Projects

Tools and Resources for Advancing Community-Based Systems Change

2018-2021

Overview

Objective

To advance how funders, community partners, and researchers understand place-based systems change work that is centered on equity and cross-sector collaboration.

Learning and Evaluation Partners

As the learning and evaluation partners for the P-16 Community Investment initiative—a three-year, five-community effort funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—Equal Measure and Mathematica produced a series of six resources and tools to help community stakeholders, funders, practitioners, and researchers understand and support the development of coherent, high-functioning, equity-centered place-based systems that span all sectors.

Prepared For

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The question is no longer whether to fund and engage systems change for more equitable outcomes — but how.

Systems change efforts require more equitable approaches to address disparities in communities, including raising community voice, changing policies, and rethinking practices. And as many foundations and community leaders develop, co-design, or refine programs in education, employment and public health, among other areas, there are opportunities for them to more deeply root investment and engage with communities to sustain their impact.

That's why, given the complexity of social change efforts in this increasingly urgent social justice and geopolitical moment, the question is no longer whether funders and community partners should invest and engage in systems change work, but how.

Mathematica and Equal Measure developed these tools and resources in collaboration with the foundation and its partners in the participating communities to advance understanding of "systems change" — that is, shifting the conditions that produce and hold societal problems in place. You will find these tools and resources in the Evidence and Insights section toward the bottom of the page.

If you have questions or comments about the tools and resources, please contact Kristin Hallgren at Mathematica.

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Communities in Progress

Transforming the Student Journey in Five Cities

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation partnered with Mathematica, Equal Measure, Education First, and a steering committee to guide its learning about Buffalo, New York; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Dallas, Texas; the Rio Grande Valley, Texas; and Tacoma, Washington — the five communities that participated in the P-16 Community Investment initiative.

Learn more about how these communities are working to transform their education and workforce systems in Education First’s series, We Refuse to Lose. The series profiles cradle-to-career initiatives that are working to close racial gaps for students journeying from early education to careers and highlights how these communities have collaborated across sectors for years to address structural inequities.

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Related Staff

Kristin Hallgren

Kristin Hallgren

Director of Foundation and Nonprofit Partnerships, Education and Employment Division

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Ann  Person

Ann Person

Principal Researcher

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Nikki Aikens

Nikki Aikens

Principal Researcher

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Naihobe Gonzalez

Naihobe Gonzalez

Senior Researcher

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Ramya Tallapragada

Ramya Tallapragada

Researcher

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Dana Robinson

Dana Robinson

Research Analyst

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Ashley Hong

Ashley Hong

Advisory Services Analyst

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Daniel Welsh

Daniel Welsh

Survey Analyst

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Jennah Gosciak

Jennah Gosciak

Data Analytics Associate

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