EFFECTIVE AND EQUITABLE MOBILE CRISIS RESPONSE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH
Children’s Rights is a national advocacy organization that champions the legal rights of children impacted by government systems. In light of the implementation of the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, 988, the organization enlisted a Capstone team to understand the national landscape of existing mobile crisis response for children and youth. The team conducted a literature review on child and youth crisis care, completed an environmental scan of youth-targeted programs, and assembled a series of program case studies. Based on its analysis, the team produced a final report that includes data on the programs that were evaluated and identifies promising harm-reduction practices to provide police-free crisis care to children in the least restrictive environments possible. The report supports Children’s Rights’ provision of guidance to lawmakers who are working to effectively and equitably implement 988 legislation within their state.
UNDERSTANDING RACIAL EQUITY WITHIN SOCIAL IMPACT INVESTING
The Racial Equity Investing Collaborative (Collaborative) is a group of six organizations—Toniic, Confluence Philanthropy, The ImPact, Intentional Endowments Network, Impact Capital Managers, and American Sustainable Business Network—that aim to understand and support clients seeking to increase the positive racial equity impact of their social impact investments. The Collaborative enlisted a Capstone team to help them understand the field of impact investment using a racial equity lens. The team interviewed representatives from eight of the Collaborative’s clients to better understand their journeys, challenges, and general investment practices. The team aggregated and analyzed the data in order to highlight trends, insights, and recommendations for the Collaborative. The team also conducted a review of available literature on racial equity within impact investment. The team’s final report synthesizes data from its interviews and literature review to identify key findings, and recommends metrics for the Collaborative to measure its growth.
AN ANALYSIS OF THE IMPACT OF A PHYSICAL EDUCATION PROGRAM ON SCHOOL CLIMATE
Physical Education (PE) Works was a New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) initiative active from 2015 to 2019. The program sought to help all K-12 schools in Districts 1-32 meet NYS Physical Education requirements. This included operational and instructional support, as well as updated guidelines for PE best practices and benchmarks. The Capstone Team hypothesized that increasing the quality and quantity of PE instruction in schools has a positive impact on student achievement and school climate. The Team analyzed the impacts of the PE Works Initiative, filling a gap in the research literature by drawing a connection between PE, student behavior, and overall school climate. Due to the staggered, randomized rollout of the initiative, the team first utilized data from NYC Open Data and NYC DOE’s archives to estimate causal impacts, and then analyzed data in a two-way fixed effects regression model to identify the overall treatment effect of the PE Works Initiative. The final report presents findings and conclusions, describing an initial examination of the causal impact of improved PE on student achievement and school climate, and offers suggestions for future research directions.
STRATEGIES FOR ANALYZING COMPLEX SURVEY DATA AND CONDUCTING EFFECTIVE SURVEYS
The Community Service Society of New York (CSS) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1843 to promote economic opportunity and equity through data-driven research, direct services, and people-driven advocacy. CSS engaged a Capstone team to do a trend analysis of its long-running survey called the Unheard Third, which for twenty years has been capturing the experiences and hardships of low-income New Yorkers. The team conducted statistical analyses using STATA and Excel, reviewed academic literature on similar surveys to identify best practices, interviewed stakeholders and partner organizations, and created a data dashboard for internal and external visualization purposes. The team’s final report includes a review of relevant policy and historical events affecting low-income New Yorkers and provides recommendations on survey methodology, expansion opportunities, and ways to reduce bias to improve the survey tool. The team’s input will improve CSS’s ability to use survey data trends to better understand and advocate on behalf of its target population, and create sustainable systems for future analysis.
PRIMARY CARE AND ITS IMPACT ON POPULATION HEALTH
There has been a consistent decline in the number of physicians pursuing the field of primary care. Because a wide variety of research highlights the importance of early intervention for health outcomes, a Capstone team investigated the relationship between primary care physicians (PCPs) and their effect on population health. The team conducted a comprehensive literature review analyzing the root causes of the declining number of PCPs, considering the involvement of social determinants of health, and examining anecdotal case studies. Based on its findings, the team assessed the degree to which over-utilization of specialists and emergency rooms interrelates with poorer patient health outcomes. The team’s recommendations included expanding access to telehealth, incentivizing PCPs to form quality relationships with patients, and implementing measures that allow various health institutions to track population health outcomes.
ANALYZING THE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF AN URBAN REFORESTATION PROJECT
C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group is a global network of 97 mayors representing member cities that are engaged in low-carbon pathway development in order to confront the climate crisis. The member city of Freetown, Sierra Leone, has initiated the #FreetownTheTreeTown campaign to enhance climate resilience by reforesting parts of its territory with one million trees. Freetown City Council sought to understand the project's sustainability and identify areas for improvement. A Capstone team was tasked with conducting a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) to assess the potential financial, social, economic, and environmental impacts of the campaign. The team reviewed urban reforestation case studies, methodologies for quantifying non-monetary benefits, and carbon trading mechanisms. They also conducted workshops with the client to understand project scope and stakeholder engagements and analyzed program data. The team’s final deliverables consisted of a CBA model, a memorandum detailing outcomes and recommendations, and a presentation to C40 Cities and the campaign project team.
IMPROVING MONITORING, EVALUATION, AND LEARNING TOOLS FOR LONG-TERM IMPACT ASSESSMENT
The Uganda Village Project (UVP) is a nonprofit organization that facilitates community health and well-being projects in rural Uganda. Their programming focuses on access to education and preventative services for HIV/AIDS, malaria, reproductive health, water, sanitation, and hygiene. UVP engaged a Capstone team to evaluate its current Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) tools and processes, and provide evidence-based recommendations for improvement. The team conducted a literature review on MEL best practices across various community health development programs. The team used its findings to develop strategies for consolidating existing survey tools, simplifying questionnaire design, and standardizing administrative procedures. The team presented its findings to UVP’s on-site staff and developed a revised survey tool with the aim of collecting analyzable data for long-term outcome and impact measurement.