Policy Evaluation Collaborative

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As a result of our policy advocacy evaluation of Voices for Healthy Kids with George Grob from Center for Public Program Evaluation and other colleagues, Executive Director Amy Yaroch and Research Scientist Eric Calloway were invited to join the Policy Evaluation Collaborative.

 

Who We Are

The Policy Evaluation Collaborative is a group of seasoned analysts with strong experience in both program and policy evaluation. Our backgrounds in such related disciplines as public health, applied social psychology, project management, and communications, bring years of experience supporting the work of government entities, philanthropies, universities and non-profit organizations.

What We Do

The Collaborative supports all aspects of public policy evaluation, with particular focus on public health and advocacy campaigns. Our collective expertise ranges from development of performance indicators and logic models to legislative and regulatory analyseshealth policy ROI, and the evaluation of policy content, policy adoption, policy implementation, policy communications, and policy impact. Our core members support strategic planning efforts, work with community partners, and provide training and technical assistance in policy evaluation, including assistance in setting up internal evaluation units. And we offer numerous examples of studies involving surveysfocus groupskey informant interviewscontent analysescase studies, and retrospective reviews.

Along the way, we have developed many useful tools that can be tailored to specific client needs. For example, for clients interested in ensuring that their advocacy campaigns operate as intended, we offer guides for policy advocacy and for determining the readiness of organizations to advocate for public policies, timely mini-case studies of policy adoption campaigns that we call after action reviewsdatabase templates for tracking legislative activity, and implementation reviews that examine the early implementation of policies and their likely impact over time. In recent work, we have conducted international evaluationsinternational economic evaluations and determined ways health equity measures can help assess whether policy goals and strategies demonstrate the stakeholder involvement required to ensure that those most affected by the policy are involved throughout the policy process.

Core Collaborators

The following core members’ bio sketches reflect our expertise in evaluating policy adoption, implementation and enforcement.

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Dianne Barker, MHS

Dianne is President/CEO of Barker Bi-Coastal Health Consultants, Inc., (BBHC), a health policy evaluation and research firm.  Since 1996, BBHC has designed and conducted multi-year evaluations for government agencies and philanthropies, investigated the effects of environmental and policy influences on youth and young adults nationwide, and helped set national and state policy agendas in tobacco control and obesity prevention. https://www.pubfacts.com/author/Dianne+C+Barker

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Eric Calloway, PhD, RD

Eric is a Research Scientist with the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition. Prior to joining the Center, he worked for the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, supporting the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee with a review of the evidence on dietary recommendations. Eric’s research interests include nutrition policy, chronic disease and obesity prevention, food insecurity, and dietary and food purchasing behaviors, particularly among low-income families, and children. He has conducted evaluation efforts in policy advocacy, including developing measures to assess campaigns and readiness for community engagement and other related areas. For more information, go to: http://www.centerfornutrition.org/eric-calloway

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Ruth Anne Gigliotti, MBA

Ruth Anne is President of Synthesis Professional Services, a management consulting firm focused on planning, evaluating, and communicating about public health and safety issues and the technology required to support these initiatives. Ruth Anne has directed federal and non-profit efforts to fuse research and evaluation methodologies with technology to help program officers make informed decisions, evaluate and improve program performance, promote policy development, tracking, and implementation, and communicate effectively about their work. For more information, go to www.synthesisps.com

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George Grob, MA

George is President of the Center for Public Program Evaluation, an evaluation company focused on public policy, strategic planning, and communications. His career has straddled the worlds of policy development and evaluation. At the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, later the Department of Health and Human Services, he coordinated the development of legislation and policy and supervised some 800 evaluations relating to policy and management. For further information go to www.evaluationcenter.net

