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Asking the Right Questions: A Tool for Initiative Planning and Adaptation

November 2020

This tool and report develop a working definition for evidence, provide guidance for how policymakers, systems leaders, and leaders in organizations can make good use of evidence to develop, and make better use of a wide range of evidence to inform their decision-making, both as they develop new initiatives and as they make adaptations to their work based on what they learn from implementation.


Getting to the Heart of Equity: A Human Centered Design Case Study

April 2020

The application of a human-centered design approach by Del Norte and Tribal Lands (DNATL), part of The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities (BHC) initiative, illustrates one strategy for engaging and partnering with community members to design an initiative that strives for health equity. This report explores how human-centered design was used in the BHC-DNATL work.

(16 pp)


Literature Review: The Evidence Decision-Makers Want

December 2019

This summary paper considers the main themes identified from a literature review of 27 sources related to the evidence needs of policymakers and is intended to investigate the research evidence on what types of information policymakers want and need to make social policy decisions.

(15 pp)


Executive Summary: The Evidence Decision-Makers Want

December 2019

This brief summarizes the wide range of decisions leaders in public sector human services consider and explores evidence primarily from the perspective of decision-makers who work within these public systems.

(4 pp)

If you're looking for the main report, click here.


The Evidence Decision-Makers Want

December 2019

This report explores how decision-makers in public sector human services consider and use evidence, identify what evidence they want and need, and offers recommendations for how these leaders can contribute to wider use of different types of evidence to inform the full range of their work.

Click here for an executive summary of the report.

(29 pp)


Placing Equity Concerns at the Center of Knowledge Development

April 2019

In this report, we turn our attention to considering what it means to “place equity concerns at the center” of improving outcomes for those who are the most marginalized.

(21 pp)


Metrics for Early Childhood Systems: A National Scan

September 2018

This report, co-produced by National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ) and CSSP, provides the results of a national scan of measures being used by early childhood systems and initiatives to gauge the well-being of young children and their families.

(52 pp)


Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ): Building Evidence for Achieving Success, at Scale


This brief looks at how NAZ uses and generates evidence to accomplish its goals. It explores five characteristics of an inclusive approach to evidence—characteristics encountered in initiatives considered “evidence innovators.” 
(7 pp)


Friends of Evidence Case Study: Harlem Children’s Zone


This brief looks at how HCZ uses and generates evidence to achieve its goals. Its analysis is organized around five characteristics found in initiatives considered “evidence innovators.”
(8 pp)


Evidence Case Study: Summary

This brief compiles case studies from various initiatives and makes the concept of a “culture of evidence” accessible with illustrations of an approach to improve equitable outcomes for families and communities.
(5 pp)