Before diving into stories from Indianola, Missouri, Washington, DC, and San Francisco, California, it’s important to understand what the Promise Neighborhoods Initiative (PNI) is, why it’s important, and how it can be replicated.
Administered by the U.S. Department of Education, Promise Neighborhoods take a place-based, data-driven approach to ensuring the long-term success of children, families, and neighborhoods. Promise Neighborhoods support children from cradle to career and are committed to ending intergenerational poverty.
The Promise Neighborhoods model is based on the cradle to career model, developed by the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ). In 2003, HCZ created the Practitioners Institute to share information about their work, teach best practices, and provide guidance to replicate their model. Since that time, there are over 50 active Promise Neighborhood sites across the country from Maine to Oregon, down to Texas and over to Georgia.
The Urban Institute, a thought-leadership organization with the mission of opening minds, shaping decisions, and offering solutions through economic and social policy research, has highlighted stories from three high-performing Promise Neighborhoods in their newest feature release. These stories follow Indianola PNI, DC PNI, and San Francisco PNI.
The Urban Institute partners with Social Solutions when working on several thought leadership efforts. Social Solutions works closely with HCZ, Indianola PNI, DC PNI, and several other Promise Neighborhood sites, providing them with case management software that helps track data, report to funders, and prove impact.
The Indianola Promise Neighborhood is a project of Delta Health Alliance (DHA) that unites health care, education, community, and faith-based services with the goal of leading students into meaningful careers and financial independence. In late 2012, DHA was awarded a five-year $30 million Promise Neighborhood grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
From the beginning, DHA understood the importance of tracking performance data and measuring outcomes so they could understand their impact, provide effective programming, and secure funding. Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) software was implemented to track participant demographics and progress as well as to report program outcomes to funders and stakeholders. Using ETO software, staff can track participant progress through the Summer GRADS Program, which targets economically disadvantaged teens who have a high school degree but lack practical workforce skills.
In 2013, the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative was awarded a Promise Neighborhood grant from the U.S. Department of Education. They used this grant to research the reasons as to why students in the District of were falling behind in school, and what steps they could take to change it. 63% of prekindergarten and 30% of K-5 students were chronically absent—missing 18 days of the school year—before the Promise Neighborhood grant. Since that time, chronic absenteeism in preschoolers has decreased by 21%, and 10% in students K-5.
DC PNI turned to ETO software to help track the impact that Every Day Counts—a partnership program to increase attendance—had on the students at Neval Thomas Elementary School. Through the use of ETO, available partners had a holistic view of any students’ circumstances and services related to absenteeism, providing immediate information about what additional support might be helpful. Using this data, DC PNI was able to prove that a rewards and incentives program, along with attendance planning and home visits have successfully decreased the number of absences in school.
You can also read about the success that Mission Promise Neighborhood in San Francisco, CA has had in the feature release published by the Urban Institute.
While the success of both the Indianola Promise Neighborhood and the DC Promise Neighborhood has come from using HCZ’s cradle to career model, their ability to prove the impact they’ve made is what defines their success. ETO software has played an integral role in helping these organizations secure future funding and show funders how their programs have made a difference.
Is ETO software right for your organization? Find out how ETO (or Apricot) software can help take your organization to the next level with data collection and analysis, as well as report on outcomes to funders. Take our online quiz to see if we have a solution that’s right for your organization!