News from ORE: National Accelerator, Grantee Profiles, 2019 Research Summit

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September 2019

Learn and Build With Us – 2019 Research Summit

The Office of Research and Evaluation (ORE) is hosting our third Research Summit on Sept. 16 and 17 in Washington, D.C. This year’s theme is Bridging Divides, Building Communities.

We look forward to bringing together scholars, practitioners, and citizens working on improving lives, strengthening communities, and fostering civic engagement through national service and volunteering. To further our understanding of the role and impact of civic engagement and to better bridge divides and strengthen communities, the conference revolves around three major tracks this year:

  • Fostering Civic Engagement – What are the types of civic engagement in a community? How is civic engagement most effective in tackling local concerns and promoting the quality of life in a community? How does one foster civic engagement in different local contexts and with different populations? 
  • Approaches to Assessing Community Impact – How do we measure community impact? What kinds of methods do we have at our disposal to learn about community circumstances and impact from volunteering and civic participation? 
  • Outcomes from National Service and Volunteering – What are the current findings on impact from national service and volunteering? What are the outcomes on the community volunteer, the national service participant, grantees, sponsors, those served and surrounding communities? 

Visit our website for more information or to register to attend. We hope to see you there!

Register Here

Now Available: Connecting ORE Research Grantees with AmeriCorps NCCC and VISTA Programs Webinar

On June 18, we hosted our first Q&A webinar where we asked staff from AmeriCorps NCCC and VISTA to give brief presentations and discuss working with our research grantees' and their community partners to implement action plans. Each CNCS program is organized differently and has somewhat different goals, therefore, we decided it was useful to hear more details about each of the programs, how to become a member or sponsor for each program, and the benefits.

Specifically, the webinar addressed which CNCS programs are the most appropriate for helping our research grantee’s communities meet their needs and how they can get started. Check out the presentation materials and watch the recording on our webinars page.

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Save the Date: The Arts & Social/Civic Innovation Webinar

Our next webinar will be on Oct. 30, 2019, from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. ET.  We are inviting researchers from the National Endowment for the Arts to explore the role of artists, designers, and cultural organizations in transforming communities within cities, towns, and rural places across the country. The focus is on research studies and measurement approaches to understand the relationships between place-based arts projects and civic engagement, social cohesion, and other community-level outcomes.

Stay tuned for more information on how to register in the coming weeks.

ORE Webinars

Flint National Service Accelerator

In 2011, leaders from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Flint established the Flint National Service Accelerator, an initiative exploring national service as a civic strategy.

In 2014, Flint became a demonstration site with the goal of expanding its annual numbers to 250 national service members by 2019 – a ten-fold increase from the baseline – and engaging them to carry out in the new 20-year “Imagine Flint” Master Plan.

During the past few years, the Accelerator has exceeded expectations. Between September 2016 and September 2017, 444 national service participants – including Senior Corps, AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps VISTA, VISTA Summer Associates, and AmeriCorps NCCC teams – served in the broader Flint community’s organizations, neighborhoods, and schools. Many of these participants were long-term residents of Flint.

The Accelerator, which became a program of the United Way of Genesee County in 2015, is at the center of these efforts. In September 2016, the United Way of Genesee County hired Social Policy Research Associates (SPR) to conduct a year-long process and outcomes evaluation of the Accelerator initiative. Through a series of interviews, focus groups, site visits, and surveys, the evaluation focused on understanding the outcomes and added value of service and participation in the Accelerator for service members, organizations, and Flint community residents.

SPR created a series of reports and case studies to highlight different aspects of the Accelerator model, as well as a toolkit highlighting strategies that local leaders can use to launch or improve similar initiative.

Learn More

NCCC Leadership in Action

In 2018, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) awarded 16 research grants to 18 different institutions of higher education and their community partners in the Community Conversations research competition. The cohort represents researchers from institutions of higher education that work with and in local communities to use a participatory research approach to:

  • Actively engage residents and other local stakeholders in a research process
  • Identify a local issue of concern to the community
  • Understand what may facilitate or hinder participation to address the issue
  • Create a collaborative action plan to increase civic engagement and build relationships to tackle the community-identified issue

To highlight the important work they are doing in their communities, we developed profiles for each of our grantees. Click here to view the grantee profiles and see what the 2018 cohort is up to.

We also updated the profiles for the 2015 and 2017 research competition grantees and the 2017 evidence-based intervention planning grants.

Grantee Profiles

What’s New on the Evidence Exchange            

Check out some of the new resources added to the Evidence Exchange:

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