How much progress is the State of Minnesota making toward its goals of ensuring people with disabilities can live, learn, work, and enjoy life in the most integrated setting?
We recently said farewell to Daren Nyquist, who served as one of IG’s Directors of Consulting since 2015. Daren’s going back to the public sector, something to which he has always been drawn, to work with Dakota County.
Daren both oversaw projects and played a leadership role internally, improving our evaluation practice and overseeing different groups of consultants. While we are sad to see a long-time coworker move on, we are happy to have learned from Daren during his time here.
Hi! I’m Amy Cyr, a senior consultant here at IG. For this month’s IG-ology, I want to tell you some of the considerations we take into account when choosing a data collection method.
As a registered Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) with the State of Minnesota, each year we report on our impact. Our 2018 report details how we made progress toward our three strategic goals:
Do you spend too much time digging through your program data to answer specific questions? Are you looking for a better way to turn your data into relevant, easily-digestible information?
We often work with clients to build streamlined data systems that help them organize and dive in to relevant data at the click of a button. For example, say you work for a program that serves multiple schools within several school districts. With a streamlined system, you could easily pull the data by site, grade, or demographic group and run cross tabulations to quickly answer questions at hand.
The Census matters to all of us—it tells the government how to distribute hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars. As evaluators, we also frequently rely on Census data in our projects to understand the composition of a community—and we’re not ashamed to call ourselves “Census nerds”! As a mission-driven organization working to build a better world, The Improve Group is also paying close attention to barriers to a complete count in 2020.
Hi! I’m Christen Pentek and in this month’s IG-ology I want to talk about how evaluators can ensure validity in their work. For me validation brings to mind conversation about details that matter. And it evokes the African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone.
Some funders are increasing their expectations for rigorous evaluation approaches, making grant seeking and management increasingly complex and competitive. Perhaps your organization has been surprised to miss out on a grant because the funder found your evaluation plan to be insufficient or because you didn't make use of evaluation data to make the case for your project. When done well, evaluation can be a powerful tool for creating compelling grant proposals and aligning your work with funder priorities.
Do you remember the last time you engaged with a Minnesota state agency to give input on a public policy decision? Did you feel heard?
An effort by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) aims to make quality civic engagement more common—and more meaningful. The Improve Group was excited to play an important role in this effort by helping to develop an evaluation framework to measure civic engagement.
The Improve Group recently partnered with Highland Friendship Club (HFC), a St. Paul organization devoted to creating opportunities for people with disabilities to make friends, connect with their communities, and learn life skills. We are excited to share a guest column from HFC Executive Director Dan Reed about our work together.