You Can Get There From Here: Using Data and Evidence to Improve Youth Outcomes in Comprehensive Community Initiatives.
Abstract: "Comprehensive community initiatives" (CCIs; Kubisch et al., 1997)
are place-based, multi-sector efforts that build local capacity in order to change outcomes
at the population level (e.g., Kubisch, Auspos, Brown, & Dewar, 2010). Contemporary
efforts prioritize the systematic use of data and evidence as a key tool for optimizing the
effects of CCIs (McLaughlin & London, 2013; Preskill, ... read moreParkhurst, & Juster, 2014).
Yet, research on the actual use of data and evidence in youth policy has shown that not
only do many efforts lack the capacity to gather, interpret, and use data and evidence
effectively, but also that deeper cultural, relational, structural, and belief barriers can
impede these processes at a fundamental level (e.g., Honig & Coburn, 2008; Nelson,
Leffler & Hansen, 2009). Thus, the guiding research question for this dissertation is:
How do data and evidence use in CCIs account for changes in local practice and produce
population-level improvements in youth outcomes? In this dissertation, I propose a
conceptual framework for understanding the role of data and evidence use in the activities
of CCIs seeking to create population-level changes in youth outcomes. I then investigate
and elaborate elements of this framework through two empirical studies: a systematic review
of the empirical literature on CCIs and youth outcomes, and a cross-case analysis of the
experience of four participants in a professional development experience designed to
develop local data leadership.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Tufts University, 2015.
Submitted to the Dept. of Child Development.
Advisors: Marina Bers, and Jonathan Zaff.
Committee: William Penuel, and Amy Gerstein.
Keywords: Developmental psychology, and Public health.read less