The survey is being developed to evaluate the success of two components of a county-wide initiative designed to improve the functioning and well-being of youth ages 5-24. Organizations across the county received funding to support the development and implementation of 40+ innovative programs in the areas of positive youth development and stopping the school to prison pipeline. The majority of programs serve youth ages 11-18 and occur across many contexts (i.e. schools, community centers, faith-based organizations). We are engaged in a community based process, and have consulted with organizational leaders and young people throughout the process of survey development.This project aims to increase our knowledge on how to develop systems of practice-based evidence (as opposed to evidence based practice), to counter traditional challenges that organizations (often led by folks of color) face when attempting to show how their programs support young people.
The first paper reports on a series of focus groups with youth that aimed to obtain their perspectives and interpretations of the constructs identified, with a focus on the role of racial, ethnic and gender identity. Youths' experiences have important implications for building a data system that is responsive their experiences and the way they see programs supporting their development.
The second paper reports on a scoping review of available measures for evaluating positive youth development protective factors. The strengths and gaps in the existing measures from a variety of domains of protective and promotive factors are explored, as well as implications for
The third paper describes youth of color's cognitive processes and perspectives that arose in developing a survey that centers racial, ethnic and cultural identity development across a variety of community and service settings. We focus on the impact of language and survey design on youths' responses, the social justice implications of certain language or design choices and issues of quality and accuracy.
Together, these papers offer insights into some of the conceptual and methodological practices needed for community-based measurement that centers racial and social equity. We will report on lesson learned as well as ways that race and ethnicity can be centered in survey research to counteract the systems that continue to perpetuate inequality.