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Aea 2019 rpp presentation final

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Charting the Journey: Defining Success for Research-Practice Partnerships (RPPs)

1 of 21
11/27/2019 FOOTER GOES HERE 1
Charting the Journey: Defining Success for
Research-Practice Partnerships (RPPs)
Presented by LINC & Revolution Impact
Who are we?
2
INTRODUCTIONS
Pranav Kothari
CEO & Founder
Jenna White
Program Director
Revolution Impact is a consulting firm that
focuses on helping social sector organizations
improve their results through better business
practices and organizational strategies.
LINC is a US-based small business that assists
local and international organizations to design
effectively, increase institutional capacity, forge
lasting partnerships, and measure impact.
Agenda
3
WHAT WE HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH TODAY
1. Overview of RPPs
2. Overview of existing framework for evaluating RPPs proposed by Henrick et al. 2017
3. Experience from designing local and state RPPs in the education space (Pranav Kothari,
Revolution Impact)
4. Experience from managing an RPP for a 3-year USAID-funded project (Jenna White, LINC)
5. Discussion
What is a Research Practice Partnership (RPP)?
4
DEFINITIONS FROM LITERATURE REVIEW OF RPPS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
DEFINITIONS
• “Long-term, mutualistic collaborations between
practitioners and researchers that are
intentionally organized to investigate problems
of practice and solutions for improving
outcomes.”
• “RPPs are research collaborations between
educational researchers and practitioners.
RPPs bring researchers, practitioners, and
other stakeholders together in long-term,
cooperative relationships to examine and
address educational problems.”
• “RPPs are long-term collaborations between
practitioners and researchers that are
organized to investigate problems of practice
and solutions for improving schools and school
districts.”
GOALS
• Disseminate and implement evidence-based
practices. In this case partnership work focuses
on research and technical assistance to support
implementation of interventions.
• Enable greater use of research in decision-
making.
• Address persistent problems of practice and
improve [educational] outcomes.
• Building the skills, knowledge and capacity of
educators for using research evidence in their
decision-making.
How are RPPs different than traditional partnership approaches?
5
FROM LITERATURE REVIEW OF RPPS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Traditional Approach RPP Approach
Short-term, project-centered relationships Long-term relationship with develops trust, and
furthers the ability to weather challenges
Focus their work on addressing researchers’
questions that arise from gaps in the literature
about specific topics.
Focus their work on the problems of practice
that stem from the school district’s goals and
interests.
One group has authority over agenda-
setting. Researchers may try to persuade
schools to adopt a policy or intervention. A
district may hire researchers to conduct and
evaluation.
Mutualism. Mutually beneficial partnerships
that meet the needs of both the researchers and
the practitioners, resulting in shared ownership
over the work.
Lack of structure which results in a lack of
dialogue between practitioners and researchers
Specific structures and systems are used to
organize their work with each other (e.g. formal
data sharing agreements, regular meetings,
formal networks)
Make existing data accessible to district
leaders.
Production of original analyses of data to
answer research questions posed by the district.
What makes an effective RPP?
6
HOW DO WE MEASURE SUCCESS?
In their 2017 paper, Henrick et al. propose the following five dimensions for evaluating the
efficacy of RPPs:
1. Building trust and cultivating partnership relationships
2. Conducting rigorous research to inform action
3. Supporting the partner practice organization in achieving its goals
4. Producing knowledge that can inform educational improvement efforts more broadly
5. Building the capacity of participating researchers, practitioners, practice organizations, and
research organizations to engage in partnership work
Source: Henrick, E.C., Cobb, P., Penuel, W.R., Jackson, K., & Clark, T. (2017). Assessing Research-Practice
Partnerships: Five Dimensions of Effectiveness. New York, NY: William T. Grant Foundation.
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Aea 2019 rpp presentation final

  • 1. 11/27/2019 FOOTER GOES HERE 1 Charting the Journey: Defining Success for Research-Practice Partnerships (RPPs) Presented by LINC & Revolution Impact
  • 2. Who are we? 2 INTRODUCTIONS Pranav Kothari CEO & Founder Jenna White Program Director Revolution Impact is a consulting firm that focuses on helping social sector organizations improve their results through better business practices and organizational strategies. LINC is a US-based small business that assists local and international organizations to design effectively, increase institutional capacity, forge lasting partnerships, and measure impact.
