Illinois

Stability and Change

January, 2019

Community organizations are at the center of neighborhood improvement efforts. But how do organizational networks evolve over time, and how does their evolution affect local capacity for positive change? This report takes on these questions to advance an understanding of how community networks function, and how to better support them.

Final Implementation and Impact Findings from the Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation-Strong Start

January, 2019
Helen Lee, Sarah Crowne, Melanie Estarziau, Keith Kranker, Charles Michalopoulos, Anne Warren, Tod Mijanovich, Jill H. Filene, Anne Duggan, Virginia Knox

MIHOPE-Strong Start rigorously examined the effects of home visiting services, as provided by 66 local programs in 17 states, on outcomes such as low birth weight, preterm birth, and infant health care use. This final report details those effects as well as the services received by families in the programs.

The Experience of a New Program for Young People Involved in the Juvenile Justice System

June, 2018
Michelle S. Manno, Hannah Wagner

STRIVE International engaged MDRC to help the organization improve a new program model aimed at increasing educational attainment and employment of young adults involved in the juvenile justice system. This Issue Focus describes the partnership and offers advice to organizations implementing new programs on how to build evidence of effectiveness.

A Snapshot of State Efforts

December, 2017
Mariel Sparr, Alexandra Joraanstad, Grace Atukpawu-Tipton, Nicole Miller, Julie Leis, Jill H. Filene

The Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation-Strong Start (MIHOPE-Strong Start) aims to determine whether home visiting programs improve birth- and health-related outcomes up to age 1. This report provides a snapshot of state efforts to promote prenatal health and improve birth outcomes, including but not limited to home visiting.

Learning from the Chicago Community Networks Study

November, 2017
David M. Greenberg, Aurelia De La Rosa Aceves, Mikael Karlström, Stephen Nuñez, M. Victoria Quiroz-Becerra, Sarah Schell, Edith Yang, Audrey Yu

This report presents findings from the Chicago Community Networks study — one of the most extensive efforts to measure interorganizational partnerships in local neighborhoods. It uses social network analysis and extensive field research to ask how specific patterns of partnership promote better-implemented collaborations that, in turn, can inform public policy.

Highlights from the Jobs Plus Pilot Program Evaluation

September, 2017
Betsy L. Tessler, Nandita Verma, Jonathan Bigelow, M. Victoria Quiroz-Becerra, Kristin P. Frescoln, William M. Rohe, Michael D. Webb, Amy T. Khare, Mark L. Joseph, Emily K. Miller

Jobs Plus promotes employment among public housing residents through employment services, rent rule changes that provide incentives to work, and community support for work. Within the first 18 months, all nine public housing agencies in this evaluation had begun structuring their programs, building partnerships, and implementing the model’s core components.

Interim Findings on Aid Like A Paycheck

June, 2017

This study examines whether an alternative approach to distributing financial aid — in biweekly payments instead of one or two lump sums — can improve outcomes for low-income community college students. After one semester, the policy reduced students’ debt and use of federal loans but showed little consistent evidence of academic effects.

March, 2017

MDRC launches the first of a five-part web series from the Chicago Community Networks study — a mixed-methods initiative that combines formal social network analysis with in-depth field surveys of community practitioners. It measures how community organizations collaborate on local improvement projects and how they come together to shape public policy.

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