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News & Info

Evaluation Capacity Building in Context: Innovating for Optimal Social Impact and Advocating for Change

Evaluation capacity building for improved organizational and system learning has been part of Community Science’s practice from our beginning. We see evaluation capacity building as having all the abilities and motivation to learn how to do better by systematically using data and others sources of reliable information to make decisions.  Public and private organizations and public agencies have an obligation to continuously strive to equitably provide the best services and supports possible to individuals, families, and communities. In order to do that, there needs to be the capacity in place to evaluate and then improve the work of these collaborations and organizations. These days, just about every organization that receives funding from any public or private entity is expected to do some data collection and reporting. This global movement to use data is being further fueled by the advancements in information technology. There is a virtual Home Depot of evaluation tools available on line.

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Building International Monitoring and Evaluation Capacity to Measure the Impact of the Global Libraries Program

The Global Libraries (GL) initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation aims to use libraries as a resource to bring about Internet and technology access to developing and transitioning countries as a means to improve lives and opportunities. For the last four years, Community Science has worked in partnership with GL to build the capacity of the Impact Work Group (IWG). The IWG is comprised of impact specialists who work closely with library staff and other stakeholders in their countries to assess their grant activities and measure impact on library users (e.g., improve health, job access, financial security, and education outcomes). 

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Staff Profile: Hilary E. Jones, Director of Business Operations

Hilary E. Jones, Director of Business Operations, has over 20 years of business management experience in a professional services environment. At Community Science, she is responsible for managing company administrative functions, including financial management, strategic planning, contract administration, marketing and communications, human resources, facilities and administrative operations. 

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Digging Deep For National Food Policy

Kien Lee, Ph.D., Principal Associate/Vice President, presented at the 13th Annual Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders Forum, “Digging Deeper,” June 23-25, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. In her session titled Building Grassroots Capacity to Influence National Food Policy: Lessons from Everybody at the Table for Health, Dr. Lee discussed an evaluation conducted by Community Science for EAT4Health, a three-year, multifunder experiment of the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, enabling grassroots organizations at the frontline of broken food systems to engage in national advocacy. 

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Reflections on the Five Cs of Monastic Life

Sinead Younge, PhD, Community Science Managing Associate

This summer, I had the privilege of volunteering at the Sera Jey Monastic University as a volunteer with the Emory University Tibet Science Initiative  (ETSI). The Sera Jey Monastery follows a centuries old tradition and culture dating back to its founding in Lhasa, Tibet. During a 1959 revolt against the Chinese occupation, colleges at the original Sera Jey in Lhasa were destroyed. The Indian government generously provided currency in the form of land and grants for many of the surviving Tibetan monks to reestablish some of their monasteries in India under the spiritual guidance of His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama. Today, the Sera Jey Monastery in Bylakuppe, India, houses over 3,000 monks and nuns and is located within a thriving, protected Tibetan settlement comprised of over 70,000 Tibetan expatriates where individuals and communities work through collective action to strengthen community, maintain Tibetan culture, and promote well-being. 

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Check out Community Science at these upcoming conferences this fall!

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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.