  • 3. Agenda 3 WHAT WE HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH TODAY 1. Overview of RPPs 2. Overview of existing framework for evaluating RPPs proposed by Henrick et al. 2017 3. Experience from designing local and state RPPs in the education space (Pranav Kothari, Revolution Impact) 4. Experience from managing an RPP for a 3-year USAID-funded project (Jenna White, LINC) 5. Discussion
  • 4. What is a Research Practice Partnership (RPP)? 4 DEFINITIONS FROM LITERATURE REVIEW OF RPPS IN HIGHER EDUCATION DEFINITIONS • “Long-term, mutualistic collaborations between practitioners and researchers that are intentionally organized to investigate problems of practice and solutions for improving outcomes.” • “RPPs are research collaborations between educational researchers and practitioners. RPPs bring researchers, practitioners, and other stakeholders together in long-term, cooperative relationships to examine and address educational problems.” • “RPPs are long-term collaborations between practitioners and researchers that are organized to investigate problems of practice and solutions for improving schools and school districts.” GOALS • Disseminate and implement evidence-based practices. In this case partnership work focuses on research and technical assistance to support implementation of interventions. • Enable greater use of research in decision- making. • Address persistent problems of practice and improve [educational] outcomes. • Building the skills, knowledge and capacity of educators for using research evidence in their decision-making.
  • 5. How are RPPs different than traditional partnership approaches? 5 FROM LITERATURE REVIEW OF RPPS IN HIGHER EDUCATION Traditional Approach RPP Approach Short-term, project-centered relationships Long-term relationship with develops trust, and furthers the ability to weather challenges Focus their work on addressing researchers’ questions that arise from gaps in the literature about specific topics. Focus their work on the problems of practice that stem from the school district’s goals and interests. One group has authority over agenda- setting. Researchers may try to persuade schools to adopt a policy or intervention. A district may hire researchers to conduct and evaluation. Mutualism. Mutually beneficial partnerships that meet the needs of both the researchers and the practitioners, resulting in shared ownership over the work. Lack of structure which results in a lack of dialogue between practitioners and researchers Specific structures and systems are used to organize their work with each other (e.g. formal data sharing agreements, regular meetings, formal networks) Make existing data accessible to district leaders. Production of original analyses of data to answer research questions posed by the district.
  • 6. What makes an effective RPP? 6 HOW DO WE MEASURE SUCCESS? In their 2017 paper, Henrick et al. propose the following five dimensions for evaluating the efficacy of RPPs: 1. Building trust and cultivating partnership relationships 2. Conducting rigorous research to inform action 3. Supporting the partner practice organization in achieving its goals 4. Producing knowledge that can inform educational improvement efforts more broadly 5. Building the capacity of participating researchers, practitioners, practice organizations, and research organizations to engage in partnership work Source: Henrick, E.C., Cobb, P., Penuel, W.R., Jackson, K., & Clark, T. (2017). Assessing Research-Practice Partnerships: Five Dimensions of Effectiveness. New York, NY: William T. Grant Foundation.
  • 7. Our reason for forming 7 IN SEPTEMBER 2017, A STEERING COMMITTEE FORMED TO EXPLORE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS With so many important education policy changes happening in Illinois, including a new K-12 funding formula, implementation of the Postsecondary & Workforce Readiness Act, approval of the state’s plans under ESSA, and investments related to the Illinois Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Grant, THE GROUP FORMED TO ANSWER: What can we do to maximize the impact of rich data we are now able to produce? What research capacities might we need to add in order to support improved data use? How can we more tightly connect research and data to policy and practice, including ensuring that we have ongoing research that informs our policy agenda and supports successful implementation of existing policies?
