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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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Harvard Family Research Project provides a chart of 20 major ongoing evaluations of CBIs.

This section usually summarizes one or two exemplary ongoing evaluations. When we surveyed managers of CBIs, however, we discovered that most lacked sufficient resources to undertake a formal evaluation; if they did have the resources, the evaluations were often only at the planning stages. In addition, key informants from research and policy organizations provided recommendations about specific promising evaluations. We discovered that no one source or document provided a compilation of CBI evaluations.

Following is a chart of Evaluation Strategies of Selected Community-Based Initiatives in progress. Sybilla Dorros compiled the chart. It will be expanded in our next issue on CBIs as we continue our outreach and follow up on suggestions from our readers.

This chart is not exhaustive. Rather, it provides the reader with a range of initiatives, from those with broad goals (for example, those affecting total economic and social improvement within a geographically defined area) to those with more specific goals (for example, those reducing teen pregnancy, violence, and substance abuse). Our research on over sixty CBIs reveals that a lack of resources for evaluation seems to be a major challenge for CBIs. Consequently, the evaluations in this chart are generally of well-established programs with substantial funding—in short, flagship, as opposed to fleet, programs.

Most of the evaluations include both formative and summative components; employ mixed methods; are multi-year (many are in the beginning stages); and involve clusters or multiple sites.

Each entry has been verified by both the evaluator and the program.

Program Annie E. Casey Urban Children's Mental Health Initiative
Description Works to reform mental health service systems, strengthen preventive measures, and reinforce local involvement in service design and delivery. Located in four sites.
Evaluation Ethnographic approach, using both qualitative and quantitative data, in two of the four sites (Richmond, VA and Houston, TX).
Evaluator/Funder Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida (13301 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Tampa, FL 33612-3899). Funded by a grant from the Center for Mental Health Services.
Evaluation Timeline Ethnographic research conducted from December 1994 to December 1995.


Program The Atlanta Project (TAP)
Description Addresses problems facing families and communities (i.e., dropout, crime, unemployment, etc.). Launched by the Carter Center in 1991.
Evaluation Process evaluation based primarily on qualitative data obtained through interviews and written surveys. Later evaluation phase will focus on outcomes.
Evaluator/Funder Emory University (Atlanta, GA 30322). Funded by the Rockefeller and ARCO Foundations.
Evaluation Timeline Phase One of the three-phase evaluation began in fall 1993, with a focus on process evaluation. Phase Three scheduled for spring 1996.


Program Chatham-Savannah Youth Futures Authority's Family Resource Center
Description Provides an array of integrated services to support families, and serves as a vehicle for community development. Opened in 1994.
Evaluation Participatory evaluation, using qualitative and quantitative data derived from multiple methods and data sources.
Evaluator/Funder Metis Associates Inc. (80 Broad Street, Suite 1600, New York, NY 10004). Funded by the Georgia State Policy Council for Children and Families.
Evaluation Timeline Three-phase evaluation began in November 1995. Phase One includes historical context and startup. Phases Two and Three are process and outcome studies.


Program Chicago's Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS)
Description Reorganizes Chicago's policing around small geographical areas. With cooperation from neighborhood residents and organizations, officers deal with neighborhood problems. Began in 1993.
Evaluation Case studies of five prototype police districts using surveys, interviews, observation, public opinion, and crime statistics. Ongoing evaluation examines overall planning, impact, and implementation.
Evaluator/Funder Police Evaluation Consortium, (2040 Sheridan Rd., Evanston, IL 60209). Funded by the U.S. DOJ, IL Criminal Justice Info. Authority, Chicago Comm. Trust and J.D. & C.T. MacArthur Foundations.
Evaluation Timeline Evaluation began in 1992, with yearly reports issued. Multiple project papers available from the Police Evaluation Consortium, Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research, Northwestern University.


