Best Starts for Kids wants families to get services that are high quality and result in equitable outcomes, and live in communities where everyone thrives. For this to happen, we need to support our partners, including small, culturally specific community-based organizations that historically have not had access to the public or private funds it takes to build some aspects of capacity and infrastructure. Best Starts wants to counter these inequitable practices, and we know it’s important to provide resources and supports to address this historical and systemic disadvantage–and to support the long-term sustainability of our partners and programs. That’s why we’re investing in capacity building throughout the initiative.
For organizations interested in applying for funding opportunities, technical assistance is available to help navigate the process. For funded partners, Best Starts for Kids’ capacity builders can help with finances, human resources, IT, legal questions, equity, organizational development, and more. And earlier this year, we announced additional supports for data and evaluation for Best Starts partners. Now that data support has been underway for a while, we wanted to share some of the resources and success stories!
Join us on Zoom this Friday to meet the consultants!
You can read more below, and join us on Zoom to learn more about how data support consultants can help you!
Friday, September 4, 10-11am: https://zoom.us/j/97021713251
One part of our data support is workshops, offered by Communities Count. We have transitioned to holding all of these via webinar. You can check out materials and recordings of past workshops and register for upcoming trainings at www.communitiescount.org/trainings. Not seeing what you’re looking for? Want a custom workshop for your organization? Contact us at email@example.com. Workshops are open to all community-based organizations in King County.
Best Starts for Kids has contracted with local consultants who are experts in working with data and evaluation in the context of community-based organizations, who can help you level up your skills at no cost to you! Consultation is available to Best Starts’ funded partners, and you can request it by contacting your program manager or evaluator, the data team at firstname.lastname@example.org, or submitting a request at www.surveymonkey.com/r/bskdatasupport.
We’d like to introduce the awesome teams who are eager to help solve your toughest data challenges:
Cardea is a national, nonprofit, women of color-led organization, based in Seattle, with nearly 50 years of experience in training, capacity building, and research and evaluation in the health and human services arena. Cardea has been a partner to Best Starts for Kids on a range of evaluation-related initiatives since 2018. Our team is passionate about the power of evaluations that center equity, social justice, and community voice to share our partners’ successes and drive the changes they seek in policy, program, and practice. We support organizations in balancing rigor and practicality within the context of program, organization, and system complexities. Cardea’s nine-person team specializes in community-centered, culturally and linguistically responsive qualitative and quantitative methods, participatory and collaborative evaluation, and data visualization and storytelling.
The Crux Best Starts for Kids Data Support team includes Alessandra Pollock, Catherine Verrenti, and other Crux partners. We are passionate about using data for good. We listen to BSK awardees to understand your needs, the questions you have about your programs, and the stories you want to tell. We share our expertise and provide on-the-ground thought partnership and staff time so that you can gather the numbers and narrative needed to tell those stories and answer your questions. Our team is skilled in program evaluation and planning, data analysis, in survey design and focus groups, and creative data visualizations. Most importantly, we approach our work with humility, an understanding of how our identities impact our perspective, and by incorporating racial impact analysis into all the work we do. We commit to elevate and center the voices of those impacted by BSK programming, our children and families, and the staff who serve them.
Johnnie McKinley Associates LLC is a multiethnic, multigenerational collective that has helped scores of nonprofit and for-profit organizations describe themselves in numbers and stories. We have helped them tell the story of who they are and how their assets strengthen their communities. Together, we have developed systems to track how many people they have worked with and the changes they have achieved. For over 21 years, we have partnered with community-based organizations, school districts, state and county agencies, and national testing companies to understand the influence of factors such as culture, heritage, (dis)ability, income, and place on children’s development, on students’ achievement, and on health results in disadvantaged communities.
MPHI-Seattle is home to the Center for Culturally Responsive Engagement. Our team is excited to have the opportunity to serve King County Best Starts for Kids’ grantees with evaluation capacity building and technical assistance needs! Not sure how we might help you? We would love to speak with you and help you figure it out! We are dedicated to ensuring the people who are most impacted are at the center of conversations which seek to find solutions to problems affecting them. We engage with our partners on culturally responsive approaches for data use, evaluation, learning, research, training, facilitation, best practices, and strategic planning. We first seek to understand partners’ organizations, programs, and concerns then guide them through a process of identifying solutions that build on their strengths and provide them with tools to understand and successfully use their data. We support our partners in adopting strategies that promote equity and social justice. We are responsive to community needs and assets. We strongly value learning and evaluation as a tool for advancing racial equity and systems transformation. We look forward to working with Best Starts grantees on utilizing their data, learning and evaluation for telling their own story about their successes and opportunities.
Stay tuned next week for some examples of how Best Starts data consultants have helped partners reach their data goals!