  • 8. Engagement Approach The Steering Committee met five times over the course of the engagement to review findings, provide guidance to the project team, and inform strategic decisions. Steering Committee members also offered critical feedback between meetings on strategic choice points that are reflected in the recommendations that follow. FINAL READOUT JANUARY 2018 PHASE 3 DECEMBER 2017 – JANUARY 2018 PHASE 2 NOVEMBER – DECEMBER 2017 PHASE 1 SEPTEMBER – NOVEMBER 2017 STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT AND LANDSCAPE SCAN STRATEGIC PLANNING BUSINESS AND OPERATIONAL PLANNING ENGAGEMENT CONCLUSION Stakeholder interviews, peer interviews, and secondary research Explore and detail strategic choices related to vision, where we will play, and how we will succeed Explore and detail strategic choices related to competencies and management systems Present a summary of findings, recommendations, and next steps
  • 9. What we learned Stakeholder engagement, national and regional landscape scans, and facilitated work sessions with a diverse Steering Committee led to three primary conclusions: 1. There is clear demand and growing momentum to see research and data inform education policy and practice across Illinois; 2. New research capacity, in the form of a to-be-established entity, is needed to address stakeholder demand; and, 3. The research produced through this new capacity should and will help advance educational outcomes for all students in Illinois. The recommendations that follow detail the capacity needs and how they can be filled in the Illinois education research and data ecosystem. 9
  • 10. Stakeholder Engagement: Summary KEY FINDINGS Stakeholders validated the need to better connect research and data to education policy and practice in Illinois. Stakeholders affirmed there is not an entity or dedicated budget currently addressing this role statewide. This is a material gap in the ecosystem. Stakeholders insisted that for this work to advance, we need trusting relationships, frequent communication, ready access to data, a focus on continuous improvement, and sound operations. Stakeholders specifically mentioned the importance of state agencies and practitioners as key contributors to a research agenda. 10
  • 11. Landscape Scan: Summary THERE WERE THREE STEPS IN THE APPROACH TO LEARN FROM EXISTING MODELS ACROSS THE COUNTRY Compiled a List of Organizations in Data/Research/ Policy/Practice Space Assessed Similarities and Differentiating Factors Among Regional and State Focused Organizations AREAS OF INTEREST: Organizational Structure Data Analysis & Research Activities Strategies to Engage Policymakers and Practitioners 13ORGANIZATIONS 26ORGANIZATIONS1 IDENTIFY ORGANIZATIONS SECONDARY RESEARCH PEER INTERVIEWS 60+ORGANIZATIONS1 SOURCES: State by State Search Suggestions from Stakeholder Interviews National Network of Education Research-Practice Partnerships Interviewed Exemplar Organizations for Additional Insights TOPICS COVERED: Key Success Factors Lessons Learned/Current Challenges Measures of Success Funding Institutional Homes1Please see the appendix for the initial list of 60+ organizations and the 26 included in the secondary research11 APPROACH
  • 12. Landscape Scan: Summary (continued) SUCCESS FACTORS AND LESSONS LEARNED CENTERED ON THREE DOMAINS Timely access to high quality data Entrepreneurial and passionate team Research/ translational capacity at state agencies Select the right research partners Stakeholder engagement early and often Invest time into peer learning Balanced and relevant research agenda Careful project selection to maximize impact Purposeful research dissemination/ products COLLABORATIVE RELATIONSHIPS RELEVANT AND ACTIONABLE RESEARCH FOUNDATIONAL CAPACITY 12 KEY FINDINGS
  • 13. 11/27/2019 FOOTER GOES HERE 13 Local Systems Practice RPP Presented by LINC, member of the USAID Local Systems Practice (LSP) Team
  • 14. • Local Systems Practice (LSP) is a USAID-funded activity that is directly assisting multiple missions, partners, and constituents to design and adaptively manage systems- based programs in complex environments. • LSP is a consortium composed of six organizations, led by LINC and including development practitioners and research institutions. The partnership aims to explore and implement systems thinking approaches with missions, local partners and other local stakeholders, and to provide unique insights and learning around the value of systems thinking in a development context. The five sub-implementers are ANSER, the University of Notre Dame, AVSI, the University of Missouri, and Practical Action. Our reason for forming
