New Approaches
to Evaluating
Community
Initiatives

Volume 1
Concepts, Methods, and Contexts


About the Authors

J. Lawrence Aber is director of the National Center for Children in Poverty at the Columbia University School of Public Health, where he is also an associate professor of psychology and public health. He conducts basic research on the effects of family and community poverty and violence on the development of children and youth. His applied research focuses on rigorous process and outcome evaluations of innovative programs and policies for children and families at risk, including welfare-to-work programs, violence prevention programs, and comprehensive service programs.

Prudence Brown is associate director of the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago. Formerly deputy director of the Urban Poverty Program at the Ford Foundation, her expertise covers issues of family and neighborhood development, urban policy, and strategic grantmaking. She has been involved with comprehensive community initiatives as a designer and funder, a documenter, and an evaluator.

James P. Connell is a developmental psychologist and research methodologist. He has written extensively on school, family, and community factors influencing child and adolescent development in urban areas. He is co-founder and director of research of the Institute for Research and Reform on Education, a member of the Social Science Research Council's Working Group on Communities and Neighborhoods, Family Processes, and Individual Development, and is currently completing a senior fellowship at Public/Private Ventures.

Claudia Coulton is professor and co-director of the Center for Urban Poverty and Social Change. Through the Center she works with community-based organizations and initiatives to reduce poverty and related conditions in urban neighborhoods. Among her research interests are the effects of community environments on children and families and measuring community change.

Jennifer Hill is a graduate student in statistics at Rutgers University.

Robinson G. Hollister, Jr. is the Joseph Wharton Professor of Economics at Swarthmore College. He has written extensively on labor and employment training issues. He has also participated as a technical expert, advisor, and evaluator in a number of demonstration programs and studies addressing human resource development, social service provision, and income support issues.

Anne C. Kubisch is the director of the Roundtable on Comprehensive Community Initiatives for Children and Families at the Aspen Institute. Previously, she was the deputy director of the Ford Foundation's Urban Poverty Program where she was responsible for grants supporting comprehensive community initiatives and reforms in human service delivery systems. She also has extensive experience working on economic development and human rights issues in Latin America and Africa, including three years as the head of the Ford Foundation's office in Lagos, Nigeria.

Alice O'Connor is an historian and a National Science Foundation post-doctoral fellow at the Center for the Study of Urban Inequality at the University of Chicago. She is currently working on a book on the history of poverty research and policy since the 1920s. Among her recent publications is "Community Action, Urban Reform, and the Fight Against Poverty: The Ford Foundation's Gray Areas Program," forthcoming in the Journal of Urban History.

Lisbeth Bamberger Schorr is a lecturer in social medicine at Harvard University, and director of the Harvard University Project on Effective Services. She has woven together many strands of experience with social policy and human service programs to become a national authority on improving the future of disadvantaged children and families. Her 1988 book, Within Our Reach: Breaking the Cycle of Disadvantage, analyzing successful programs for children, has become highly influential with policymakers, practitioners, and advocates for more effective human services. Ms. Schorr is the co-chair of the Roundtable on Comprehensive Community Initiatives for Children and Families, and co-chair of the Roundtable's Steering Committee on Evaluation.

Gary Walker is president of Public/Private Ventures, a national not-for-profit organization located in Philadelphia that develops and evaluates promising youth policy strategies in community, educational, and employment settings. Mr. Walker was previously senior vice president of the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC), and formerly a Wall Street attorney. He writes and speaks extensively on ways that public policy and the private sector can improve opportunities and outcomes for disadvantaged youth.

Carol Hirschon Weiss is a professor in the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. She has published eight books and almost 100 journal articles and book chapters. Her work on evaluation includes Evaluation Research: Methods for Assessing Program Effectiveness, published by Prentice-Hall, which has sold approximately 150,000 copies, and Evaluating Action Programs, published by Allen and Bacon. She has been a congressional fellow, a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution, a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and a member of advisory boards of over a dozen journals.


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