About PNI

The Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink (PNI) combines the leadership of PolicyLink, the Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ), and the Center for the Study of Social Policy in order to provide resources and guidance to build and sustain burgeoning Promise Neighborhoods.

In November 2009, PNI, with contributions by Child Trends, created a framing document, Focusing on Results in Promise Neighborhoods: Recommendations for the Federal Initiative as a discussion paper with a singular message: that the central focus of Promise Neighborhoods should be on achieving a core set of results for poor children and families; and that success for individual sites, as well as for the overall initiative, will require that these results drive planning and design, start‐up activities, program implementation, and evaluation. This document helped to spark discussion of the importance of a strong results focus on Promise Neighborhoods and proved to be helpful to the development of the federal initiative.

Since 2009, PNI has partnered with more than 80 communities across the country to grow the Promise Neighborhoods movement, stretch the use of data for strategy and narrative change, help connect public and private investors to local partners, and advance critical policy change at the federal level. This has included advocating for the full inclusion of the Promise Neighborhoods program in the reauthorization of the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015. PNI provides resources to all communities interested in partnering, whether or not they have been awarded a federal grant, including technical support for planning, identifying quality approaches, building partnerships, assessing needs, and many more essentials for successfully building a cradle-to-career pipeline.

Activities include:

  • advocating on behalf of children and families for increased support from federal legislators;
  • developing, supporting, and advancing equitable policy strategies; 
  • managing a hub of high-quality technical assistance providers to help communities become Promise Neighborhoods; and
  • communicating the Promise Neighborhoods vision, mission, and strategies to a wide array of participants, nationally and internationally.