Deadline for Program Applications has been extended to June 30th.
Increasingly, programs that address youth character are called upon to do better evaluation for program improvement and accountability to funders. Youth-serving program staff are invited to apply to participate in an innovative professional development opportunity designed to promote high-quality program evaluation, critical for obtaining funding, improving program quality and, ultimately, increase the positive impact on youth.
What we are seeking
The PACE Project will select 16 programs whose mission and/or objectives pertain to one or more of Sir John Templeton’s 19 character virtues:
ethics, love, honesty, generosity, thanksgiving, forgiving, reliability, entrepreneurship, diligence, thrift, joy, future-mindedness, beneficial purpose, accelerating creativity, communication, constructive thinking, curiosity, humility, and awe.
Programs may be rooted in character education, social-emotional competence, positive youth development or related area.
Ideal candidates are staff at programs that will benefit from developing their capacity to evaluate program effectiveness and impact–Programs that have done little or no evaluation work seek to improve their current evaluation efforts are encouraged to apply.
We are also seeking programs that are highly motivated to engage in the capacity building process. This Project relies on the intrinsic motivation of participating program staff to engage in a participatory approach to evaluation planning. Finally, we are seeking programs that view evaluation as a means to improving/increasing impact, not simply a task required by funders.
Commitment and Expectations
Programs selected to participate in the PACE Project will designate a team of 2 staff members who will participate in all of the four types of activities:
- In-person workshops
- Partnership work with a participating evaluator (in person as well as via phone and web-conference)
- Consultation with a Lead Facilitator and participation in the culminating conference.
Participation in the culminating conference (fall 2017) requires that each program team prepare a short presentation of their evaluation work to date. Participating programs will receive a $2,500 stipend plus travel expenses for the 2 team members during their 12- or 15-month (depending on which of the 2 PACE cohorts the program is involved in) commitment to the Project. In addition, any program team that chooses to develop a complete evaluation plan and implement that plan in partnership with their partner evaluator will receive an additional $2,000 to offset the cost of this additional evaluation work.
Only currently funded programs (programs that are committed to implementation at least through 2018) located in the “lower 48” states that meet our definition of a program are invited to apply.
For the purpose of this Project, a ‘program’ is defined as: a replicable set of activities, experienced by human participants, designed to contribute to some pre-determined intended outcomes.
It is not: a research project, management task, or marketing effort.
IMPORTANT: Applicant programs must be able to commit the same 2 staff members to participate in all Project activities for the duration of the Project.
Once an applying program has established eligibility, selection criteria will include:
- Relationship/contribution to one or more of the 19 character virtues
- Need for evaluation capacity
- Motivation to participate that is in line with the goals/approach of the Project
In the case that we receive a large number of applications that meet the above criteria, we will make selections that maximize the diversity (in terms of format, approach, area of focus) of participating programs.
Timeline and Selection Process
The application period opened on April 11th, with final proposals due June 30th. Selection will result from a review and selection by Project staff.
Applicants for this Project will be notified of decisions no later than July 15th.
How to Apply
- A signed, scanned cover letter that includes the name and location of, and contact information for the applying program team as well as the names of the two potential participating program staff members and their roles relative to the program.
- A signed, scanned letter of support from someone in an appropriate leadership position for this program describing support for and commitment to participation in this Project.
- A program description (maximum 2 pages) that includes:
- The goals of the program
- How the program works (what you do)
- A clear explanation of the program’s relationship to one or more of the following character virtues: ethics, love, honesty, generosity, thanksgiving, forgiving, reliability, entrepreneurship, diligence, thrift, joy, future-mindedness, beneficial purpose, accelerating creativity, communication, constructive thinking, curiosity, humility, and/or awe
- The size and scope of the program (number of participants, budget, etc.)
- A broad overview of the timeline for the program (program length, frequency of implementation, funding cycle)
- Any relevant history including what motivated the creation of the program and how/why it may have changed over time
- Any relevant information about the program’s context
- A description of any evaluation work for this program (max 1 page), that includes:
- What evaluation work, if any, is being done currently
- How evaluation has historically been approached
- How evaluation results (if any) have been used
- If none, clearly state this
- A statement of interest (max 1 page) that describes what you hope to gain from your participation in the Project. This could include:
- Your priorities in terms of increasing evaluation capacity
- How evaluation would “look” for your program in an “ideal world”
- A description of the motivations behind your application to participate