PROVIDENCE – The Providence Children and Youth Cabinet (CYC)’s Evidence2Success (E2S) initiative was prominently featured as a national model of engagement in the spring issue of the prestigious Stanford (University) Social Innovation Review (SSIR), the premier publication for thought leaders and executives at nonprofits, foundations, and socially responsible businesses who view collaboration as key to solving environmental, social, and economic justice issues.

1132 The article, entitled “Community Engagement Matters (Now More Than Ever),” and co-authored by Melody Barnes and Paul Schmitz, asserts that community engagement is a critical component of effective data-driven, evidence-based social change.

“Data-driven practices and programs hold great promise as a means for making progress against seemingly intractable social problems,” the authors write. “But ultimately they will work only when community members are able to engage in them as leaders and partners. . . . As policymakers, elected officials, philanthropists and nonprofit leaders shift resources to data-driven programs, they must ensure that community engagement becomes a critical element in that shift.”

The authors describe how the Children and Youth Cabinet’s Evidence2Success effort unfolded, initially gathering information on strengths and needs from thousands of youth, community leaders, and residents, then meeting with the community to review the data and to collaboratively choose priority outcomes to address with evidence-based programs.

“When I reflect on the fact that our residents, community leaders, superintendent, and mayor have all prioritized full-service programming and supports for social and emotional wellbeing of Providence's children and youth, I'm all the more excited to see our progress towards those shared priorities celebrated publicly,” said Rebecca Boxx, director of the CYC. 

Evidence2Success (E2S) helps public system leaders and community residents collaborate to gather local data on the needs and strengths of youth, use the data to agree on youth well-being outcomes for improvement, and realign public funding to address those needs with proven prevention programs. Providence was the first U.S. city to receive E2S funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The SSIR article will be formally released at an event at Washington, D.C.’s Aspen Institute on March 7, co-hosted by Results for America and The Collective Impact Forum. SSIR is published quarterly by the Stanford (University) Center on Philanthropy and Civic Society.

Representatives from the CYC and the Annie E. Casey Foundation will present on lessons learned from the implementation of the E2S framework in Providence at the “Ready by 21 National Meeting” on March 29–31 in Baltimore. The annual conference convenes hundreds of leaders from around the country who are working to get all young people prepared for college, work, and life by age 21.

About the Children and Youth Cabinet

The Children and Youth Cabinet (CYC), founded in 2010, is a cross-sector coalition of 150 members and 60 children- and youth-serving organizations, designed to ensure that all City of Providence children and youth will have access to a coordinated, collaborative, integrated system of educational, social, physical, and behavioral health services from cradle to career.  The CYC is housed and supported by Brown University’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform.