Assessing Downstream Impacts- The Case of Coro New York Leadership Center

Coro New York is a leading provider of leadership development training through its fellows program and through its work with emerging leaders in community development and education. Following a strategic planning process in 2011, the organization set community transformation as one of its desired long-term impacts. In 2013, Coro asked Usable Knowledge to conduct an evaluation of its Neighborhood Leadership Program (NLP) designed to improve the leadership capacity of local business improvement districts (BIDs) in the City of New York and to help BID staff manage their relationships with the city. NLP consisted of a series of trainings, held over a five to six month period. Half the trainings directly address leadership skills. The other provided an opportunity for participants to interact with and learn from city officials. [Continue reading]

Assessing Downstream Impacts- The Value of Qualitative Methods

In our last post on measuring downstream impacts, we offered a language for talking about impacts. In this one, we discuss the value of qualitative methods for assessing them. Where to begin? First of course, you need to be prepared to wait for the impacts to happen. How long depends upon the kinds of impacts you’re trying to achieve. Referring back to the table in our last post, depending on the size of the school and the intensity of the intervention, it may be possible to observe changes in school climate in just a few months, though whether they will be sustained over time is another question (and one that is often neglected). Many substance abuse, employment and criminal justice metrics look at changes six months post program. Impacts such as community change on the other hand may take years to observe. The evaluation team needs to be prepared to follow-up several months, or possibly several years, after the program has concluded and this waiting has to be built into the project timeline and budget. [Continue reading]