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Evaluation and Research

Answering questions that matter through participatory methods that center community expertise & lived experience. 

The start of any evaluation or research project begins with asking the right questions: How effective is this intervention? How do communities feel about this policy or issue? What important trends do we see in this community over time? Too often, however, these questions are defined by siloed researchers or professionals without intentional collaboration with the communities they seek to understand. Not only does this lead to less meaningful research and evaluation questions, but also limits how relevant and useful the results are to communities that may benefit from them.

CIAC believes that all evaluation and research initiatives benefit from pairing the subject-matter expertise of a researcher or practitioner with the lived experience and context expertise of the community of focus. This leads to better questions, more relevant results, and a quicker transition from research or evaluation findings into action. This approach requires the use of participatory methods that engage community members and stakeholders from the very beginning in defining and implementing research and evaluation projects. Research and evaluation projects at CIAC prioritize the use of mixed methods, combining numbers (quantitative) and experiences (qualitative) for a more complete understanding of a project, population, or intervention. 

CIAC can support your Research and Evaluation needs through:
  • Partnering to Develop Grant Proposals
  • Planning and Conducting Process and Impact Evaluations of Programs, Coalitions, and Systems
  • Conducting Continuous Quality Improvement Efforts
  • Conducting Applied Research Projects (like Needs Assessments, Social Network Analysis, Concept Mapping)
  • Matchmaking Between Community Priorities and University Research Expertise 
Past and current Research and Evaluation projects at CIAC include:
  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Community Health Workers for COVID Response and Resilient Communities Evaluation (2021-Present)
    • A rigorous mixed-methods systems-level process and outcome evaluation utilizing group concept mapping, photovoice, interviews, administrative data, and a pre/post design to assess change over time and progress towards grant goals and established benchmarks
  • National Science Foundation ADVANCE Internal Evaluation for University of Missouri-St. Louis (2021-Present)
    • A developmental/formative program evaluation using a combination of surveys, focus groups, interviews, and administrative program data to inform recommendations for program improvement towards stronger, more equitable outcomes
  • Redefining Community Safety in Three Local Counties (2022)
  • St. Louis System of Care Juvenile Justice System Mapping (2022)
  • Arch City Defenders Group Concept Mapping Pilot Process (2021 to Present)
  • No Place Like Home: The Need for and Effectiveness Among Older Home Owners in St. Louis  (2021-2022)
  • City of St. Louis Continuum of Care Racial Equity Analysis (2020)

Interested in working with CIAC on an Evaluation and Research Project? Contact our leadership team at ciac@umsl.edu for more information. 

Interested in working with CIAC on an Evaluation and Research Project?
Contact our leadership team at ciac@umsl.edu for more information.