  • 15. Engagement Approach The consortium came together for weekly or bi-weekly calls through Phase 3 of the project. The consortium also came together to co-author periodic reports and develop annual workplans. FINAL REPORT JANUARY 2020 PHASE 3 DECEMBER 2017 – AUGUST 2019 PHASE 2 MAY 2017 – DECEMBER 2018 PHASE 1 JANUARY – MAY 2017 DEFINE SUCCESS FOR THE CONSORTIUM OUTREACH & RESEARCH PILOTS & TRAININGS ENGAGEMENT CONCLUSION Stakeholder interviews, kickoff meetings, workplanning, develop shared work systems, discovery and learning Reach out to missions to identify opportunities for engagement. Conducted original research. Engaged in 4 pilot engagement with USAID missions. Conducted trainings for CSOs. Present a summary of consortium achievements under the LSP activity
  • 16. Why and When is Co-Creation Appropriate? from USAID Discussion Note on Co-Creation • Co-creation creates a unique collaboration space characterized by shared ownership and decision-making. • This approach also makes it easier to identify opportunities for innovation and systems change. • Through mutual engagement and problem-solving, co-creation offers a valuable platform for forging new network connections, coalitions that cut across traditional silos, and partnerships to advance specific actions and agenda. • The diverse, and sometimes conflicting, perspectives brought together through collaborative brainstorming and problem-solving often produce more fit-for-purpose solutions and/or out-of-the-box ideas that have greater potential for breakthrough change. A co-created consortium Source: https://usaidlearninglab.org/sites/default/files/resource/files/co_creation_discussion_note_august_13_2017_final. pdf
  • 17. Key characteristics of RPPs 17 1. Long-Term Collaboration Open-ended commitments that involve more than a single consulting agreement or grant. 2. Focused on Problems of Practice RPPs start with a focus on problems relevant to practice. These are issues and questions that [districts] find pressing and important. 3. Mutualism RPPs are characterized by sustained interaction that benefits both researchers and practitioners. 4. Use Intentional Strategies to Foster Partnerships RPPs set out written agreements through charters, operating principles, and memoranda of understanding. RPPs specify norms, roles, and responsibilities to avoid confusion, uncertainty, and conflict. 5. Produce Original Analyses RPPs produce original analyses of data to answer research questions posed by [the district].
  • 18. How do co-created consortiums compare to RPPs? 1. Long-Term Collaboration Short-term collaboration involving only a single agreement. 2. Focused on Problems of Practice Consortium began with a focus on problems relevant to practice. These are issues and questions that [USAID] finds pressing and important. 3. Mutualism The consortium was characterized by varying interaction that benefitted both researchers and practitioners, but not always simultaneously. 4. Use Intentional Strategies to Foster Partnerships The consortium set out written agreements via sub-contracts. However, this placed one organization in the position of being the prime. The consortium took time at the beginning of the work to specify norms, roles, and responsibilities to avoid confusion, uncertainty, and conflict. 5. Produce Original Analyses The consortium did produce original analyses of data to answer research questions posed in collaboration with USAID.
  • 19. Activities & Products • Research Reports: – Critical Success Factors for Development Initiatives – ONA / SNA reports • Practical Guides: – User’s guide for using systems-based approaches to address development challenges – Listening for program design guide • Delivered Systems Thinking Trainings – Series of trainings for CSOs What we achieved & how we worked Ways of Working • The group used a combination of online platforms (google site), standing phone calls, and in-person meetings for collaboration. • Different combinations of partners worked together on various deliverables
  • 20. Discussion Questions 20 WHAT WE WANT YOUR FEEDBACK ON • How should we think about evaluating the efficacy of RPPs? • What are the unique aspects that should be captured? Who decides? • Who determines success (partners, users of knowledge products, etc.)? • Where have you observed RPPs work well? • What successes have you had? • What challenges have you encountered?
  • 21. What makes an effective RPP? 21 HOW DO WE MEASURE SUCCESS? In their 2017 paper, Henrick et al propose the following five dimensions for evaluating the efficacy of RPPs: 1. Building trust and cultivating partnership relationships 2. Conducting rigorous research to inform action 3. Supporting the partner practice organization in achieving its goals 4. Producing knowledge that can inform educational improvement efforts more broadly 5. Building the capacity of participating researchers, practitioners, practice organizations, and research organizations to engage in partnership work Source: Henrick, E.C., Cobb, P., Penuel, W.R., Jackson, K., & Clark, T. (2017). Assessing Research-Practice Partnerships: Five Dimensions of Effectiveness. New York, NY: William T. Grant Foundation.

Editor's Notes

  1. From Coburn, Penuel & Geil (2013), and referenced in other documents
  2. https://usaidlearninglab.org/sites/default/files/resource/files/co_creation_discussion_note_august_13_2017_final.pdf