PROGRAM ANALYSIS: MEASURING ECONOMIC IMPACTS

Client
The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce
Faculty
Caicedo/Blay
Team
Simon C Lim, Michael McKinnon, Madeline Stoddart, Amy Tsai

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce (BCC) fosters economic development in Brooklyn by supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs. BCC enlisted a Capstone team to develop statements to quantify the economic impacts of its loan assistance, job placement, and business development programs and services. The team reviewed different economic impact models, analyzed relevant economic impact multipliers, and conducted interviews with BCC's program delivery specialists and external experts to build a robust, dynamic model to measure the economic impact of BCC's work. The team developed program-specific economic impact statements using their findings and building on BCC's established metrics.

Capstone Year

SITES AND SERVICES, CHARKOP, INDIA

Client
World Bank
Faculty
Iskander, Natasha
Team
Michelle Spiegel, Ademide Adefarasin, Alba Fernanda Villasenor Lopez, Melanie Weniger

The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. In the early 1980s, the Bank established a “sites and services” project in Charkop, Mumbai, India, which aimed to provide incremental, affordable housing solutions to low- and middle-income groups in the region. The project did not achieve the intended outcomes in the timeline initially defined; therefore, the Bank abandoned the approach. The Bank revisited the site 20 years later and observed a flourishing mixed-income and mixed-use neighborhood. As the region considered how to house the next “urban billion”-an urban population of one billion-the Bank enlisted a Capstone team to research the factors that led to the neighborhood's success. The team created a survey protocol and administered it to 60 households in Charkop to understand how physical and administrative design elements contributed to the livability of the neighborhood. The project culminated in a report and an interactive presentation of interview data, which provided insight into the factors that played a role in the development of Charkop.

Capstone Year

IMPROVED UTILIZATION OF THE RAISER'S EDGE TO EXPAND FUNDRAISING CAPACITY

Client
Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion
Faculty
Davenport, Geoff
Team
Hongli Wen, Jee in Chung, Sanya Agrawal, Owen C Godshall, Lisa Marie Raffetto

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) is a nonprofit institution of Jewish higher education. HUC-JIR ordains rabbis and cantors in the Reform tradition, confers master's degrees in Jewish education and Jewish nonprofit management, and offers a Ph.D. in Jewish studies. In response to declining membership revenues, HUC-JIR seeks to expand its fundraising capacity and has invested in The Raiser's Edge, a sophisticated fundraising software to record, track, and monitor its fundraising activities. HUC-JIR enlisted a Capstone team to ensure more effective utilization of The Raiser's Edge software by developing a data-driven performance review system and an implementation strategy. Using information gleaned from interviews with HUC-JIR employees, peer organizations, and a literature review, the team culled industry best practices for leveraging The Raiser's Edge in fundraising operations. The team's final recommendations included a change management plan, key performance indicators, and additional training tools for employees.

Capstone Year

FAIR SHARE PLAN AND FORMULA FOR CONNECTICUT

Client
Open Communities Alliance
Faculty
Hayashi/ Keane/ Sargent
Team
Alisha Beth Beatty, Amy Katherine DeHuff, Aden Munassar, Ashley Lynn Smith

The Open Communities Alliance (OCA) is a civil rights nonprofit organization in Connecticut that promotes access to opportunity for all people through education, advocacy, research, and partnerships. OCA's opportunity mapping work has shown that low-opportunity areas in Connecticut contain a disproportionate amount of affordable housing. To promote housing choice and the deconcentration of poverty in Connecticut, the Capstone team conducted best practices research on fair share planning, analyzed existing conditions and planning efforts in Connecticut, and developed a Fair Share Housing Plan to propose statewide adoption. The final report utilizes a series of criteria to allocate a portion of the statewide demand for affordable housing to select municipalities that will then be encouraged to meet production targets through a series of policy incentives.