Program The Children, Youth and Families Initiative (CYF)
Description Promotes the healthy development of children, youth, and families, and currently operates in eight communities.
Evaluation Documentation of the Initiative's progress through materials review, site visits, interviews, and observation. Benchmarks developed for future self-evaluation.
Evaluator/Funder Chapin Hall Center for Children (1313 E. 60th St., Chicago, IL 60637). Funded by the Chicago Community Trust and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Evaluation Timeline Documentation process conducted over the Initiative's last 4 years (1993–1996). Benchmarks developed in 1995–1996.


Program Community Building Initiative (CBI)
Description Works to produce comprehensive community development and community building through the efforts of 39 social community development initiatives in 11 cities.
Evaluation Participatory approach, with site visits, quarterly progress monitoring, evaluation of technical assistance, and six case studies.
Evaluator/Funder COSMOS Corporation (7475 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, MD 20614) and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Funded by LISC.
Evaluation Timeline Evaluation covers Initiative's last 2 years. First annual report scheduled for February 1997.


Program Community Partnership (Substance Abuse Prevention)
Description Strives to reduce substance abuse at the community level using an interagency partnership.
Evaluation Documentation on 24 partnerships using individual- and community-level data.
Evaluator/Funder COSMOS Corporation (7475 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, MD 20814). Funded by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP).
Evaluation Timeline Evaluation includes first-round outcome analysis.


Program Community Prevention Coalitions Demonstration Grant Program
Description Supports 123 “coalitions of coalitions” that address substance abuse and related problems.
Evaluation Collection of community outcome indicators and process data on 90 coalition communities and 90 matched comparisons.
Evaluator/Funder COSMOS Corporation (7475 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, MD 20814). Funded by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP).
Evaluation Timeline Evaluation plan developed. Framework developed with local program staff and evaluators. Progress report expected March 1997.


Program Comprehensive Community-Based Program Models (CCBPMs)
Description Strengthens families, communities, neighborhoods, and relationships through seven local groups and organizations.
Evaluation Cluster evaluation using a participatory approach to document neighborhood and family outcomes, and facilitators or barriers to achieving outcomes.
Evaluator/Funder Center on Work & Family, Boston University (232 Bay State Road, Boston, MA 02215). Funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Evaluation Timeline Three-year evaluation conducted from January 1993 to December 1996. Six Trend Reports related to outcome indicators available.


Program Comprehensive Community Revitalization Program (CCRP) in the South Bronx
Description Strengthens abilities of six South Bronx Community Development Corporations (CDCs) to address the many economic and social concerns of poor families that go beyond basic housing.
Evaluation Primary evaluation focus on changes in the capacity of participating initiatives. Examines CCRP startup, implementation, and impact. Several data collection tools developed (Program Year Three).
Evaluator/Funder The OMG Center (1528 Walnut Street, Suite 805, Philadelphia, PA 19102). Funded through a consortium of private foundations.
Evaluation Timeline Five-year evaluation (1993–1997) conducted on the 7-year revitalization program (1992–1998).


Program First Nations Development Institute
Description Assists Native Americans to build sound, sustainable reservation economies. Founded in 1980.
Evaluation Empowerment evaluation. FNDI adapted principles of development to include, among others, the culture of the organization.
Evaluator/Funder Aspen Institute Rural Development Program (1333 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Suite 1070, Washington, DC 20036). Funded by the C.S. Mott, W.K. Kellogg, and Ford Foundations.
Evaluation Timeline Three-year evaluation began in July 1995.


Program The Ford Foundation's Neighborhood and Family Initiative
Description Strives to create the circumstances under which a working model for neighborhood-based, integrated development can be generated. In four cities (Detroit, Hartford, Memphis, and Milwaukee).
Evaluation Two-tiered national and local evaluation based on field research and documentation analysis. Both process and outcome site evaluations.
Evaluator/Funder Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago (1313 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637). Funded by the Ford Foundation.
Evaluation Timeline Interim reports cover September 1990 to December 1994, and January 1995 to August 1996.


