Using a Structured Learning Process to Strengthen Two-Generation Service Delivery
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation
In NS2G, staff from four two-generation initiatives and Mathematica TA providers engaged in three activities to build an understanding of successes, challenges, and opportunities to strengthen implementation:
- Used a logic model to identify implementation challenges. Mapping out an initiative’s two-generation services in a logic model is a powerful way for initiatives to articulate intended outcomes and related services for families.
- Sought input from practitioners at all levels of the initiative. Engaging a group of people with a variety of perspectives and expertise can help uncover areas for improvement, identify hidden assumptions, and surface biases and areas of marginalization or exclusion in initiative services.
- Incorporated participant voice. Engaging program participants can be just as important as engaging staff during improvement efforts. Feedback from participants can help practitioners identify areas for improvement and barriers to accessing services.
Through these activities, the NS2G initiatives narrowed their focus to one clearly defined challenge. Practitioners of two-generation initiatives and their evaluation partners could conduct similar activities to support their own formative evaluations of two-generation initiatives or other types of programs. Appendix A of this brief provides a tool to help practitioners in two-generation initiatives articulate a plan and independently move towards innovative program improvement strategies.
This brief is the second of three briefs that aim to support future evaluations in the field of two-generation approaches. This second brief highlights the experiences of the four initiatives participating in NS2G to demonstrate how practitioners of other two-generation initiatives can use research techniques to strengthen the implementation of their initiative before evaluating program effectiveness.
This brief is intended for practitioners who provide two-generation services and seek to strengthen their initiative using formative evaluation, as well as their evaluation partners. Appendix A in this brief includes a tool designed to help practitioners (1) identify a key implementation challenge related to delivering services to achieve outcomes for children, primary caregivers, and families, and (2) develop solutions to address the challenge.