Case Study

Scaling Programs and Geographic Reach: ParentCorps

ParentCorps partners with early education systems to enhance Pre-K programs in historically disinvested neighborhoods by placing racial equity and the voices of people of color at the center of intervention and evaluation initiatives.  

Over the past 15 years, the program has built a robust model and evidence base that have led to demand for more widespread implementation. For example, ParentCorps is being offered as an evidence-based enhancement to Pre-K for All programs in NYC. As it executed an ambitious plan for expansion, ParentCorps’ priorities included defining sustainability at the site level and developing a scalable, data-informed system for supporting both new and established sites.

Why ParentCorps partnered with Project Evident

Identifying and supporting sites that can sustainably implement ParentCorps is central to ParentCorps’ strategy for scale. Over time, the organization expected that “veteran” sites—sites operating the program for more than two years, would become sustainable and be able to continue implementing the program with high quality, while requiring less support from ParentCorps staff.

With 23 veteran sites that had been operating ParentCorps for more than two years coupled with the rapid rate of expansion to new sites, staff needed data-based frameworks both to clearly define sustainability and to establish what supports are needed in both established and new sites. ParentCorps enlisted the help of Project Evident to develop a Strategic Evidence Plan (SEP) to help develop these frameworks.

What happened during our engagement

ParentCorps and Project Evident co-created a SEP that reflected the organization’s commitment to practicing data-informed decision-making and supported its strategy of sustainably scaling its program within and beyond New York City.

To embed evidence building into the work of identifying and supporting sustainability sites, Project Evident recommended that ParentCorps:

  1. Build consensus around the need for data summaries. Cultivating a culture where data provides critical information on site activities will enable ParentCorps to identify and support sustainable sites.
  2. Identify suitable measures and data sources.  Seek alignment between ParentCorps Coaches’ definition of sustainability and measurement to provide meaningful and consistent identification of sustainable sites.
  3. Establish roles and clear lines of responsibility and accountability for activities conducted as part of the feedback loop. Name Co-Evidence leaders that will take ownership of the feedback loop and communicate progress and results to ParentCorps leadership and broader stakeholders.
  4. Establish and use a six-step data feedback loop. Co-Evidence Leaders will activate a feedback loop that begins with the clear identification of a learning question and ensures alignment at each step of the data collection and analysis process.  

What’s been the impact of our engagement?

The SEP provided ParentCorps with a detailed roadmap for leveraging their current strengths and capacities for collecting and summarizing data to effectively use it to identify and support sustainable sites. The SEP recommendations are helping ParentCorps ensure that all staff find the data meaningful and believable in capturing essential aspects of sustainability such that findings support decision making.