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News & Info

Advancing the Measurement of Collective Community Capacity Through the ACEs and Resilience Collective Community Capacity Survey

As part of its mission to conduct objective, rigorous research of community change processes, in 2016 a Community Science team completed and published a new valid and reliable index of collective community capacity. This article describes the new ACEs and Resilience Collective Community Capacity (ARC3) Survey in detail. 

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ACEs Public-Private Initiative (APPI)

In 2012, the Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) Public-Private Initiative (APPI), a Washington state consortium of public agencies, private foundations, and local networks, was formed to study interventions to prevent and mitigate ACEs and facilitate statewide learning and dialogue on these topics. As part of the initiative's cross-site evaluation, the evaluation team sought to assess the extent to which five community sites developed sufficient capacity to achieve their goals and examine the relationship of the sites' capacity to selected site efforts and their impact on ACEs-related outcomes. The team conducted an extensive review of the research literature focused on community capacity development. Based on this review and in collaboration with the APPI sites, the team created an instrument to measure the APPI sites' collective community capacity to address ACEs and increase resilience in their communities: the ACEs and Resilience Collective Community Capacity (ARC3) instrument.

Integrated Marketing Health Communication Project for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Vaccine Program Office

Community Science was contracted by the National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to support its efforts to provide individuals with accurate, timely, transparent, and audience-appropriate information about vaccines. NVPO offers unbiased advice and expertise to other agencies in identifying and responding to gaps in the vaccine system, making vaccines safer and more effective, with the end goal to reduce the burden of preventable infectious disease throughout the country.

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Community Science in Action: Establishing Baltimore’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund

Community Science, in addition to our consultation, capacity building, and evaluation services, also works on local issues of national importance. There is an affordable housing crisis in Baltimore City, as in all American cities. Over half (53%) of city renters and 40 percent of homeowners pay more than one-third of their income in housing, putting them at risk for housing instability and even homelessness. In Baltimore on any given night, 3,000 people, including children and their families, are homeless. Over 25,000 Baltimore City households, more than half with children, are on the waiting list for desperately needed federal housing assistance, and they will wait as much as 10 years. They are the lucky ones: another 50,000 households applied but were turned away from the waiting list.

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Community Science at AEA

The American Evaluation Association (AEA) held their Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, on October 24-29, 2016.  Community Science presented during various sessions and workshops.  A major focus of our work this year was the evaluation of complex, multi-level, multi-sector initiatives and assessing community capacity; cultural responsiveness in evaluation; capacity building for data use and evaluation; and evaluation of professional development initiatives for advocates and professionals of color.  Our team also presented action research for health coverage outreach and education efforts targeting hard-to-reach communities under the Affordable Care Act.  Check out our team in action!

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Staff Profile: Ryan Schooley

Ryan Schooley, M.Ed., Analyst, has experience researching community engagement and community development issues, and working with community organizing coalitions and interventions to increase educational and social development. At Community Science, he assists with literature reviews, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, and report writing for multiple projects related to community engagement, behavioral health, health equity, and sense of community. 

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Recent Publications:

Emerging Action Principles for Designing and Planning Community Change (March 2015)

Community Matters! Decades of scientific research have shown that being part of a supportive, inclusive and capable community promotes mental, physical, and social well-being more than any other factors known to the social and medical sciences. Our publication series, Community Matters: Action Principles, Frameworks, and Strategies, shares what science and practice have taught us about building and strengthening community. The first publication in this series, “Emerging Principles for Designing and Implementing Community Change,” has just been released.


Local Voices: On-the-Ground Perspectives on Driving Community Change in the Making Connections Sites (July 2014)

This report describes, from the perspective of local stakeholders, the experience of several sites involved in Making Connections — the Foundation’s signature community change initiative of the 2000s — in developing and enhancing the core capacities essential for articulating and pursuing a local community change agenda. The report describes the conditions in the communities when Making Connections began; the core capacities built during the decade-long initiative; the factors that contributed to capacity building; the evidence of improved outcomes for children, families and neighborhoods resulting from the enhanced change capacities; the continuing challenges of sustaining those capacities; and key takeaways from the experience.  


Addressing Health Disparities Through Organizational Change-Evaluation Report (April 2012)

In 2006, The Colorado Trust funded 14 organizations to improve their cultural competency in order to strengthen their capacity to reduce health disparities.  Community Science was engaged to evaluate the initiative, specifically assessing: 1) changes in cultural competency among grantees, 2) the influence of cultural competency changes on grantee interventions and short -term outcomes, 3) factors and conditions needed to bring about positive changes in organizational cultural competency, and 4) grantee progress and accomplishments over time.  


The Importance of Culture in Evaluation

The Importance of Culture in Evaluation, a publication funded by The Colorado Trust, provides insights to help guide the complex dynamics between evaluators, funders and stakeholders of different cultures. The report provides examples of where cross-cultural competency is critical in evaluation and recommends questions and strategies that an evaluator should consider when practicing this form of cultural competency.