MEASURING AND COMMUNICATING IMPACT IN COMMUNITY WEALTH BUILDING

Client
MAJIRA PROJECT
Faculty
Mo Coffey
Team
Sarah Abebe, Margaret Ackah-Yensu, Jessie Miller, Caleb Palley

The Majira Project seeks to build wealth in communities of color through entrepreneurship, by helping small business founders access capital and build strategic connections to advance their work. The organization pairs small business owners with consultants from Boston Consulting Group to facilitate a cohort-style experience with networking opportunities and personalized coaching. The COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement have increased the demand for Majira’s services. To meet this increased demand, the organization engaged a team to measure the organization’s impact, communicate its value, and develop recommendations for expanding the program to more entrepreneurs and start-ups. The team conducted a comprehensive literature review and developed a competitive landscape analysis, a communications strategy, and an impact reporting framework to help prepare Majira for future growth.

Capstone Year

Improving Access and Communication for Patients With Disabilities

Client
New York City Health and Hospitals – Office of Diversity and Inclusion
Faculty
Regina Gurvich
Team
Isabelle Duvivier, Nia McIntosh, Shelly Mei, Anjana Sreedhar

New York City Health and Hospitals (H+H) is the largest public health delivery system in America, providing services to over one million patients annually. In New York City, nearly 189,000 individuals experience deafness, 200,000 have vision difficulties, and 335,000 have cognitive difficulties. Given the diverse population that H+H serves, its Office of Diversity and Inclusion enlisted the Capstone team to identify and implement best practices to improve the quality and access of care for patients with disabilities. The team interviewed clinicians and advocacy groups, created a comprehensive literature review, worked closely with the Mayor’s Office for Patients with Disabilities to design an advocate listening session, and rolled out surveys to H+H providers and patient advocates. The team incorporated its findings—including patient experience and best practices—into a toolkit encompassing a glossary and proper etiquette guide for H+H providers’ use.

Areas Of Impact
Capstone Year

Jonathan McGrath

Jonathan McGrath
Master of Urban Planning 2013
Communications & Engagement Manager
Safe Water Network

Developing LGBT-Targeted Communication Strategies in African Countries

Client
All Out Action Fund
Faculty
Kathleen Apltauer
Team
Tawanda Mitchell, Ezra Moses, Frank Pettis, Jacob Priley
All Out is a digital advocacy nonprofit that works with in-country LG ВТ groups around the world to support movements toward equality. All Out provides emergency financial, logistical, and organizational support to affected communities by utilizing resources from international donors. As All Out expands their efforts into Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa, they engaged a Capstone team to assess the need for a comprehensive digital communications strategy. The team conducted semi-structured interviews, desk research, and modeling of successful social movements—including those for women’s rights and environmental justice. Concluding that messaging and outreach need to be based on context, technology, and local social norms, the team provided country-specific recommendations that will help All Out develop and strengthen long-term partnerships, organize and connect individuals to opportunities for local action, and create a set of tools that enable the organization to act swiftly in times of elevated need.
Capstone Year

Stephanie Chrispin

Stephanie Chrispin
MPA in Health Policy & Management 2015
Communications & Development Manager
The Advocacy Institute

Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart
MPA in Public & Nonprofit Management & Policy 2015
Operations & Communications Manager
Variety the Children’s Charity of New York

A Communication Strategy to Decrease Fraud, Abuse, and Waste in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Client
New York City Human Resources Administration, Investigation, Revenue & Enforcement Administration
Faculty
Dennis Smith
Team
Marne Braddock, Natalie Kianoff, Takafumi Okamoto

The NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA) is the nation’s largest social service department and provides food stamp benefits to 1.8 million recipients via the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP loses millions of dollars annually to trafficking, fraud, and overpayments. After fraud discovery, the Investigation, Revenue and Enforcement Administration (IREA), a department within HRA, conducts extensive investigations; however, investigations are costly and the amount recovered rarely covers the expense of the investigation. The Capstone team was asked to work with the IREA to improve their external communication strategy to optimize fraud deterrence methods. The team focused on prevention strategies, researching different deterrence methods used in other states and countries, with particular attention on social welfare programs and the private sector. After analyzing IREA's current deterrence systems, the team developed an effective communication strategy based on best practices to decrease fraud, abuse, and waste in SNAP.

Areas Of Impact

Improving Interdisciplinary Communication in Healthcare Organizations

Client
New York­Presbyterian Hospital – Interdisciplinary Communication
Faculty
Anthony Kovner, Willie Manzano, Rosemary Sullivan
Team
Mary Anne Badillo, Elizabeth Farley, Susan Lantz, Diahann Roberts­Smith, Glodean Yorrick

Effective interdisciplinary communication is associated with reduced length of stay, improved patient safety, and increased employee satisfaction. However, communi­cation breakdowns are common in com­plex hospital settings and multiple com­munication structures often exist within the same organization. The Capstone team sought to evaluate current communication systems and make recommendations for improving interdisciplinary communication in hospital settings. After conducting site visits and staff interviews at Columbia and Cornell, the team identified highly functional interdisciplinary teams at both campuses. The team also evaluated best practices in interdisciplinary communication during site visits to other organizations. Based on characteristics of the highly functional teams, detailed interviews, site visits, and research from an extensive literature review on this topic, the Capstone team developed a pilot program for implementing an effective interdisciplinary communication structure on a hospital unit. Significant components of the pilot program include greater accountability, a focus on teamwork, and strong support from leadership.

Capstone Area
Areas Of Impact

Char Woods

Char Woods
Executive Master of Public Administration-Public Service Leaders 2010
Director of Communications
Friends of Patients at the NIH