Inspired by the Harlem Children’s Zone, the U.S. Department of Education’s federal Promise Neighborhoods program is a bold initiative to break the cycle of generational poverty by wrapping children in a seamless pipeline of health, social, and educational supports from birth through college and career.
Results matter. A central focus of Promise Neighborhoods — and championed by the Institute, partners, and stakeholders — has been on achieving a core set of results to improve the lives of poor children and families. Success for individual sites, as well as for the overall initiative, requires that these results drive planning and design, start‐up activities, program implementation, and evaluation.
Multiple stakeholders can focus on common goals and aspirations that bridge diverse constituencies and points of view; collaborate across professional and political boundaries; mobilize joint action, and sustain their efforts over time.
Data and information (1) let local stakeholders know how and whether the initiatives are making a difference for children, families, and communities; and (2) make policymakers — and public and private funders — more willing to invest.
A comparison of progress among interventions over time, and among sites, make it possible to select the programs and strategies that are most likely to produce positive outcomes in a specific context. Local initiatives can identify and characterize the populations that need to be reached and served in order to achieve community‐wide and population‐level changes for children.