Project Updates

Metis Announces New Partnership With The Institute For Veterans And Military Families (IVMF)

Mayor Dana Redd of Camden, NJ

Based out of Syracuse University, IVMF is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education, and policy issues impacting veterans and their families post service. In 2014, IVMF launched AmericaServes, an initiative to establish a collective impact approach to serving veterans and their families in communities across the country. In collective impact, diverse agencies and groups work together—rather than in silos—in pursuit of a shared goal to achieve effective and sustained change. The AmericaServes initiative is designed to address a persistent problem in veterans' services—namely that the long-term well-being and successful transition of service members, veterans, and their families into civilian life often suffer from fragmented service delivery among veteran-serving organizations.

In December 2014 IVMF launched the AmericaServes pilot, NYCServes, with funding from Robin Hood, the New York State Health Foundation, the Walmart Foundation, the Schultz Family Foundation, the United Services Automobile Association, and Accenture. The first collective impact project of its kind, NYCServes is a coordinated network of NYC-based public, private, and non-profit organizations working together to serve veterans and their families. The network is designed to provide service members, veterans, and their families with easy access to a full range of high-quality services that meet their needs and help them achieve their goals. NYCServes is currently composed of over 40 organizations that provide employment, housing, education, benefits, mentoring, legal, financial, and other services.

In early 2015, Metis was selected through a competitive RFP process to conduct a mixed-methods evaluation of NYCServes to help IVMF and other stakeholders understand the reach, impact, and added value of the network. The evaluation is led by Principal Investigator Stan Schneider, president of Metis Associates and former member of the US Army Reserve, and is being conducted in a newly formed partnership with gothamCulture, a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business that specializes in planning and conducting research to support large-scale organizational change efforts. Lessons learned from the NYCServes evaluation will inform the Institute's continuing work in New York City and in future AmericaServes communities, including Charlotte, North Carolina and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Metis has extensive experience conducting collective impact evaluations for various fields and is pleased to leverage this experience for the field of veterans' services, a new content area for the company. "I can think of no population that is more deserving of a high-functioning system of services than our returning veterans and their families," says Stan. "They honor all of us with their service, and we are privileged to help make a meaningful difference in their lives."