Webinar recap: Evidence-Based Decision Support for the Social Sector
In a recent webinar, researchers from Chapin Hall’s Center for State Child Welfare Data in partnership with the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, discussed their work with private child welfare agencies to build capacity for evidence-based decision-making.
Presenters gave examples of previously implemented tools and techniques, covering three types of work central to the problem solving challenges that agencies face today:
- Performance measurement. The Data Center worked with Necco — a foster care provider agency operating in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Georgia — to develop a performance measurement system that enabled the organization to measure mission-critical outcomes, identify opportunities for improvement, and track change over time.
- Implementing theoretically sound interventions. The Data Center worked with the nationally renowned Harlem Children’s Zone to help the organization codify the essential elements of its “pipeline” of programs. This effort involved working with the organization to operationalize the theories of change that underlie its core programming; document actual, on-the-ground implementation relative to those theories; and map the extent to which the agency’s existing data collection efforts were sufficient to allow the organization to determine program effectiveness.
- Education and training. Using evidence to make decisions requires certain skills. In addition to having a firm understanding of the cyclical process of improvement, agency staff need to have role-relevant skills in accessing evidence, interpreting it, and applying it to problem solving tasks at hand. This segment of the webinar covered the Data Center’s educational and training opportunities, which range from the technical to the applied and may be tailored to individuals in various roles.
Learn more about Evidence-Based Decision Support for the Social Sector:
- Download the webinar slides
- Listen to the webinar recording
- Check out this article by Chapin Hall researchers Sara Feldman, Emily Rhodes, and Lily Alpert, featured in the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities’ e-newsletter.
- Contact us to learn more about how the Data Center can help your agency build capacity for evidence-based decision making