Project Snapshots

 

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“We have a history of working collaboratively with other organizations to help evaluate programs nationally, regionally and locally. These project snapshots show the breadth of our work. ”

 
 

LESSONS LEARNED, GRANTEE CAPACITY BUILDING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

Children’s Hospital & Medical Center

GSCN is providing evaluation and technical assistance consultation for the Children’s Hospital & Medical Center’s Preventing Childhood Obesity Community Grants in Omaha, Neb. Additionally, our team developed the new request for proposals, scoring criteria and review process for this grant mechanism.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Voices for Healthy Kids

GSCN was part of a three-year evaluation of Voices for Healthy Kids (VFHK), an initiative to engage, organize and mobilize people to improve the health of their communities and reverse the childhood obesity epidemic. Specifically, in Year 1, our team evaluated the processes and outcomes of technical assistance, as well as legal technical assistance. In Year 2, we evaluated the policy advocacy readiness of grantees and developed measures for similar initiatives to use in the future. In Year 3, we conducted an overall lessons-learned evaluation of the entire initiative.


SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation

GSCN is the evaluation partner of the Healthy Schools Program of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. In Year 1, this included secondary data analysis of national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) and FitnessGram data, onsite nutrition, physical activity and wellness environment data collection, and interviews with a sample of schools. In Year 2, there is a new focus on surveying key stakeholders in districts enrolled in the Healthy Schools Program to determine impact on students.

LiveWell Colorado School Food Initiative

Since 2013, GSCN has provided evaluation for the LiveWell Colorado School Food Initiative, including pre/post menu analysis to measure the use of fresh/whole ingredients, student participation in the lunch program and other evaluation strategies as needed. Some of these ad hoc activities included a plate-waste feasibility study to build protocols and analysis plans for future use, a longitudinal study to assess menu changes and program sustainability in five school districts, an assessment to inform the Alumni Sustainability Plan and survey development to measure the impact of specific training opportunities.


EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION

Child Care Aware of Kansas

GSCN has been the evaluation partner for Child Care Aware of Kansas for three years and has developed a plan to evaluate the effects of the Early Childhood Wellness - Step it Up, Taking Steps to Healthy Success collaborative. This includes pre/post Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment in Child Care (NAP SACC) and technical assistance analysis, as well as conducting and analyzing qualitative interviews.

Nebraska Department of Education and University of Nebraska-Lincoln

GSCN was funded to modify and analyze a survey on the Child and Adult Care Food Program for early care and education providers as part of Nebraska’s USDA-funded Team Nutrition project. Our team partnered with trainers to administer the survey at summer training sessions for nearly 400 providers and electronically administered pre/post surveys as providers participated in online modules.

The Nemours Foundation and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ECELC

GSCN is in the sixth year of evaluating the implementation of the National Early Care and Education Learning Collaborative (ECELC), a program to help improve policies and practices in nutrition, physical activity, outdoor play and learning, breastfeeding and screen time at early care and education programs across ten states. This has involved designing and implementing process and outcome evaluations. The evaluation incorporates a mixed-methods approach, and our team has developed enrollment systems and a technical assistance (TA) monitoring system to track TA mode (email, in-person or phone), content area (nutrition, physical activity, etc.) and duration in order to look at potential intermediaries in changing behavior.

The Nemours Foundation and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ohio Healthy Programs

GSCN is evaluating the Ohio Healthy Programs Project in Family Child Care (FCC) Homes. Utilizing a mixed-methods approach, we are currently evaluating the successes and challenges for FCC programs undergoing designation or re-designation of the program in Cuyahoga County and across Ohio to inform efforts to scale up support in these areas.


FOOD SYSTEMS

Healthy Eating Research (HER)

Healthy Eating Research (HER) is a National Program Office of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and has funded GSCN to evaluate policy impacts of the USDA’s Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) mechanism, which has funded food incentive programs (such as Double Up Food Bucks) across the U.S. through multiple years. Our team is conducting qualitative interviews with those who have received FINI funding to see what is working well, as well as to identify barriers. Evaluation results will be used to inform the next Farm Bill.

Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems

GSCN partnered with the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems and other stakeholders in Michigan to help establish a shared measurement system following a Collective Impact framework. The main goal of this three-year evaluation has been to gather information and pilot a shared measurement system that will help to make a compelling case for food systems change in Michigan. Currently, GSCN is helping partners identify priorities and establish methodologically sound measurements and systems for data sharing.


FOOD INSECURITY

ConAgra Foods Foundation

GSCN was the evaluation partner for the three-year Child Hunger Ends Here – Omaha Plan initiative to address hunger and improve food sufficiency and food security by combining efforts of multiple programs in Omaha, Neb. Intervention approaches directed towards three main food pantries, a food bank, a large public school district and a financial/budgeting program were included in the initiative. Specifically, GSCN assessed associations among household food security, food sufficiency, home environment, hunger coping, psychosocial variables, dietary patterns and other factors. GSCN led the evaluation, including measurement of key indicators of success for each of the partners using a Collective Impact framework.

JFM Consulting Group

GSCN explored participation and trends in the use of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits at Eastern Market, within the City of Detroit, across Michigan, and throughout the Midwest USDA Food and Nutrition Service Region (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio) over the last 10 years. A mixed-methods approach using key informant interviews with market managers, survey data and analysis of secondary data was used to make recommendations for future program implementation to improve SNAP accessibility and participation specifically at Eastern Market, as well as to inform efforts at farmers markets across the state.

Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon

GSCN conducted an evaluation to determine facilitators and barriers to the success of the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) in Oregon. Five years of SFSP data was analyzed and then program sponsors were interviewed to augment findings from the quantitative data analysis. A number of factors, including sponsor retention, growth in number of meals served and number of operating days, were analyzed.

ProMedica Health Systems

GSCN is collaborating with the University of Toledo to conduct a three-year evaluation of the Ebeid Institute’s impact on the Uptown area of Toledo, Ohio. This includes a longitudinal design, incorporating both quantitative and qualitative data collection, to identify the nutrition and economic impacts of the Ebeid Institute and to identify factors for which the Ebeid Institute is not having an impact, in order to inform programmatic decisions. In addition to the survey, the team has been engaging the community through key-informant interviews and focus groups to gain a qualitative perspective on the nutritional and economic condition of the Uptown area.

Share Our Strength

GSCN is currently evaluating the Cooking Matters at the Store mobile application, with the goal of making recommendations for app improvement for future roll-out. The app was designed to help low-income mothers of young children (ages 0-5) make positive changes with regard to their potential correlates of dietary behaviors related to Cooking Matters app subject matter and functions (confidence, attitudes and behavioral intention of recipe use, shopping list development and meal planning). In previous years, GSCN also modified and evaluated the Cooking Matters for Adults Survey.


INSTRUMENT DEVELOPMENT

University of California, San Francisco

GSCN developed survey and measurement procedures to allow food banks to measure their clientele’s dietary intake and other related outcomes, as part of an intervention focused on changes in policies and practices for acquiring and distributing food, so that more fresh fruits and vegetables are available in the food pantries they serve. This study was conducted in partnership with Feeding America and funded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network (NOPREN) and is led by Dr. Hilary Seligman at the University of California, San Francisco.

University of Illinois at Chicago

GSCN is collaborating with Dr. Lisa Powell from the University of Illinois at Chicago to develop a survey tool to assess dietary behaviors, including a detailed analysis of sugar sweetened beverages and sugar intake, and related attitudes and beliefs. The survey tool was developed in 2017 and administered using an online platform to residents in Cook County (Chicago) and St. Louis. Two research briefs have been developed for Cook County.

Westat and the National Cancer Institute

The Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating (FLASHE) Study is a National Cancer Institute (NCI) survey on the psychosocial, generational (parent/12 to 17-year-old adolescent) and environmental correlates of cancer-preventive behaviors. FLASHE examines the correlates of cancer preventive behaviors, mainly diet, activity and sedentary behaviors (but also examines other behaviors such as sleep, sun safety and tobacco) in new ways not previously addressed comprehensively on other surveys. GSCN was contracted to analyze the FLASHE survey data and develop scoring procedures and related syntax to derive dietary outcome variables. GSCN Executive Director Amy Yaroch, Ph.D., also aided on the development of the survey, as well as led the development of the Food Attitudes and Behaviors (FAB) Survey when she was a Program Director at NCI.