Expertise | Information Technology
Information Technology Support to Dual-Generation Initiatives
The Educational Alliance—one of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s grantees—takes a dual-generation approach to improving educational outcomes and family economic security for low-income families, putting whole families on the path to economic success. The program combines early childhood programs with adult education for parents and wraparound social services to strengthen whole families.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF) is funding two types of programs to improve outcomes for low-income children through a strategy that simultaneously addresses child development and parents’ economic stability. These projects, undertaken by seven community-based organizations across the United States, were conceived in response to research showing that a “dual-generation” approach is more likely to produce long-lasting change than separate adult’s and children’s programming and that family stress has a significant impact on children’s educational and behavioral development. These programs merge early childhood care and education with parents’ career development, financial education, and parenting support.
AECF has engaged Metis to provide information technology (IT) services to support an implementation, cost, and outcome evaluation of the two programs under this initiative: the Early Childhood Demonstration, taking place through nonprofit organizations in four cities, and Family Centered Community Change in partnership with community development agencies in three cities. This IT collaboration follows from Metis’s earlier and extensive data-collection and analysis work with multiple ambitious and geographically broad AECF initiatives.
Each of the AECF grantees is collecting substantial data on factors such as program participation, participant demographics, child and adult educational attainment and achievement, and family employment and earnings. Metis is working with AECF and the evaluator of these initiatives to assemble data collected from the organizations involved in the programs, conduct data quality assurance, and organize the data into a format that the evaluator can use to draw conclusions about the programs. Metis is also helping individual grantees develop their information systems. Working The Atlanta Partnership, for example, Metis helped to combine two data systems into one more efficient one. For other grantees, Metis is helping to improve data management and use practices by meeting the need for new software platforms or extending the capacity of existing ones. Through this consistent, extensive data-collection and analysis work, AECF and its partners will be well equipped to identify not only whether the programs are achieving anticipated results for both generations, but which components lead to specific results.