Leaders in Equitable Evaluation and Diversity (LEEAD)

United States · The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Description

LEEAD 2016 Cohort


Program Model

The LEEAD program consists of three essential components: 1) A semester of online-based evaluation coursework 2) Ongoing mentorship from established experts in evaluation; and 3) A remote evaluation residency placement at a research organization, think tank, foundation, university or private firm. Additionally, scholars will participate in two in-person gatherings of the broader LEEAD Network.

1) Coursework: LEEAD uses an intensive, fast-track program curriculum that combines online evaluation course modules and professional development course electives. Informed by an assessment of the scholars’ competencies and professional interests, scholars will enroll in select credit-bearing course modules administered by the University of Wisconsin-Stout (UW-Stout) Evaluation Certificate online program. The scholar will engage in self-directed, self-paced study. A minimum of 10 hours a week are estimated to complete the 24 topic modules over the fall semester. In addition to the online modules, scholars will participate in a series of professional development sessions and electives on specialized evaluation skills. Professional development sessions will include topics related to network building, securing and negotiating contracts, and managing challenges around race and ethnicity equity and inclusion in the workplace. Specialized elective topics offered last year included NVivo, Policy Analysis, and Implementation Science. Topics are informed by the needs of the cohorts and our partnered host sites.

2) Mentorship: Mentoring is an essential component of the LEEAD program and will occur throughout the program cycle and beyond. Mentoring efforts will be focused on supporting scholars in attaining an evaluation subcontract for their remote residency placement. Mentors will work with scholars to hone their proposals in response to open projects from partnering sites such as evaluation firms, nonprofits and other organizations requiring evaluation services. Once an evaluation project is obtained, mentors will then focus their efforts on coaching the scholar through a successful remote residency experience.

3) Remote Residency: The LEEAD Residency is a culminating project where scholars will apply their developed evaluation competencies at a partnered Host Site and add specialized experience in evaluation to their circum vitas. Scholars will be expected to execute discrete evaluation projects of about 40-60 hours of work accomplished remotely over the duration of a six to nine month contract period. Scholars will be considered subcontractors and will be paid as consultants at a competitive hourly rate. The host site and scholar can agree to extend the contract for a longer term. Since the residency will involve discrete projects, they can be completed by the scholar remotely and do not require relocation. Scholars will be expected to apply a culturally responsive evaluative lens to their work. Practicum host sites include large, reputable evaluation organizations such as Child Trends, American Institutes for Research, the University of Memphis, Harder & Company, Mathematica Policy Research, ORS Impact, RAND Corporation and Urban Institute.

The Need for LEEAD

Who is doing science has significant implications for the questions that are asked, the methods that are chosen, the patterns that are observed and the recommendations that are made. While researchers and evaluators aim to reduce biases, it is impossible to entirely shed individual and cultural experiences at the laboratory door. To avoid correlated biases in how problems and populations are studied, researchers from diverse backgrounds and experiences must contribute to the knowledge base. Whereas life practices, perspectives, values, and motivations are individually nuanced, they are often correlated with demographic groupings, such as race and ethnicity, social class and gender. The lack of racial and ethnic diversity within entities that steer the construction of knowledge, such as universities and research institutes, limits our knowledge of social problems and jeopardizes our ability to resolve them. The lack of diversity in evaluation firms and policy think tanks also constrains our ability to use knowledge to improve practice and policies in social services. The benefits of diversity can extend well beyond the construction of knowledge to social innovation. Diversity promotes creative thinking by expanding a group's capacity for viewing issues or problems from multiple perspectives, angles, and vantage points. Leaders in Equitable Evaluation and Diversity takes advantage of the increasing numbers of URM (underrepresented minority) researchers who are earning doctoral degrees and who have already obtained the necessary methodological skill sets to conduct rigorous research. Many bright minds are ready to pursue the world of evaluation if afforded the opportunities and resources to develop their capacity as evaluators.

Sponsorship

The Annie E. Casey Foundation will sponsor 20 scholars in 2017. Scholars are expected to commit a minimum of $500 to travel costs for in-person meetings; the Foundation will cover all other expenses.

Eligibility and Qualifications

We are seeking URM scholars who have 4-8 years of experience in research and/or evaluation in criminal justice, psychology, public policy, public health, mental health, social psychology, sociology, economics, social work or related fields, with at least 3 years of that experience occurring post-doc. Other eligibility and qualifications criteria include:


Key Dates

Applications are due at 11:59 on Friday, April 14th 2017. Applicants will be informed if they made it to the interview round by May 15th. Final selections will be announced June 30th. The program starts in August 2017 with the first in-person gathering taking place at The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore MD in early September 2017. For more information please click the link to Frequently Asked Questions or send your query to LEEAD2017@gmail.com. To apply, click the button below.


Benefits

Be a part of a supportive network of individuals passionate about advancing diverse leadership in evaluation and the practice and policy it informs.

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