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Established in mid-2021, the Youth Justice and Employment Community of Practice (CoP) is a partnership of the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF), the National Youth Employment Coalition (NYEC), and Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI) formed to improve outcomes for youth with justice involvement by increasing collaboration among local workforce and juvenile justice systems. The CoP began during the middle of COVID-19 at a time when counterparts in each jurisdiction were seeking to reestablish pandemic-disrupted communication and collaboration. CoP participants met monthly to share knowledge and expertise on topics of importance to both systems. Based on work from the CoP, participating cities and counties produced notable improvements in building relationships, expanding partnerships, and promoting investments that benefit justice-involved young people in their communities. This report documents successes and offers recommendations for others seeking to improve outcomes for these young people.
The inaugural Issue Brief, Pathways to Progress: Setting the Stage for Impact (June 2015), described the Citi Foundation's goals in each of these impact areas and early progress. The second Issue Brief, Pathways to Progress: The Portfolio and the Field of Youth Economic Opportunity (April 2016), focused on impact in the field; including an overview of trends in the youth economic opportunity field, and how the Pathways to Progress grantees are responding to and contributing to these trends. The third Issue Brief, Pathways to Progress: Forging Strategies to Broaden Impact (November 2016), focused on organizational and programmatic impacts including scaling and program adaptation.This Issue Brief is the fourth and final in the Pathways to Progress series. In this Brief, we focus on the impact of the five flagship Pathways to Progress grantees on the youth they have served, and provide a retrospective look at the progress and select lessons from the first three years of the investment.
Developmental evaluation (DE) has emerged as an approach that is well suited to evaluating innovative early-stage or market-based initiatives that address complex social issues. However, because DE theory and practice are still evolving, there are relatively few examples of its implementation on the ground. This paper reviews the practical experience of a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) team in conducting a developmental evaluation of a Rockefeller Foundation initiative in the field of digital employment for young people, and offers observations and advice on applying developmental evaluation in practice.Through its work with The Rockefeller Foundation's team and its grantees, the M&E team drew lessons relating to context, intentional learning, tools and processes, trust and communication, and adaption associated with developmental evaluation. It was found that success depends on commissioning a highly qualified DE team with interpersonal and communication skills and, whenever possible, some sectoral knowledge. The paper also offers responses to three major criticisms frequently leveled against developmental evaluation, namely that it displaces other types of evaluations, is too focused on "soft" methods and indicators, and downplays accountability.Through its reporting of lessons learned and its response to the challenges and shortcomings of developmental evaluation, the M&E team makes the case for including developmental evaluation as a tool for the evaluation toolbox, recommending that it be employed across a wide range of geographies and sectors. With its recommendation, it calls for future undertakings to experiment with new combinations of methods within the DE framework to strengthen its causal, quantitative, and accountability dimensions.
For the past two years, we've been collaborating with our assessment partners to establish a benchmark against which the performance of any student, school or region can be mapped. The scale leverages a nationwide, representative sample of learning competencies prevalent across different school systems. And yet our commitment to evolving and implementing rigorous learning assessment frameworks has never been an end in itself: our primary goal is to use the data and insights to improve learning outcomes.Our work in education assessments—and the benefcial work being done by others in the field—will be most useful if communicated to the broader education community in India. Our assessment partners have prepared reports and conducted workshops to share their findings and explain how our investees can best bring about change in the classroom to enhance academic outcomes.