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Marjorie Gutman, PhD

Marjorie leads Gutman Research Associates, a firm that specializes in conducting evaluations and developing programs for health philanthropies, government agencies, universities, and non-profit organizations. For more than 25 years, Marjorie has overseen evaluations and programs related to public health environment and policy with emphasis on national, state and local collaboratives and advocacy campaigns aiming for policy adoption and/or implementation. She has worked to help develop and pursue national policy research agendas, to build organizational capacity for policy evaluation and analysis, create systems for assessing policies, and manage support for policy research, tracking, and analysis. For more information, go to http://www.gutmanresearchassociates.com/

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Pamela Muthuuri, MPH, MIS

Pam is the founder of Global Integrated Innovations, a research and implementation company that focuses on health and development programs by applying innovative thinking and rigorous approaches to make a real-world impact. Pam has supported program and policy evaluations for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration and its Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the U.S. State Department, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and World Vision International. She, and has also received several grants to implement projects in Kenya. For more information, go to http://giiafrica.org/

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Robin Pugh-Yi, PhD

Robin is president of Akeso Consulting, LLCa federally registered woman-owned small business that offers a full range of social and health policy research and evaluation services for government, academic, and private sector clients. Robin teaches program planning and evaluation at the University of Maryland School of Public Health and serves as a research abstract reviewer for the American Public Health Association. She has more than 30 years of experience leading and supporting program and policy evaluation projects, with a strong emphasis on developing practical results and recommendations based on sound research methods. For more information, go to www.akesoconsulting.com.

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Erin Sawicki, MPH

Erin is a Senior Research Associate at Barker Bi-Coastal Health Consultants, Inc. where she specializes in evaluations of public health policy advocacy and implementation. Erin’s work has focused on public health program development and management, including management of programs at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Boston Children’s Hospital, and the United States Peace Corps. https://www.linkedin.com/in/erin-sawicki-mph-a7210516/

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Amy Yaroch, PhD

Amy is the Executive Director of the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition (GSCN), who also holds a Special Dean’s appointment as Professor in the Department of Health Promotion, Social and Behavioral Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Since joining the Center in 2009, Amy has been leading efforts at in the areas of childhood obesity prevention, food insecurity, local food systems, as well as related technical assistance and support for policy advocacy campaigns.  Amy has authored more than 140 papers and three book chapters and has been awarded grants and contracts from federal and non-federal sources across a broad range of subject areas. For more information, go to http://www.centerfornutrition.org/amy-lazarus-yaroch

 

Associates

The Policy Evaluation Collaborative is a true collaborative effort.  The joint expertise of our core members and their associates, as well as participation by specific subject matter experts, academics, and the institutions they represent ensures a match between your policy evaluation requirements and optimal available skills.  A sample of evaluators and researchers we collaborate with include:

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Letetia Daniels Jackson

Letetia is President and CEO of Tandeka LLC, a strategic consulting firm specializing in public policy advocacy, government relations, authentic community engagement, strategic planning and capacity building for non-governmental organizations. She is recognized nationally for successful public health policy advocacy efforts in the Southern Region that resulted in significant policy and systems change. Letetia is exceptionally skilled at working with coalitions to recognize their power, understand how policy decisions are made, and plot successful policy change strategies. In a recent example of her work, she developed the pilot Advocacy Academy, a project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), designed to provide intensive training of advocates to sharpen their advocacy skills and provide the tools necessary to successfully advance policies that promote a healthy quality of life for their communities. http://tandekallc.com/

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Farah Farahati, PhD

Farah is a senior health economist who supports projects with such agencies as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the Canadian Agency for Drug and Technologies in Health (CADTH), the Health Affairs journal, and Merck & Co., Inc., while also teaching health economics and research methods to MPH students at the University of Maryland. Her research interests focus on identifying and quantifying the most cost-effective interventions, strategies and policies that improve lives and save money for the global health care system. She has extensive experience and interest in prospective analytical and econometric simulations modeling, nationally and internationally. https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=Eqd7K7sAAAAJ&hl=en

