The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities is proud to partner with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Norlien Foundation’s Alberta Family Wellness Initiative on the three-year initiative, Change in Mind: Applying Neurosciences to Revitalize Communities.
For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve the health and health care of all Americans. The foundation is striving to build a national culture of health that will enable all Americans to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come.
The Palix Foundation established the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative as a multidisciplinary platform to invest in improving health and wellness outcomes for children and families in Alberta, Canada and beyond. As a knowledge mobilization effort, AFWI shares, promotes and supports the application of knowledge about brain and early childhood development and its link to lifelong mental health and addiction outcomes to prevent and buffer toxic stress and promote healthy brain development for all children.
Evaluation Team and Approach
Community Science leads the evaluation for Change in Mind: Applying Neurosciences to Revitalize Communities, an initiative of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. The research team evaluates the work of the initiative’s cohort of 15 nonprofit, human-serving organizations in the U.S. and Canada as they infuse, align, and accelerate established neuroscience discoveries about the effects of life-altering toxic stress into their community-based work.
Community Science is an award-winning international community research and development organization based in Gaithersburg, Maryland. It is led by social scientists with 18 years of experience who specialize in bridging research and evaluation with practice. Community Science was chosen as the leader of the initiative’s research team through a competitive request for proposals process.
The evaluation team uses a developmental evaluation approach. Rather than completing a full evaluation at the end of the three-year period, it supports building the capacities of participating organizations to measure transformation at organizational and community level throughout the project and in a participatory, collaborative framework. This systems-level and highly developmental approach allows for the collaborative and flexible evaluation team to design and implement a rigorous and adaptable evaluation.