Projects2019-05-06T16:55:29-05:00

Projects

Strategy Development

Highlighted Project

MN Statewide Tobacco Framework

The Situation

Minnesota has a long and rich history of successful work to reduce the harm of commercial tobacco. To ensure a continuation of this legacy, primary funders of this work (the Minnesota Department of Health, ClearWay Minnesota SM and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota) partnered to create a five-year, statewide comprehensive tobacco control plan that envisions the future of tobacco control work in Minnesota.

The Challenge

Develop a common purpose and shared policy priorities with a 30 member advisory committee composed of individuals from state agencies, insurance plan representatives, advocacy organizations, and providers who dedicate resources to this work.

The Approach

The Advisory Committee met three times over December 2015 and March 2016, and through wide-ranging discussions and active methods, covered the current environment and evidence base as well as emerging issues and promising developments.

The Result

A five-year plan with 17 bold steps, including recommendations around policy and legislation, leadership and infrastructure, knowledge development, and interventions. The plan was submitted to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to continue federal funding of the Minnesota Department of Health’s tobacco control activities.

Additional Strategy Development Projects

Capacity Building

Highlighted Project

Born to Thrive

The Situation

Born to Thrive (BTT) is a collaborative effort to work across sectors to ensure that all Minnesota children in formal and informal early care settings have equitable access to healthy food. Hunger Solutions and CDF-MN serve as coordinators of Born to Thrive.

The Challenge

The Planning Team sought technical assistance and support during all phases of this multi-year effort of learning, and listening to community needs, organizing, creating awareness, identifying policy goals, and mobilizing advocates to implement.

The Approach

Grounded in BTT’s regional approach, a series of listening sessions were held in the metro area, southwest MN, Iron Range, and northeast MN to help responsively define the work of the next several years. The Planning Team analyzed the data and came up with a set of policies to explore in year two and advocated for those policies in year three.

The Result

Materials were developed including Equity Definitions to guide the work and a Build Power. Make Change Training that was delivered around the state. Recommendations for the Child Care and Adult Food Program administered through the Minnesota Department of Education are being crafted and advocacy efforts developed.

Additional Capacity Building Projects

Participatory Convenings & Processes

Highlighted Project

Recognizing & Amplifying Family Power in Minneapolis-St. Paul – Community Convening Summary

The Situation

Minnesota Comeback, the J.D. Graves Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, and the Minneapolis Foundation share a commitment to advancing family and community voice in education systems change. They share an understanding that many of the complex and persistent challenges in Minnesota’s public schools are rooted in the education system itself. And they share a belief that families are the most credible stakeholders in education systems change.

The Challenge

Embark on a shared learning journey, to better understand how community members define successful family engagement for systems change, while recognizing each organization approaches this work differently and are at varying points along a trajectory of supporting parent engagement.

The Approach

Convene 30 partners, reflecting the diversity of community, in a four hour meeting to explore perspectives and insights rooted in community experience, the topic of family engagement, public education and systems change. Participatory methods include small group dialogue, collective visioning, and presentations by three community organizers to ignite discussions and ideas for deeper inquiry and application to recognize and amplify family engagement in education.

The Result

The convening contributed to learning about family engagement for systems change, and resulted in a summary and synthesis document that continues to inform and shape the sponsoring organizations strategy and grant making.

Additional Participatory Convenings & Processes Projects

Reflection, Learning & Development

Highlighted Project

Making Meaning with Multiple Sets of Data: M3

The Situation

Youth programs conducted numerous evaluations—youth outcomes, attendance/participation, program experience, and quality. These processes and findings exist in siloes and rarely are integrated into a process of continuous improvement which results in action.

The Challenge

In partnership with MN Department of Education, Beacons Network, and Sprockets Network, design an integrated process that helps youth programs look at four “buckets” of data, reflect on the data in the context of their communities, determine where there is potential for convergent impact, and develop one action plan.

The Approach

In a 6 hour highly active experience supported by visual tools, M3 builds evaluation thinking skills in practitioners through a guided step-by-step process of analyzing divergent data and identifying convergent action. The process helps data come alive as practitioners see connections across the various sets of data, inspiring actions for improvement and a greater appreciation for evaluation!

The Result

Since the original design, M3 has been delivered across the state more than 50 times, was adopted by Ignite Afterschool, Minnesota’s afterschool network, and is gaining national attention. A Train the Trainers module was developed and implemented to build capacity in the field.

Additional Reflection, Learning & Development Projects

Research, Reports & Funding Reviews

This work is done to inform decision-making and is generally not intended to be public facing. Samples and/or recommendations can be provided upon request.