Giving Compass’ Take:
• Three case studies from the Forum for Youth Investment serve as examples of how evidence-based programs can inform policy decisions and improve program delivery.
• How can donors find data-driven programs? What tools do donors need to evaluate success and impact properly?
• Learn more about how evidence-based practice can transform philanthropy.
Three new case studies funded by the Annie E. Casey and William T. Grant foundations show how evidence can be used to improve program delivery ― and why it should be used to develop good policy.
The case studies, from the Forum for Youth Investment, offer policymakers a roadmap to apply evidence to make improvements for children, families and communities. The three efforts profiled are:
- ServeMinnesota, a statewide administrator for federal Americorps funding, which used evidence to improve its Reading Corps program.
- New York City’s Young Adult Literacy Program, which built examination of evidence into its system for continuous improvement.
- The federal Year-Round Pell Grants program, which provides financial aid for higher education to low-income students.
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Effective use of evidence is not a linear process, but it’s critical to achieving results in the long term, says Ilene Berman, a senior associate with Casey’s Evidence-Based Practice Group. “These case studies illustrate how carefully considering data, asking and testing new questions and viewing evidence as a tool in an improvement process can contribute to better outcomes,” she says.
Evaluating a program isn’t enough, according to Thaddeus Ferber and Alex Sileo, who authored the case studies. Defining what an evaluation should assess — and what it considers success — is also important. “Policymakers would be better situated to improve the Pell Grant program if they had more robust evidence about what contexts the program succeeds in, which populations the program is most effective for, and what type of implementation is needed in order to meet these outcomes,” they write.
Read the full article about using evidence to develop policies at The Annie E. Casey Foundation.
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