Program John Heinz Neighborhood Development Program (NDP) Grantees' Technical Assistance
Description Provides intensive technical assistance to a small group of grantees of the John Heinz NDP, a HUD grant program, to build capacity and work with local financial lenders.
Evaluation Process and outcome evaluation of technical assistance and grantee efforts to build capacity. Based on both qualitative and quantitative data.
Evaluator/Funder The Community Information Exchange (1029 Vermont Avenue, N.W., Suite 710, Washington, DC 20005). Funded by the Heinz Endowments.
Evaluation Timeline Evaluation conducted during June and July 1995 on technical assistance provided from August 1994 through May 1995.


Program Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Program
Description Strengthens and revitalizes neighborhoods in more than 50 locations. Works to build capacity, integrated service delivery, and collaboration.
Evaluation Both quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the neighborhood planning process and bureaucratic response.
Evaluator/Funder Center for Urban Policy Research, Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey. Funded by the McKnight Foundation.
Evaluation Timeline Three-year evaluation began in September 1991. Final report issued in January 1995.


Program National Community Development Initiative (NCDI) – Phase I
Description Helps to accelerate the growth of CDCs nationally through a consortium of eight national funders. Established in 1991.
Evaluation Process evaluation based on fieldwork, including surveys and three rounds of on-site interviews. Additional “cluster studies” used participatory working sessions to identify further assessment issues.
Evaluator/Funder The OMG Center (1528 Walnut Street, Suite 805, Philadelphia, PA 19102), in association with TEAMWORKS. Supported through a coalition of private foundations and corporation funders.
Evaluation Timeline Evaluation covers 3-year period from October 1991 through October 1994.


Program National Funding Collaborative on Violence Prevention
Description Supports and coordinates violence prevention programs.
Evaluation Evaluation of twelve programs with outcomes on four levels—neighborhood, community, collaboration, and activity.
Evaluator/Funder COSMOS Corporation (7475 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, MD 20814). Funded by the National Funding Collaborative on Violence Prevention.
Evaluation Timeline Planning phase for intervention nearly complete. Outcome evaluation in beginning stages.


Program Plain Talk
Description Addresses the problems of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, through 4-year community-based initiatives in six cities. Developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Evaluation Evaluation of planning and implementation in cities using site visits, document reviews, interviews, focus groups, and observation. Within- and cross-site analyses conducted. Additional data collection by on-site ethnographers.
Evaluator/Funder Public/Private Ventures (2005 Market Street, 9th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19103). Funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Evaluation Timeline Planning year evaluation conducted from 1993 to 1994. Final evaluation report available in 1998.


Program Rebuilding Communities Initiative (RCI)
Description Aims to improve neighborhood environments and child and family well- being in five neighborhoods in five cities.
Evaluation Qualitative and quantitative cross-site and site-based analysis, including indicators of change.
Evaluator/Funder The OMG Center (1528 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102). Funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Evaluation Timeline Evaluation overview completed in September 1995. Seven-year demonstration started in January 1994.


Program Sandtown-Winchester Community Building in Partnership
Description Works to develop a new set of comprehensive strategies that will result in community transformation. Approach emphasizes partnership, integration, and systems change. Started in 1990.
Evaluation Process evaluation based on interviews, document review, and observation. Quantitative data utilized when available and useful.
Evaluator/Funder The Conservation Company (310 Madison Ave., Suite 1630, New York, NY 10017). Funded by the Ford and W.K. Kellogg Foundations.
Evaluation Timeline First interim evaluation of the 3-year evaluation covers Initiative's first 4 years (1990–1994). Currently developing benchmarks.


Program William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund Children First Initiative (CFI)
Description Supports eight communities in Connecticut to improve outcomes for children ages zero to eight. Began in 1995.
Evaluation Cross-site process and outcome evaluation that will include benchmarks, feedback, and agreement with sites on measures of school readiness.
Evaluator/Funder Center for Assessment and Policy Development (111 Presidential Boulevard, Suite. 234, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004). Funded by the W.C. Graustein Memorial Fund.
Evaluation Timeline Evaluation covers Initiative's first four years. Annual internal reports and two public lessons-learned documents (1997, 1999) to be produced.

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