This roundtable brings together researchers from public and private sectors to discuss barriers to uptake of research evidence among practitioners and policymakers, as well as strategies to make evaluation results actionable for decision-makers. Strategies to be discussed include aligning evaluation topics with institutional priorities, answering evaluation questions that are meaningful to key stakeholders, aligning evaluation and decision-making timelines, developing non-traditional deliverables that meet the needs of decision-makers, co-creating recommendations with evaluation stakeholders and asking for a seat at the table when decisions are being made about the program or policy evaluated.
Panelists will also provide case studies to illustrate how collaborative strategies and built infrastructure have been implemented in diverse contexts. For example, the City of Philadelphia's Office of Children and Families and New Jersey's Department of Children and Families have developed External Research Review Committees to ensure academic research partnerships produce actionable, direct benefits to families and are responsive to agency priorities. The committees are comprised of cross-disciplinary researchers, attorneys, and content experts that work directly with academic partners to facilitate communication and partnership at all stages of the design, implementation, and dissemination processes. Another example, Santa Clara County is evaluating their redesigned Continuum-of-Care, a system of individualized and home-based foster care for children. Researchers will share their experiences using implementation science tools to mobilize action for data-driven program improvements.
During this session, senior researchers from public agencies will share lessons learned about how to design and implement studies that drive system transformation. Likewise, executive leadership from a university-based actionable research center will discuss strategies to effectively partner with public leaders in impactful research. Together, panelists will highlight exemplary studies that embody the co-creation model, make use of continuous quality improvement techniques, and generate actionable change and system-level improvements. One example is the Entry Rate and Disproportionality Study, a collaboration among a public child welfare agency, a major research university, and a child welfare foundation. This mixed methods study uses large administrative data and interviews with staff and families to understand and reduce ethno-racial disproportionality in out-of-home child welfare placement.
Finally, panelists will engage session participants in a facilitated, interactive discussion about improving academic partnerships with public agencies to promote impactful research studies that improve services and systems for families.