Evaluation and performance are critical to the success of the youthCONNECT approach. VPP is very fortunate to have Child Trends committed as its evaluation advisor and consultant for youthCONNECT. Child Trends is the nation’s only nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy center that studies children at all stages of development. It provides technical assistance to public agencies and private organizations that develop, analyze, track, and use statistical indicators of child and youth well-being. The firm maintains the Child Trends DataBank, a public one-stop source for the latest national trends and research in this field. The Child Trends team devoted to youthCONNECT includes several of the foremost national evaluation experts on low-income youth, such as Senior Scholars Kris Moore and Karen Walker.
Watch Isaac Castillo, formerly of LAYC, discuss youthCONNECT's focus on measurement:
youthCONNECT supports evaluation at four levels:
1. Network organizations contribute data to a common framework to measure success in education and employment for the target population;
2. VPP and Child Trends also collect data across the network on other outcomes, such as social behavior and civic engagement. Each organization shares data in such domains where it has activities and metrics in place. Child Trends analyzes data for trends and opportunities for learning and improvement;
3. VPP supports experimental or quasi-experimental evaluation of all youthCONNECT projects; and
4. Child Trends conducts implementation evaluations to assess fidelity in program execution.