The Institute for Research on Youth Thriving and Evaluation (RYTE) at Montclair State University recently received a grant from Templeton World Charity Foundation to provide support to potential grantees in their Global Innovations for Character Development portfolio. The initiative is focused on supporting scalable programs in low and middle-income countries that will transform lives through the cultivation of character strengths (e.g., empathy, purpose, joy) in individuals and communities. The RYTE Institute team is facilitating the Systems Evaluation Protocol (SEP) with five potential grantees in Zambia, Kenya, and Pakistan. The SEP is designed to immediately increase the capacity of potential grantees to evaluate, improve, defend and seek funding for their programs. The RYTE Institute is also working to increase awareness of conceptual and theoretical frameworks and cutting-edge research methods used in character development in order to increase the impact of funded programs.
Dr. Jennifer Brown Urban, co-Director of the RYTE Institute and the Principal Investigator of the project, recently hosted IRD Global Pakistan at Montclair State University together with SEP Lead Facilitator Dr. Monica Hargraves of Cornell University, Dr. Miriam Linver, RYTE Institute co-director, and Alexis Nager, RYTE Institute Research Associate. SEP Lead Facilitators Dr. Thomas Archibald of Virginia Tech University and Jane Buckley of JCB Consulting, facilitated the SEP with partners in Africa. The project also includes Expert Advisors Dr. Velma McBride Murry of Vanderbilt University, Dr. Maurice Elias of Rutgers University, and Dr. Andrea Ettekal of Texas A&M University. For more information about the initiative and to view a lecture given by Dr. Urban on Research Strategies for Character Development, please visit: https://www.templetonworldcharity.org/our-work/global-innovations-for-character-development