse populations. We have:
- conducted multi-level evaluations of major national youth initiatives,
- captured best practices and lessons learned from innovative youth leadership and activism programs around the country, and
- developed comprehensive frameworks to measure youth development, program, and community outcomes.
Our research and evaluation of youth development services and programs includes after-school and summer programs, including programs that focus on academics, cultural awareness, positive identity development, civic activism and youth organizing, youth leadership, youth media, arts, and youth employment. Selected projects include:
Department of Children, Youth & Their Families
From 2012 to 2014, SPR had the privilege of evaluating the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth & Their Families (DCYF) programming for youth leadership development and youth workforce development. DCYF contracted with SPR to assess program quality and performance and to determine the influence of DYCF’s investments on youth’s readiness to learn and their success in school. The following reports highlight the findings from these evaluations.
Evaluation of DCYF’s Specialized Teen, Youth-Led Philanthropy, and Youth-Led Organizing Programming
DCYF provides funding to Specialized Teen and Youth Empowerment Programs to positively engage teenagers and support their transition to healthy adulthood. This annual report summary focuses on the performance, quality, and outcomes of DCYF’s Teen programs. Data were drawn from DCYF’s youth survey and Contract Management System (CMS), interviews with 11 program directors and staff, and 4 focus groups with youth.
This research brief summarizes key themes surfaced by youth and staff at three DCYF programs that serve English learners. During FY2013-2014, over 90% of youth served by these programs were not fluent or somewhat fluent in English. The report identifies unique characteristics of these programs and how they support English learners as well as identifies additional needs of EL youth and highlights key resources for EL youth in San Francisco.
Evaluation of DCYF’s Youth Workforce Development (YWD) Programming
DCYF provides funding to Youth Workforce Development (YWD) programs throughout the city to provide San Francisco’s youth between the ages of 13 and 21 with work readiness training and work-based learning opportunities. This annual report summary focuses on the performance, quality, and outcomes of 26 YWD programs. Results were drawn from DCYF’s youth survey and Contract Management System (CMS); a program survey conducted by SPR; and qualitative data from program visits and interviews with program staff, employers, workforce intermediaries and a DCYF program planner.
Oakland Fund for Children and Youth
In July 2014, SPR was awarded a two-year contract to provide evaluation services to support the Oakland Fund for Children and Youth (OFCY). OFCY contracted with SPR to evaluate 66 of its community- and school-based programs across a broad range of programs, from early childhood and parent education to youth workforce development. Each year, SPR is responsible for working with grantees to collect youth and parent surveys, conducting structured site visits, holding interviews and focus group data, and analyzing administrative program data.
OFCY Mid-Year Report
This Mid-Year Report provides an overview of youth programs funded by the OFCY, with the exception of school-based afterschool programs. The report includes a description of the children, youth, and adults served by these programs during the first half of FY2014-2015, services provided, and program quality.
Other Youth Development Work
A Comparative Analysis of Community Youth Development Strategies
Many youth-serving organizations are engaging young people in youth organizing and/or in interventions to support specific identity development in response to a need for meaningful opportunities for older and diverse youth to be civically involved in their communities. In this paper, we explore differences in developmental outcomes and supports and opportunities among youth organizing, identity-support, and traditional youth development organizations. Survey and qualitative findings suggest significant differences, particularly in developmental outcomes such as civic activism and identity development.
Extending the Reach of Youth Development through Civic Activism
In 1999 the Ford Foundation funded 12 organizations and the Innovation Center for Community and Youth Development to engage in a three-year learning collaborative called the Youth Leadership Development Initiative (YLDI). This three-year initiative centered on building the capacity of participating community based organizations and culling lessons about civic activism as a youth development approach. This report presents the findings, lessons, and recommendations based on two rounds of multi-day site visits to each YLDI site, document review, and two waves of youth surveys.
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For more information please contact:
Principal and Senior Associate