Decades of research have shown it is possible to improve outcomes for children and families facing adversity. However, on average, the impacts of early childhood programs are modest, and they have not improved over time. So, how can we build better programs that achieve greater outcomes for more young children and families?
To answer this question, the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University created the IDEAS Impact FrameworkTM, a new approach to program development and evaluation. This framework enables them to go beyond simply asking whether a program works, on average, because the usual approaches to evaluation don’t tell us enough. What about the program works? How does it make a difference? Who benefits most?
That’s where the IDEAS Impact Framework comes in. It helps us understand the specifics of how a program works, for whom it works (and does not work), and in what contexts it works. It enables us to continually learn about and improve programs in order to make a bigger difference in the lives of children and families.
What will this training do for me?
Since 2016, the IDEAS Impact Framework Training has helped people in a variety of roles gain critical skills and knowledge. The training is ideal for anyone involved in the development, implementation, or evaluation of programs for children and families who is interested in learning how to go beyond the best of what the field has achieved so far. Past participants have come from a wide range of settings, including community-based organizations, non-profits, universities, philanthropic organizations, and policy/systems settings. Among other take-aways, participants have learned how to:
- improve the impact of their interventions,
- understand the underlying mechanisms of an intervention by co-creating an evaluation plan with multiple stakeholders,
- identify programs with the greatest potential to impact kids and families facing adversity,
- redefine how they evaluate program effectiveness, and
- orient their businesses around impact and reach.
The training will be held April 21, 2020 – 9 am-5 pm in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.