SPR’s response to COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, SPR’s focus has been on the health and safety of our employees, the partners with whom we work, the clients we serve, and the communities in which we live and work. Accordingly, SPR’s staff have been working remotely since March 16, when most Bay Area counties implemented shelter-in-place policies, and will be doing so at least through May 1, in compliance with current health and public directives. Although we value the collaboration and community achieved by having our staff Continue reading →

Announcement of New Hire, Dr. Sallie Yoshida

We are pleased to announce the recent hiring of Dr. Sallie Yoshida to the position of Senior Associate in our Philanthropy Equity and Youth Development division. Dr. Yoshida comes to SPR with over 13 years of experience in the design and implementation of community-based program and policy evaluation, having most recently served as the Executive Director of the Sarah Samuels Center for Public Health Research and Evaluation for the past seven years. She received a Doctor of Public Health degree from the University of California Continue reading →

SPR Year in Review: 2019

2019 was a successful year at SPR filled with lots of collaboration, hard work, and a little bit of fun. This year we welcomed six new brilliant and talented staff, presented at APPAM, AEA as well as other conferences and meetings, successfully completed multiple long-term evaluations, and started new client relationships and partnerships with WestEd, the Washoe County School District, and the National Disability Institute, among others. Below is a more detailed look at some of our accomplishments from 2019. SPR staff presented at a Continue reading →

SPR’s Evaluation of the California Apprenticeship Initiative

This blog post was written by Dr. Leela Hebbar of Social Policy Research Associates. SPR’s California Apprenticeship Initiative team is very excited to see these four case studies released just in time for #Apprenticeship week.  These case studies tell the stories of: How programs were built through employer partnerships with colleges, labor market intermediaries, and/or unions. How work-based learning enhances learning. As one apprentice said “the classroom setting definitely helped [me] prepare for the job. Alongside that, having first-hand experience on the site plays a Continue reading →


Conducting a Frame Analysis: Using Twitter to track narrative change for policy advocacy efforts Presenters: Heather Lewis-Charp and Laura Pryor Nov 13, 2019 (05:45 PM – 06:30 PM), CC M100 J Evaluations of advocacy efforts often attempt to track changes in the narrative around policy issues.  Capturing narrative change can be challenging, but the data has the potential to produce powerful findings for stakeholders. The 2019 conference theme challenges evaluators to adapt our methods to catalyze important conversations; conducting a narrative change or “frame analysis” Continue reading →

NSF’s Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Program Grant Applications

NSF’s Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program focuses on the education of technicians for high-technology fields. The program involves partnerships between academic institutions and industry to promote improvement in the education of science and engineering technicians. With funding through an ATE grant, Yavapai College better aligned their education offerings with industry need and created applied learning experiences for students. Most notably Yavapai College created a braided internship program in which students spend two days working and three days taking related college coursework. Students successfully completing the Continue reading →

Enhancing student learning through braided internships, robotics summer camps, and creation of certificate programs.

This final report from SPR’s evaluation of Yavapai College’s Applied Pre-Engineering Program Expansion describes how the college created a braided internship program (weaving together work experience and a college certificate), new certificate programs, and enhanced student learning with support from a National Science Foundation ATE grant. SPR’s two-year evaluation of the grant activities included a site visit, interviews, focus group, surveys, and an outcome analysis.

Waiting to be seen. Demanding to be heard.

The CA Assembly Blue Ribbon Commission (BRC) on Early Childhood Education seeks to improve the child care system by putting system reform ideas into action. As part of this process, the BRC is drafting a report with a set of recommendations to improve the child care system. The BRC believes that parent input is critical for drafting recommendations that are authentic and that will truly make a difference in the lives of California’s parents. Therefore, Parent Voices partnered with Social Policy Research Associates (SPR) to Continue reading →

New Learning Paper on Centering Race in Health Equity Advocacy

SPR is proud to share this newly published learning paper on the work of The Colorado Trust’s Health Equity Advocacy grantees, which discusses how the decision to center race in health equity advocacy came about; describes the framework and strategies that the HEA Cohort’s Racial Equity Team used to build racial equity capacity; and presents results on the progress that has been made. It also includes recommendations for others who may be interested in centering race in social change efforts. The HEA Cohort has much Continue reading →

Orientation to the CEMETS Apprenticeship Reform Lab

There is a rising tide of interest in modernizing and expanding apprenticeships in California as a strategy to fight income inequality and address a growing jobs-skills mismatch. California’s Governor-Elect Gavin Newsom has set an ambitious goal to increase apprenticeships from 84,000 to 500,000 by 2029, but what will it take to achieve that goal? The Center on the Economics and Management of Education and Training Systems (CEMETS) Reform Lab in Switzerland helps states and countries around the world with challenges like this, drawing on evidence Continue reading →