We have an extensive portfolio of evaluations of programs focused on after-school services, youth workforce development, youth leadership, and civic activism and youth organizing. Almost all these programs serve low-income youth of color, youth at risk of school dropout, or other vulnerable populations (e.g. LGBTQQ youth).
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 outcomes for youth participants and their communities.
San Francisco Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families: Evaluation of Specialized Teen, Youth-Led Organizing, and Youth-Led Philanthropy Programs
SPR assessed the performance, quality, and outcomes of San Francisco’s Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families (DCYF) specialized teen and youth empowerment programs from April 2012 to January 2015. Through its funding for specialized teen, youth-led organizing, and youth-led philanthropy programing, DCYF seeks to ensure that teenagers are engaged productively in afterschool activities and that they have opportunities to play a prominent and valued role within their schools, organizations, and in the broader San Francisco community. DCYF’s teen programs are designed to support youth leadership, to provide choices that allow young people to pursue and develop personal interests (e.g., arts, community engagement), and to help youth to achieve concrete goals.
Over the three-year evaluation, SPR worked closely with DCYF’s program officers and evaluation department to develop a framework for evaluation, revise evaluation instruments, develop individual program summaries of evaluation results, and produce a series of cross-program summaries and results. SPR analyzed over two thousand youth surveys and reviewed administrative data for over six thousand program participants each year. In addition to quantitative data, SPR conducted in-depth site visits to programs, interviews with program leaders, and focus groups with targeted subgroups of youth (LGBTQ and English learners). Throughout the project, SPR advised DCYF on how to strengthen its evaluation systems and programs.
2013-2014 Final Program Report: Executive Summary and Full Report
2014 Brief on Programs for English Language Learners
Department of Children and Families website
- Evaluation of the Specialized Teen, Youth-Led Philanthropy, and Youth-Led Organizing Programming of the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families (DCYF). SPR assessed the performance, quality, and outcomes of DCYF’s Specialized Teen and Youth Empowerment Programs, which aim to positively engage teenagers and support their transition to healthy adulthood. Data were drawn from DCYF’s youth survey and Contract Management System (CMS), interviews with 11 program directors and staff members, and four focus groups with youth. Executive Summary. Full Report.
SPR studied three DCYF programs that serve English learners, identifying unique characteristics of these programs, describing how they support English learners, identifying additional needs of EL youth, and highlighting key resources for EL youth in San Francisco. English Language Learner Brief.
- Evaluation of Re-Generation Pipeline Initiative. SPR evaluated an initiative of the Funders Collaborative for Youth Organizing (FCYO) that aimed to build career pathways for youth in social justice fields by providing academic support, building bridges to college, and encouraging youth to pursue social justice careers after completing college. The evaluation captured grantees’ best practices and the lessons they learned in implementing their programs.
- Comparative Analysis of Community Youth Development Strategies. SPR studied the different strategies used by youth-serving organizations to engage young people and provide them with meaningful opportunities to be civically involved in their communities. We compared the outcomes of programs using the youth organizing and identity-support strategies with those using traditional youth development strategies. Full Report.
- Civic Activism Among Marginalized Youth. This project, funded by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), examined youth organizing and identity support as key strategies for engaging marginalized young people in civic life. We conducted a rigorous and in-depth survey analysis, comparing 12 civic activism organizations with 12 “traditional” youth development organizations.
- Extending the Reach of Youth Development through Civic Activism. SPR evaluated the Youth Leadership Development Initiative (YLDI), a three-year initiative funded by the Ford Foundation aiming to build the capacity of participating community based organizations and cull lessons about civic activism as a youth development approach. Our report, based on two rounds of multi-day site visits to each YLDI site, document review, and two waves of youth surveys, presents findings, lessons, and recommendations. Full Report.
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