Capstone Year

LINKED LEARNING ACCOUNTABILITY PROJECT IN OAKLAND SCHOOLS

Client
Urban Strategies Council
Faculty
Davenport, Geoff
Team
Prem Calvin Prashad, Jennifer Rignack, Shiqing Cui, Yaqi Huang, Sijia Cheng

The Urban Strategies Council (USC) is an anti-poverty organization based in Oakland, California that works to transform low-income neighborhoods into vibrant, healthy communities. In response to disparate educational outcomes among students, California developed the Linked Learning program for high schools-a college and career readiness framework for schools. USC is collaborating with Oakland Unified School District to examine how Linked Learning affects student achievement and influences equitable educational outcomes. USC enlisted a Capstone team to create a database of district and school budget allocations, establish a framework for public accountability, and analyze Measure N spending patterns-a tax in the Oakland districts in which proceeds are directed to improving the quality of education. The Capstone team's findings indicated that nearly 50 percent of Measure N funds do not correlate with student performance. The team's research culminated in a set of recommendations that included improving the budget process to enhance performance tracking and adopting the Linked Learning program to address gaps in Measure N's effectiveness.

Capstone Year

ASSESSING ENGAGEMENT IN MIDDLE-INCOME COUNTRIES

Client
United Nations Population Fund
Faculty
Apltauer, Kathleen
Team
Rediet Teshome Demissie, Rachel E Gellert, Ani Minasyan, Hanmo Yang

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) aims to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person's potential is fulfilled. To accomplish this, UNFPA works to ensure that all individuals, especially women and young people, can access high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare services so that they can make informed and voluntary choices about their lives. UNFPA enlisted a Capstone team to explore how the UNFPA can enhance its engagement in middle-income countries (MICs) by establishing a new vision and path to Sustainable Development Goal targets. The team conducted desktop research, analyzed program data, interviewed UNFPA officials, and reviewed development strategies to provide recommendations for upstream policy and advocacy engagement in MICs. Rather than taking a universal approach, the team recommended that the UNFPA engage with each MIC differently, specifically by considering the political and cultural environment, to bring about targeted and effective changes. The project contributed to UNFPA's new strategic plan for 2018 - 2021.

Capstone Year

IMPROVING EFFICIENCY AND THE CLIENT EXPERIENCE AT INTAKE

Client
Legal Services NYC
Faculty
Hamilton, Erica
Team
Susie Botfeld, Christina Collette, Natalie Serok, Katherine Van Poznak

Legal Services NYC (LSNYC) is the largest civil legal services provider in the country and helps more than 80,000 low-income New Yorkers annually. LSNYC's potential clients connect to legal counsel by calling the organization's hotline (Access Line), which a team of paralegals manages. LSNYC enlisted a Capstone team to develop a series of recommendations that would improve the experience of callers to the Access Line. The Capstone team analyzed Access Line and call log data, interviewed LSNYC's team of intake paralegals, and researched best practices in caller engagement protocols utilized by similar legal services organizations and other trauma-focused hotlines. The team's research will help LSNYC define clear caller engagement protocols for paralegals and improve its efficiency in answering and fielding calls from potential clients.

Capstone Year

A STUDY ON THE RECENT RISE IN ROAD FATALITIES

Client
United States Department of Transportation
Faculty
Hayashi/ Keane/ Sargent
Team
Fatima Ahmed, Katherine Downes-Angus, Robert Andrew Jospeh, Hallah Saleh, Stephen Solecki

The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) serves the nation by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible, and convenient transportation system that meets vital national interests. Between 2014 and 2015, traffic-related fatalities rose across the US by seven percent. The USDOT engaged the Capstone team with investigating potential causes of this spike in fatalities. Through an extensive literature review, expert interviews, data analysis, and use of the geographic information system mapping, the team identified the relationship between fatal crashes and several key variables. Using the Fatality Analysis Reporting System data in conjunction with analysis of select data variables, the team assessed which variables were likely to be directly associated with the recent increase. The team concluded that many variables, ranging from climate change to economic growth, influence the occurrence of traffic-related accidents resulting in deaths. The team's research and analysis culminated in a set of recommendations for the USDOT aimed at improving roadway safety throughout the United States.

