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Better Data and Decisions

 

Getting to Outcomes: 10 Steps for Achieving Results-Based Accountability

GTO consists of 10 steps that empower program developers to do the following:

Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Short Description: 
Developed by the RAND Corporation, Getting to Outcomes outlines a step-by-step process to plan, implement and evaluate effective programs that are intended to achieve outcomes in a community. Developed for the substance abuse prevention field, Getting to Outcomes can be applied to the process of goal-setting and intervention selection for many social issues. This report briefly describes GTO's 10 Steps.

Use the best information about what works

Leaders must stay up to date on effective methods for addressing youth issues. They also need to know what’s working not just around the nation, but in their own backyard.

Don’t worry: You don’t have to spend your nights combing academic journals. Help is available to keep you abreast of the best information about effective practices, to help you understand different levels of quality assessment (such as evidence-based vs. research-based), and to guide you in conducting surveys and studies about efforts in your community or state.

Developing and Sharing Juvenile Justice Data in New York State

As in many other states, New York’s juvenile justice system is run by several agencies that each collect and report their own data. Until recently, this data had never been compiled or distributed to offer a comprehensive understanding of the system. This project sought to empower state agencies to report data back to counties in a systematic way that could improve local planning. The Vera Project staff are currently working with county officials from across New York to help them use these and future reports to shape juvenile justice policies and practices.

Thursday, September 1, 2005
Short Description: 
In 2005, the Vera Institute of Justice collaborated with New York State to develop the state's first ever set of juvenile justice indicators- statistics that provide insight into an organization's work or the environment in which it operates. Providing a comprehensive view of juvenile justice, the project is a good example for other states looking to align their data.
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Align and connect data for decision-making

There are two ways to make these connections. The first is horizontally: sharing data across systems, such as education, juvenile justice, health, etc. The second is vertically: sharing data from the individual level to the program level, and up to the city/county level and the state level.

Both of these directions provide important information for decision makers – be it a policymaker who needs to know about the impact of certain policies beyond her specific system, or an afterschool provider who can better tailor his programming based on a student’s performance in school.

Community Data Inventory Worksheet and Example

The worksheet was developed based on work with the Southeast Challenge Cities, as they identified the need to align their data amongst their stakeholders. The example is provided to aid leaders in completing their own community data assessment.

Thursday, February 3, 2011
Short Description: 
This worksheet and accompanying example help leaders get a fuller picture of how data are shared and disseminated in your community. It helps leaders assess how well they are collecting, warehousing and sharing data about youth outcomes, community, school and family supports, and leader efforts.

Child Trends DataBank

The DataBank provides up-to-date information on a large range of indicators. It can be searched by life stages (pregnancy and birth, infants and young children, adolescents, and young adults), by well-being areas (health and safety, child care and education, and behaviors) or the context for children (demographics, family and community, and economic security).

www.childtrendsdatabank.org

Sunday, August 7, 2011
Short Description: 
The DataBank is a one-stop source for the latest national trends and research on over 100 key indicators of child and youth well-being. This information is provided by Child Trends, a national leader in the field for over 30 years.
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Collect complete data about youth outcomes, community supports and leadership actions

To make good decisions, leaders need complete data from all the settings and systems where young people spend their time. They need information about youths’ physical and mental health, after-school activities, employment and family structure, and more. They need information about the extent and performance of existing services and supports.

Without this, you risk adding to supports that aren’t needed or effective, and missing young people in need. Better data will help you use your resources more efficiently and effectively.

Adding It Up: A Guide for Mapping Public Resources for Children, Youth and Families

Government agencies, intergovernmental commissions, task forces, and policy and advocacy organizations have always relied on some level of data on investments in children, youth, families and communities to do their jobs. Fiscal maps can help decision makers get a birds-eye view of how much is being spent across departments and programs. Though these maps come in many forms, a quality fiscal map is different than traditional public reports on spending because it focuses on children and youth, not departments and agencies.

Thursday, June 1, 2006
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This guidebook is designed to clarify the process of creating and implementing an effective fiscal map. It provides an overview of planning, collecting the data, and ways to use the information to make informed decisions.
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Program Landscape Mapping Packet

Program landscape mapping, comprised of data gathered through a survey or online database, can help your community get a picture of services, supports and opportunities that are available to children and youth in your community.

Thursday, May 15, 2014
Short Description: 
This resource packet is designed to help leaders better understand the services, supports and opportunities available to children and youth in a community. It includes a guide, a template for a program landscape mapping survey, and a set of sample charts and results.

Improving the Effectiveness of Juvenile Justice Programs

The paper presents a new approach to evidence-based practice that will produce better outcomes for youth involved in the juvenile justice system. The paper begins with an overview of the different approaches to evidence-based practice and introduces a tool Dr. Mark Lipsey has developed to better make use of the vast knowledge base. It then embeds this new approach within a comprehensive juvenile justice framework that will allow increased knowledge to benefit the entire juvenile justice continuum, rather than a handful programs serving a limited number of youth.

Thursday, December 16, 2010
Short Description: 
This publication provides a new perspective on evidence-based practice in the field of juvenile justice. As Shay Bilchik, director of the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform and research professor at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, says about the focus of the paper, “It is not just about evaluating programs, but ensuring that there is a sufficient array of programs available, that youth are matched to appropriate services based on risk and need and that services are evaluated to determine if we are achieving the outcomes the science tells us we should be able to realize.”

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