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Mel Mark, PhD

Mel is Professor and Head of Psychology at the Pennsylvania State University. He has conducted evaluations at local, state, and federal levels, and has served as consultant and advisor to evaluations and evaluation systems nationally and internationally. Mel is interested in the intersection of social psychology and evaluation. He has edited a dozen books, and is author of more than 130 articles and book chapters on these and other subjects. Topics of evaluations he has conducted include prevention programs for at-risk youth, federal personnel policies, and industrial modernization. Mel was president of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) and editor of the American Journal of Evaluation. His awards include AEA’s Lazarsfeld Award for Evaluation Theory. http://psych.la.psu.edu/directory/m5m

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Rakesh Mohan, MPA

Rakesh is Director of the Office of Performance Evaluations (OPE) for the Idaho State legislature. As an independent and nonpartisan agency of the Idaho State Legislature, OPE is committed to promoting confidence and accountability in state government through evaluation. Under his direction, the office has become a leader in independent evaluation and has received prestigious awards from the American Evaluation Association, the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Prior to his tenure with OPE, Rakesh served on the US Comptroller General’s Advisory Council on Government Auditing Standards, the American Evaluation Association’s board of directors, the editorial advisory board of New Directions for Evaluation, and the Evaluation Advisory Committee for the joint Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/American Heart Association Voices for Healthy Kids program’s national evaluation. https://legislature.idaho.gov/ope/about-us/

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Martha Okafor, PhD, MPA

Martha is the CEO of Community Health and Social Services, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with the vision to shape health equity culture and improve population health and wellness.  She also teaches Population Health at Yale University, and has more than 20 years leadership experiences in public policy and program development in public health, social services, child welfare, early care, food systems, housing, reentry, Medicaid, healthcare, program evaluation, system’s transformation, research, strategic planning, behavioral health, economic, workforce and organization development. She served at senior executive levels in Connecticut and as Georgia State deputy for both public health agency and family and children services agency. Martha worked as the City of New Haven deputy to the Mayor, in charge of community services. She was a Principal Investigator of three National Institute of Health – NIMHD grants at Morehouse School of Medicine, and served at national, state, municipal and community levels to improve health and outcomes. https://www.linkedin.com/in/martha-okafor-33a911125/

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Liana Winett, DrPH, MPH, MCHES

Liana is Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Community Engagement in the Oregon Health & Science-Portland State University School of Public Health, where she teaches graduate level courses in media advocacy and mass communication. Liana is interested in how we, as communities and as a society, discuss the many complex and controversial social issues that affect public health. She explores how we can support broad participation in important debates, while also shifting a communication landscape that often seems to resist deep consideration of complexity or controversy. In this way, Liana has explored the framing of debates over many topics, including: federal school foods policy; child healthy weight; early childhood development; land use legislation; residential lead poisoning; interpersonal violence; incarceration; maternal/child health and the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD); childhood obesity; breast, cervical and prostate cancers; and the public health response to bioterrorism. https://www.researchgate.net/scientific-contributions/34721156_Liana_Winett

 

Clients

Collectively, Collaborative members have supported numerous evaluations of federal, state, and non-profit agency programs and advocacy campaigns.  Some of our clients include:

  • Alliance for a Healthier Generation
  • Boston Children’s Hospital
  • The California Endowment
  • Con Agra Foods Foundation
  • The David and Lucille Packard Foundation
  • The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati
  • The James Irvine Foundation
  • Nemours Foundation
  • Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Peace Corps
  • Planned Parenthood
  • ProMedica
  • The Rasmuson Foundation
  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters
  • United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • U.S. Department of Commerce
    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)Bureau of Census
  • U.S. Department of Defense
    • Defense Logistics Agency Child and Youth Development Program
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    • Administration on Children, Youth, and Families (ACF)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
    • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
    • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
    • The National Institutes of Health (NIH)
      • National Institute of Child and Human Development (NICHD)
      • National Cancer Institute (NCI)
      • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
    • Office on Women’s Health
    • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
    • Other…
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
    • Federal Emergency Management Administration’s National Fire Academy Training Evaluation Center
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • U.S. Department of State
  • U.S. Department of Transportation
  • U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General
  • U.S. Small Business Administration
    • National Women’s Business Network
  • Washington University