Brief

Promise Neighborhoods as a Platform for Advancing Racial Equity

Leaders of Promise Neighborhoods and similar place-based initiatives must work to address racial disparities if they are to improve and sustain positive and equitable outcomes for children and young people on a large scale. This brief argues that Promise Neighborhoods, and similarly structured initiatives, are uniquely positioned to serve as a platform—or launching point—for advancing racial equity.

Using Collective Impact to Drive Greater Postsecondary and Career Success

Promise Neighborhoods is a cradle-to-career initiative dedicated to building supports that can help ensure educational and career success for all neighborhood youth. One of the program’s goals is to make sure high school graduates obtain a postsecondary degree, certificate, or credential. This brief offers five collective impact strategies for Promise Neighborhood grantees to drive greater postsecondary results.

Framing Communications to Drive Social Change

Framing is a crucial part of storytelling in all communications—from social media posts to long-form articles to funder presentations. Framing can determine how audiences interpret a message and whether the product achieves its goal. This brief summarizes a course presented by the FrameWorks Institute—in partnership with the US Department of Education and the Urban Institute, as part of the Promise Neighborhoods federal training and technical assistance support—about how the right framing can encourage audiences to understand the systemic causes of and solutions to social problems.

Evaluating Programs and Impact within Promise Neighborhoods

Place-based education and community change interventions such as Promise Neighborhoods face distinct challenges designing and executing high-quality evaluations. Because these efforts attempt to create population-level change by using a comprehensive continuum of cradle-to-career programming, experimental evaluation methods may be impractical or inappropriate. Nevertheless, planning, formative, and quasi-experimental methods can be used to conduct rigorous and instructive evaluations of Promise Neighborhoods.

Creating the Foundation to Accelerate Results for Black Males

This document is Part I of a series of papers developed to help communities promote black male achievement in their neighborhoods. Part I provides a results-based framework for Promise Neighborhoods to systematically evaluate and respond to the particular needs of black male children in the community. Subsequent papers will offer programmatic and policy solutions that Promise Neighborhoods can employ within this framework to sustain and enhance their impact on this population.

Resources for Place-Based Initiatives

In this brief, we review resources that provide more information and guidance on the major steps discussed in the Urban Institute brief “Six Steps to Success:” (1) define a set of indicators through which to measure and report results; (2) select target populations and establish baseline population counts and penetration rates; (3)align evidence-based programs to indicators and target populations; (4) inventory available data and decide what original data collection is necessary; (5) establish an appropriate data system; and (6) collect and report on indicators.

How to Evaluate Choice and Promise Neighborhoods

Living in concentrated poverty stifles the life chances of adults and children. Efforts to transform neighborhoods of extreme poverty into places of opportunity must grapple with concentrated disadvantages including distressed housing, failing schools, joblessness, poor health, and violence. Two federal initiatives seeking to address neighborhood deficiencies simultaneously are the Department of Education's Promise Neighborhoods effort and the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Choice Neighborhoods program. Evaluating these efforts presents many methodological challenges.