Capstone Year

INCREASING DONOR ENGAGEMENT

Client
Asian Women Giving Circle
Faculty
Shaffer, Matthew
Team
Lauren Bernstein, Malika Henriques, Paige Landon Host, Ziyi Liu

Asian Women Giving Circle (AWGC) is a unique community-based grassroots collective of philanthropists who raise and distribute individual grants to New York City-based Asian American women artists who use their creativity to advance social justice. The number of grantee applications grows each year, yet AWGC's annual fundraising has plateaued. AWGC enlisted a Capstone team to provide recommendations on how to increase its pool of funding for grantees. The team conducted interviews and surveys to collect qualitative and quantitative data about AWGC's participants. The team analyzed the findings and provided a report with recommendations on how AWGC can increase its fundraising while maintaining the culture of the giving circle. The report included recommended donor engagement strategies, a list of fundraising ideas, research on potential high-net-worth donors in New York City, testimonials from AWGC participants, and the survey and interview tools.

Capstone Year

CREATING A SUSTAINABLE INVENTORY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

Client
Alliance for Positive Change
Faculty
Gurvich/ Affoumado
Team
Sarah Ann Sebton , Rebecca Leah Fleischman , Tammy Marie Seney , Jayson Valcik

The Alliance for Positive Change (Alliance) helps New Yorkers make promising transitions toward improved health, housing, recovery, and self-sufficiency. Alliance offers a diverse range of individualized professional services. The organization enlisted a Capstone team to help identify inefficiencies with supply ordering, inventory management (specifically the MetroCard process), and systematizing operations at the Comprehensive AIDS Services Alliance Washington Heights site. The MetroCard process provides clients with a round-trip pass for attending appointments, meeting directly observed therapy requirements, and accessing other services. However, tracking and distribution were not centralized, resulting in clients receiving multiple cards and the travel assistance program being consistently over budget. Utilizing information from interviews with key staff members, the Capstone team designed and implemented an efficient tracking system, leveraging technology to transform the process from paper to digital. The final report contains recommendations to effectively implement this new workflow across all agency sites in the future.

Capstone Year

ADAPTING TO CLIMATE CHANGE

Client
World Bank - Independent Evaluation Group
Faculty
Smoke, Paul
Team
Karine Charlemagne, Andrew Spencer, Yana Tukvachinskaya, Bitsat Yohannes-Kassahun

The Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank evaluates the development effectiveness of the Bank. Climate change and disaster risk pose significant threats to development across the globe. The Capstone team created a learning product on climate risk screening for the IEG to complement the World Bank's development of reference guidelines for climate risk management. The team's work supported the IEG's activities by seeking to evaluate the climate and disaster risk screening process. The team reviewed the projects under the International Development Association portfolio and surveyed Task Team Leaders and other project managers. The team's research culminated in the development of case studies and the identification of risk assessment priorities for projects approved under the risk screening mandate in high-risk sectors.

Areas Of Impact
Capstone Year

MANAGEMENT ANALYSIS: DEVELOPING AN EFFECTIVE OPERATIONS SYSTEM

Client
New York City Housing Authority
Faculty
Pool, Ivy
Team
Carine Brann, Doris Yau , Eliezah Hoffman, Stephanie Lo

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is a city agency that works to provide affordable housing throughout New York City's five boroughs to low and moderate-income residents. To fulfill its mission to serve over 400,000 tenants, NYCHA developed NextGeneration NYCHA-a 10-year strategic plan to increase operating capacity and connect residents with social services. With over 300 housing developments and 50,000 court cases per year, both the law department and property management team face staffing constraints, which have impacted the rent collection process and tracking of rent delinquency legal cases. NYCHA enlisted a Capstone team to provide recommendations to close the administrative gaps within the legal process. The team conducted stakeholder interviews, on-site visits, and an in-depth analysis of current practices within the law department. The team's research culminated in a report that provided recommendations on operational property management practices to streamline rent collection processes and tracking of legal cases for rent delinquency.

Capstone Year