Center for Youth and Communities

The Heller School for Social Policy and ManagementReturn to this website's homepageBrandeis University

The Center’s vision for evaluation is rooted in the conviction that program evaluation and project management are inextricably linked.  At its best, evaluation is viewed as a management and education tool, i.e., not to be conducted simply to prove that a program worked or not but also to improve the way it works.

All too often, conventional approaches to evaluation focus on examining only the outcomes or the impact of a project without examining the environment in which it operates or the processes involved in development.  Assessing short and long-term outcomes is important and necessary, but we must also include a sophisticated understanding of how and why programs and services work, for whom they work, and in what circumstances.  To that end, the Center has been involved in a broad array of context, implementation, and outcome evaluation studies. Examples include:

  • Service-Learning and Civic Engagement
  • Community Development
  • School District Systems Change
  • Higher Education and University-Community Partnerships
  • Youth, Education, and Career-Related Evaluations
  • Capacity Building/Management Studies
  • Policy-Related Research

As part of the Heller School at Brandeis University, the Center for Youth and Communities has a longstanding commitment to knowledge development and the Heller School mission of “Knowledge Advancing Social Justice.”   The Center’s work in research and evaluation, technical assistance and capacity building, and policy-related research are all aimed at informing program and policy development that leads to improved services and life circumstances for youth and families.

Selected Current and Recent CYC Projects.

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