The Alchemy of Program Evaluation, Part 6: Logic and Theory of Change Models

5/10/21 8:31 AM

With contributions by Balint Peto

Welcome back to our blog series on program evaluation. If you haven’t already, check out last week’s post on surveys. In this installment, we will examine another data collection method: logic models.

A logic model depicts how a program or policy solves an identified problem under specified conditions. (You can learn more about how to construct a logic model in one of our past posts here.) In this post, we focus on why and when to consider using logic models, or a subset, theory of change models.

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Topics: program evaluation, Summit Blog

Opportunity Zones Revisited: Could Legislative Changes Drive Greater Investor Adoption?

5/4/21 10:00 AM

With contributions by Auyon Rahman and James Hargens of Summit Consulting

This is the first in a series of three blog posts in collaboration with CapZone Impact Investments discussing Opportunity Zones. In this post, we’ll explain what they are, provide an overview of recent legislative and regulatory changes to the program, and look at how these changes might impact interest in Opportunity Zone investments. In the second post, we’ll discuss how the Opportunity Zone incentive aligns with the Biden administration’s Build Back Better Plan. And in the third and final post, we’ll take a look at opportunities for Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) participation in the Opportunity Zone space going forward.

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Topics: opportunity zones, Summit Blog, impact investing

The Alchemy of Program Evaluation, Part 5: Surveys

5/3/21 10:00 AM

Welcome back to our blog series on program evaluation. If you haven’t already, check out last week’s post on semi-structured interviews. In this installment, we will be looking at surveys.

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Topics: program evaluation, Summit Blog

The Alchemy of Program Evaluation, Part 4: Semi-Structured Interviews

4/26/21 10:00 AM

Welcome back to our blog series on program evaluation. If you haven’t already, check out last week’s post on focus groups. In this installment, we will be looking at semi-structured interviews.

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Topics: program evaluation, Summit Blog

Perspectives on Housing & Climate Change Resilience

4/22/21 4:08 PM

While not traditionally on the front lines in the battle against global warming, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is poised to play an increasingly pivotal role in taking climate resilience and clean energy adoption into serious account for affordable housing planning and community development activities. As advisors to U.S. federal agencies and commercial clients engaged in the housing, community development and clean energy sectors, Grant Thornton Public Sector and Summit Consulting offer the following insights as the Biden Administration seeks to advance its climate resilience objectives.

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Topics: infrastructure, Summit Blog, affordable housing, earthday2021, clean energy

Complexity Simplified: Tracey Duval, Federal Student Aid Program Manager, on Effective Government Program Management in a Fully Remote Environment

4/21/21 10:00 AM

In our most recent episode of Complexity Simplified, Summit senior analyst Rebecca Jackson sits down with Federal Student Aid program manager Tracey Duval. They discuss the key skills, tools, and techniques required for effective program management for government IT modernizations. Duval has leveraged her 19 years of experience managing distributed remote teams to quickly form an effective program management team on a mission-critical FSA IT modernization.

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Topics: Complexity Simplified (podcasts), Summit Blog

The Alchemy of Program Evaluation, Part 3: Focus Groups

4/19/21 10:00 AM

Welcome back to our blog series on program evaluation. If you haven’t already, check out last week’s post on literature reviews and environmental scans, the first step we take in conducting program evaluations. In this installment, we will be looking at focus groups.

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Topics: program evaluation, Summit Blog

Summit Hosts 7th Annual DC DataFest Virtually

4/16/21 9:45 AM

This past weekend, Summit Consulting hosted our seventh annual—and first virtual—2021 DC DataFest with the University of Maryland’s Social Data Science Center. While hosting virtually posed its challenges, the spirt of DataFest was the same: students from different schools, different  backgrounds, and different majors working in teams collaborating on a data-analysis challenge that is most likely beyond the scope of what they normally see in their classes.

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Topics: data, Summit Blog

The Alchemy of Program Evaluation, Part 2: Literature Reviews and Environmental Scans

4/15/21 10:00 AM

Welcome to the second part of our blog series on program evaluation. If you have not already, check out last week’s post introducing the series and providing a description of what program evaluation is. In this installment, we will look at literature reviews and environmental scans.

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Topics: program evaluation, Summit Blog

The Alchemy of Program Evaluation, Part 1: Introduction

4/12/21 10:00 AM

With contributions by Balint Peto

Welcome to our blog series on the alchemy of program evaluation. Program evaluation is the process of collecting and analyzing data to answer questions about how well and how effectively programs are working. Through mixed methods, we utilize both quantitative and qualitative data to answer such research questions as: How do you know if your program (or program modification) is achieving its mission? If program outcomes aren’t meeting expected goals, what isn’t working? What can be improved to increase program efficacy?

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Topics: program evaluation, Summit Blog

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Complexity simplified.

Summit is a specialized analytics advisory firm that guides clients as they decode their most complex analytical challenges. Our blog highlights the strategies and techniques we use, as well as relevant topics in current events.

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