Project Snapshots

Client:

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Goal:

Create a map of the organizations and collaboratives working to affect early care and education (ECE) policy in California to serve as a tool to better connect the field and improve its ability to secure necessary policy changes and investments to develop a more robust early care and education system

Timeline:

August 2016 - July 2017

What We Did:

Discovery
GPG began this project with a discovery process to identify answers to the following questions respective to the ECE field:
  • What would be the value of network mapping?
  • What would be the most useful features of such mapping work?
  • How would stakeholders envision using the emerging maps?

Over a three-month period, GPG interviewed 22 individuals from 15 organizations. Interviewees included researchers, policy advocates, chamber of commerce staff, government agency staff, philanthropy program staff, parent advocates, and statewide resource and referral network staff.

Map Design and Development
Based on the results of the discovery process, GPG proceeded with the development of two maps:
  1. A map showing organizations that seek to affect or inform ECE policy at the state level
  2. A map showing collaborative efforts and groups that seek to affect or inform ECE policy at the state level

In the map design phase, GPG created a framework to specify what types of information to include in the maps. GPG decided which information to include based on how the result would impact user experience and map utility and on feasibility, given available project resources. GPG decided how to organize this information, resulting in the development of a taxonomy for labeling and sorting organizations and collaboratives. Using this framework, GPG developed a data structure and collected publicly available data from organizations’ websites, 990 forms, and other sources to create the maps.

The State Level Organizations Map taxonomy is comprised of the following fields: Type, Subtype, Nature of Work, General Focus Area, Specific Focus Area. The ECE Collaboratives Map taxonomy includes General Focus Areas and Collaborative Type. The full taxonomy can be viewed and explored here.

To populate the two maps, GPG collected information on over 250 organizations and collaboratives. Each map has multiple “views,” or different ways to visualize the data, allowing users to access the information within the maps based on different attributes. More information on the different views can be found in the Results section below.

Results:

This project resulted in the development of two online interactive maps:

The State Level Organizations Map: Includes organizations working at the state level in California, and seeking to inform, influence, or affect ECE policy and includes the following views:
  • By Type: shows organizations clustered by type: public agency / government entity or non-profit organizations.
  • By Subtype: shows organizations clustered by subtype, including foundations, research institutes, associations/member-based organizations, subdivisions, collaboratives, and other.
  • Nature of Work: shows the different types of work in which each entity engages (advocacy, professional development or technical assistance, direct services for children and families, funding, community organizing/social networking, media/communications, research).
  • By General Focus: shows organizations clustered by general areas of focus, including: formal early education, ECE workforce, child health, family engagement and strengthening, informal care, communities, and funding.
  • By Specific Focus: goes a level deeper than the general focus view to show a greater level of specificity within each general focus area. It includes specific focus areas such as program hours, compensation, parental mental health, home visiting, the cost of quality, etc.
The ECE Collaboratives Map: Includes collaboratives working at the state level in California, and seeking to inform, influence, or affect ECE policy. It also includes some large collaboratives at the local level that can inform state policy and includes the following views:
  • By Collaborative Type: shows collaboratives clustered based on the purpose of the collaboration, including technical assistance, advocacy, cross-systems coordination, intra-system coordination, and funding.
  • Members: shows the member-organizations of each collaborative. This view also weights member-organizations based on the number of collaboratives in which they participate; organizations that are displayed as larger circles are members of more collaboratives.
  • By Focus Area: shows collaboratives clustered by the same general areas of focus as the State Level Organizations Map.
To support the field to use these maps, GPG also:
  • Created the ECE Network Maps Website, which also includes technical assistance materials to support map use.
  • Developed a set of map tutorials to help new users navigate the maps and maximize map functionality.

Client:

STEM Next, Center for Education Policy and Law at University of San Diego (now STEM Next Opportunity Fund)

Goal:

Facilitate planning processes with six statewide afterschool networks (Iowa, Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Washington) focused on sustaining and scaling their STEM-related programs and activities.

Timeline:

October 2016 - May 2017

What We Did:

STEM Sustainability Planning

In October 2016, STEM Next engaged GPG to provide sustainability planning support to a cohort of statewide afterschool networks that had received STEM System Building grants from the Noyce Foundation and STEM Next. This planning work was intended to focus on the networks’ STEM-related work, in particular their efforts to develop and strengthen systems in support of STEM in out-of-school time (OST) in their states.

Between October 2016 and May 2017, GPG supported the following statewide afterschool networks to develop STEM sustainability plans: Iowa Afterschool Alliance (IAA), Maryland Out of School Time (MOST), Oregon After School for Kids (OregonASK), Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool and Youth Development Network (PSAYDN), South Carolina Afterschool Alliance (SCAA), and School’s Out Washington (SOWA).

GPG hosted an initial video call with representatives from all participating networks to introduce the planning process and provide an overview of the timeline. Over the next six months, GPG reviewed background materials provided by the network leads and facilitated three video meetings with each statewide afterschool network to clarify and prioritize the network’s STEM work. For each priority project or program, GPG worked with network representatives to identify sustainability strategies, potential sources of funding, and specific challenges to sustaining the work. GPG provided a sustainability planning table template to help organize this information.

In addition to supporting each network to develop a sustainability plan using the table template, GPG produced a context brief for each state that summarizes the state’s STEM political and industry/business contexts as well as existing STEM education infrastructure and efforts.

Meeting Facilitation In February 2017, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation (the Mott Foundation), STEM Next, and the MOST Network hosted the annual Afterschool STEM Institute in Silver Spring, MD, bringing together representatives of statewide afterschool networks to share their strategies, challenges, and goals for promoting STEM education in Out-of-School Time (OST) programs within their state. GPG opened the Institute with a session to engage meeting participants in thinking about the sustainability of their STEM efforts and assessing the extent to which STEM is integrated into their core work and how successfully they have identified and engaged STEM partners and funders.

Results:

  • STEM sustainability plans and state-specific context documents for six statewide afterschool networks
  • A project website containing network-specific plan and context documents, as well as templates and other resources developed throughout the project
  • Design and facilitation of a half-day session at the 2017 Afterschool STEM Institute for all meeting participants to consider the sustainability of their STEM efforts
  • A Project Report that summarizes the work undertaken and identifies common challenges and strategies across multiple networks
  • A Lessons Learned memo that details aspects of this planning process that worked well, as well as opportunities for improving the process for potential future rounds of support

Client:

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Goal:

Support, design, and facilitate the collaborative development of an implementation plan for the state of California based on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) / National Resource Council (NRC) report, Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation.

Timeline:

November 2015 - October 2016

What We Did:

Facilitation and Support of Multi-stakeholder Collaboration

To develop this plan, GPG facilitated a series of meetings that included various stakeholder groups with different levels of engagement with this process between November 2015 and September 2016. Leadership from First 5 California (F5CA) and the California Department of Education Early Education and Support Division (EESD) formed the Support Team which provided overall strategic direction for the planning process. GPG coordinated and facilitated meetings of the Support Team, particularly in the early stages of the project to discuss planning process structure and participants.

GPG provided overall coordination and facilitation support for a 30-member Action Planning Team (APT), that was co-convened by F5CA and EESD. The APT represented a broad range of early childhood stakeholders from across California that participated in five in-person meetings. The APT formed three workgroups to develop specific recommendations and objectives in the three priority areas that the team identified during its first meeting: 1) Permitting and Credentialing, 2) Professional Pathways, and 3) Higher Education and Ongoing Professional Learning. Each workgroup was led by two co-leads, who collectively formed the Core Team which participated in three national meetings coordinated by the National Academies of Medicine. The Core Team also held phone and in-person meetings before and after meetings of the full APT. GPG provided direct support for the APT workgroups and Core Team. GPG also served as the liaison between the National Academies of Medicine and California’s planning teams.

In addition, GPG designed and facilitated an in-person workshop and online survey to obtain feedback and input from a broader group of stakeholders on draft recommendations and objectives developed by the APT workgroups (See Appendix G of the Implementation Plan for additional details).

Plan Development and Finalization

GPG provided extensive research and writing support for the development of the plan document, Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: Implementation Plan for the State of California. As one example, this document includes a synthesis of relevant state and national reports, including the IOM/NRC report, based on GPG’s work to “crosswalk” recommendations from multiple reports to inform the work of the APT workgroups as they crafted Implementation Plan recommendations and objectives. Throughout the planning process, GPG worked closely with workgroup co-leads to clarify and refine recommendations and objectives both within and across priority areas. Additionally, GPG conducted research on specific topics to inform planning conversations and the development of content for narrative portions of the plan.

The final plan includes recommendations, objectives, suggested implementation partners, and timelines in the three priority identified by the APT:

  1. Permitting and Credentialing
  2. Professional Pathways
  3. Higher Education and Ongoing Professional Learning

Results:

Client:

Contra Costa County, Employment and Human Services Department (EHSD), Zero Tolerance for Domestic Violence Initiative

Goal:

Establish a countywide network for Contra Costa Family Justice Centers, the Contra Costa Family Justice Alliance (Alliance), including establishing an effective shared governance structure and a sustainability plan for new, existing, and future Family Justice Centers in the county.

Timeline:

December 2014 - June 2016

What We Did:

Discovery: Review and Research
During the six-month-long initial phase of planning, GPG conducted a review of existing Family Justice Centers around the country and researched effective models for shared governance and sustainability, both within and beyond Family Justice Centers. This research identified three potential models for governance: a traditional 501(c)(3) nonprofit, a government-run program, and a hybrid model involving a strong public/private partnership.

Design: Governance Structure and Sustainability Recommendations
Over a period of nine months, GPG facilitated a small planning group, consisting of representatives from the Zero Tolerance for Domestic Violence Initiative, local government, and community-based organizations, to consider the findings from the discovery phase and develop recommendations for governance and sustainability. The planning team ultimately determined that a hybrid governance structure, with a strong public/private partnership, would work best for the Contra Costa Family Justice Alliance. Specifically, the planning team proposed the creation of a new 501(c)(3) organization with a Board of Directors that included both community representatives (individual seats) and representatives from government, nonprofit, and private agencies (institutional seats). This structure is designed to maintain and enhance support from a diverse set of public agencies and private and nonprofit organizations and draw upon the experience and expertise of individual community members. In addition, this structure reflects the public/private partnerships already in place at each Family Justice Center in the county. Simultaneously, GPG worked with a subset of the planning group to develop recommendations for financial sustainability with a focus on revenue diversification. The design phase continued as stakeholders (including community members, partner organizations, and potential funders) provided feedback on the proposed governance and sustainability structures during the engagement phase.

Report Development
To document and effectively frame the recommendations emerging from the Design phase, GPG developed a written report, “Contra Costa Family Justice Alliance: Recommendations for Governance and Sustainability.” This report includes contextual and background information about the county’s Family Justice Centers, a proposed governance model for the Alliance, and recommendations for the financial sustainability of the Alliance.

Results:

  • The final report, “Contra Costa Family Justice Alliance: Recommendations for Governance and Sustainability,” was presented to and adopted by the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors in June 2016.
  • The Contra Costa Family Justice Alliance was established as a 501(c)(3) organization and a Board of Directors was seated in Fall 2016. This 13 member Board of Directors includes six individual and seven institutional representatives.