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The Harvard Family Research Project separated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education to become the Global Family Research Project as of January 1, 2017. It is no longer affiliated with Harvard University.

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Heather Weiss

The International Youth Foundation points out that by the year 2000, roughly one-half of the world’s population will be under the age of 25. In the United States, approximately one-quarter of the population is expected to be under 18 by 2000. These statistics point to the urgency of supporting positive youth development while also addressing the growing number of challenges facing young people today.

We have devoted this issue of The Evaluation Exchange to the evaluation of youth programs. In our Theory and Practice section, Dale Blyth of the Center for 4-H Youth Development and Professor at the University of Minnesota Extension Service, offers his reflections on the issues related to evaluating strength-based approaches to youth development. In our Promising Practices section, we build on a theme that we have presented in past issues—youth participation in evaluation. Kristen Zimmerman and Nancy Erbstein of Community LORE write about their approach, Youth Empowerment Evaluation. Revery Barnes and Kaira Espinoza of Rising Youth for Social Equity write about their experience using youth empowerment evaluation in an evaluation of a juvenile justice program. In our Questions and Answers section, we speak with Karen Pittman of the International Youth Foundation about evaluating youth development programs and about lessons learned from the international community. In our Evaluations to Watch section, Stacy Meade of the Michigan Public Health Institute discusses the use of an empowerment evaluation approach to increase local capacity for evaluation. Elena Lopez and I discuss the results of a recent study we conducted on foundation grantmaking for children and youth in our Spotlight section. Our New and Noteworthy and Electronic Mailbox sections identify useful print and electronic sources related to evaluation of youth programs. Finally, our Beyond Basic Training section highlights some forthcoming evaluation conferences. These articles bring together a variety of perspectives and help us to move ahead in thinking about how to improve results for children and youth. We would like to hear from readers about their work in this area for future issues of this newsletter.

In closing, I would like to thank all who completed our reader survey. We are now compiling the results and will share these in our next issue. Please continue to share your suggestions and comments with us through our email ( or our website. Thank you.

Heather B. Weiss, Ed.D.
Founder & Director
Harvard Family Research Project

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© 2016 Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College
Published by Harvard Family Research Project