Evidence in Action: Connecting Workforce Innovation Fund Evaluation Results to the Implementation of WIOA

This blog was written by Hannah Betesh of Social Policy Research Associates. It originally appeared on America Forward and has been cross posted in full below: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Workforce Innovation Fund (WIF) was one of several tiered-evidence initiatives introduced by the Obama administration—including the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Social Innovation Fund and the Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) fund—all of which supported the refinement, scaling and evaluation of promising approaches to improve the social, education and economic outcomes for low-income Americans. Through three rounds of Continue reading →

#All4Evidence

Determining “what works” in social policy is at the heart of SPR’s work. Evidence—as uncovered through evaluation—is critical to improving policies and programs designed to help those most in need. To share our perspective on the importance of evidence-based policymaking and learn from others in the field, SPR recently participated in the #All4Evidence Twitter chat. Continue reading →

Top Lessons for Conducting Needs Assessments in Migrant Education Programs (MEP)

By Sengsouvanh (Sukey) Leshnick and Hannah Diaz from Social Policy Research Associates What Is a Needs Assessment? A needs assessment is a thorough examination of the needs, interests, and objectives of a program. Information collected through a needs assessment can inform and drive decisions about program design and planning. Results from a needs assessment can help program planners gain critical insight into what program participants and communities need and can also help identify any gaps in services. What Are Migrant Education Programs? Migrant Education Programs Continue reading →

Join Us at AEA 2016!

Join  SPR at the 2016 American Evaluation Association Conference! This year, SPR will be hosting presentations on collaboration between internal and external evaluators and capturing a powerful theory of change for field-building. This year’s AEA conference looks at the design governing all aspects of evaluation and fosters conversation about how evaluators can use design to make the world a better place. For more information, please check out our sessions listed below. 2697: Who Does What? Best Practices for Collaboration Between Internal and External Evaluators Oct 27, 2016 (01:00 Continue reading →

Unfogging the Mirror: Getting the Most of your Data using Dashboards

Interactive data dashboards are an important tool that SPR uses to enhance data accessibility, transparency and quality. Data dashboards provide diverse program stakeholders with a quick and timely snapshot of where they are in relation to program goals and desired outcomes. When data is transparent and accessible, it can be used to inform decision making and it can also motivate partners to ensure that data entry is complete and accurate. SPR is using a data dashboard in a multi-year evaluation of community colleges funded under Continue reading →

How Communities Can Reduce Recidivism

Crime imposes direct and significant costs on society. Victims of crime are affected both economically (through lost or damaged property) and socially (through emotional and physical trauma). Indirectly, crime is costly to society because the administrative apparatus that prosecutes, incarcerates, and supervises offenders is very expensive. Because repeat offenders commit a disproportionate share of crime, any program that reduces the propensity of offenders to recidivate is likely to generate significant benefits for society. Policymakers in the United States are aware of the enormous potential gains Continue reading →