From a big-picture perspective, the Wandersman Center is interested in assessing and building readiness to strengthen implementation supports and cause effective community change. Regardless of stage and sophistication, we offer the following readiness-related services to public, private, and governmental clients.
Many times, stakeholders want to understand the underlying influences of projects, organizations, and communities. The Wandersman Center provides extensive research consultation and support to help our partners process data and comprehend contributing relationships. Sometimes, this means we assist researchers in asking the right questions, but in other cases, we collaborate with existing projects and run analyses. We can then use this data to guide stakeholders in identifying and implementing efficient and successful strategies. Our research support categories include:
- We conduct organization and community needs assessments, which involve the analysis of archival and artifactual data.
- With sources such as peer-reviewed and grey literature, we compile comprehensive literature reviews and environmental scans.
- By drawing from the proficiency of experienced statisticians and methodologists, we can help stakeholders understand patterns and relationships in data through quantitative modeling (e.g., univariate and multivariate descriptive statistics, generalized linear regression models, multilevel modeling, mixture modeling for cross-sectional and longitudinal data, scale development and testing, and structural equation modeling).
- We use cutting-edge qualitative modeling techniques such as natural language processing (NLP) to interpret the underlying meaning beneath large bodies of text-based data. This allows us to analyze qualitative data more quickly, comprehensively, and reliably than manual coding methods.
- By applying predictive modeling strategies, we consider past and current conditions to anticipate the probability that patterns are likely to reoccur in the future. Furthermore, our forecasts factor in potential changes and other possible conditions that could impact outcomes.
The Wandersman Center also maintains a valuable, cross-project research portfolio, and team members regularly publish in peer-reviewed journals and present findings to professional, academic, and scientific audiences. Our recent work can be viewed by clicking the link on the right.
Evaluation is not just about compliance. When properly conducted, evaluation can link readiness behaviors to outcomes because stakeholders are better able to understand what is happening and why within their organization and can then make deliberate decisions and implement specified processes to achieve the desired outcomes.
The evaluation process can be intimidating, but we endeavor to engage participants in the evaluation to build their motivation and capacity to engage with their data and develop a positive, productive learning environment.
We are among the industry leaders in understanding and using actionable data for making implementation improvement. We specialize in mixed-methods formative evaluation and are rooted in the fields of participatory and empowerment evaluation models. Abe is one of the core developers of the Getting To Outcomes model, a soup-to-nuts program development, evaluation, and sustainability approach.
We work closely with our partners to design methods, measures, and metrics together to ensure they meet the underlying needs of the organization and to generate data that generates action. This can involve many feedback loops, which ensure that methods are aligned with the questions that are important to our stakeholders.
Implementation can be challenging, but we provide multiple supports through practical applications that utilize evidence-based strategies to build readiness and the ability to implement and evaluate well. Our primary resource is the Evidence-Based System for Implementation Support, an in-depth approach to designing and executing support strategies to help stakeholders succeed. Our methodology applies the following supports:
- Our RMC2 platform uses a variety of tools and measures that help stakeholders determine their current readiness context and status while providing evidence-based methods for improvement.
- We regularly host training sessions about issues critical to implementation. Past workshops covered topics such as readiness, Getting To Outcomes, and stakeholder engagement. We are also able to provide specialized training based on an individual project's needs.
- We offer in-depth technical assistance consultation and coaching to assist organizations as they implement their projects with quality, build and sustain their readiness, and generalize their skills to address a variety of contexts. We can deliver coaching in a way that is most suitable to the project: by phone, via Zoom, through a web conference, and/or in person.
- We provide quality assurance monitoring by establishing tools and relationships that ensure projects are proceeding as intended and will maintain progress over time. These results are tracked so that everyone can benefit from any emerging findings.