The Foundation’s Research, Evaluation and Learning unit (REAL) develops and manages a wide range of activities related to research, evaluation, performance management, development and use of data systems, knowledge management and organizational learning. Reporting to the Director of Research and Evaluation, the Senior Associate will play a lead role in the Foundation’s research and evaluation activities related to human services system reform, including Juvenile Justice, Child Welfare, and other public service systems. The SRA will also collaborate with other REAL Team members leading other areas of REAL’s work, drawing on his/her methodological expertise to support and advance our work around performance management, data development, and organizational learning.
Fulfill Research and Evaluation functions, including:
- Working with program staff on evaluation prerequisites including logic model, theory of change, and evaluation plan development.
- Planning, initiating and managing evaluability assessments of Foundation investments in programs, system reform, influence and capacity building initiatives.
- Initiating and managing third-party comprehensive evaluations (including process, cost and outcome studies) of complex, multi-site policy reform and program initiatives.
- Building the capacity of Foundation grantees, partners and staff to constructively participate in the evaluation process and utilize evaluation products and services.
- Identifying key findings and lessons from Casey initiative evaluations, and promoting their dissemination and utilization within the Foundation and the broader field.
- Collaborating with other Senior Research Associates in order to maximize opportunities for cross-Unit and cross-project learning.
- Supporting the Vice President and Director and collaborating with other REAL Senior Research Associates to refine, develop, and improve REAL’s overall approach to evaluating the Foundation’s work, and strengthen our practice as evaluation managers.
- Working with leading researchers and Casey colleagues to identify and assess opportunities to initiate and invest in research that contributes to the Foundation’s mission.
- Initiating and managing relevant research grants, and promoting the dissemination of findings to the broader field as well as utilization of findings in the Foundation.
The duties listed above are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
REAL seeks candidates who have a minimum of ten years of increasingly responsible experience in research and evaluation, with particular interest in foundation, public sector, or non-profit settings, and demonstrated interest and expertise in the evaluation of human service systems reform and related activities. An advanced degree in a field relevant to the Foundation’s work is expected. In addition, the ideal candidate should combine:
- Ph.D. preferred or equivalent experience in any of the following areas: Public Policy, Public Administration, Public Health, Psychology, Organizational Behavior, Sociology, Criminology, Economics, Social Work, or related fields.
- Experience in managing complex, multi-year projects involving multiple contractors, partners and community stakeholders
- Experience working with public systems and non-profit agencies that serve system-involved children, youth and families.
- 10-15 years direct experience in evaluation design and implementation.
Essential Orientation, Skills, and Knowledge
- A strong social justice orientation
- A commitment to policy and practice reforms that address racial disparities in human service system operations and outcomes.
Technical skills and knowledge:
- Exceptional oral and written communication skills, with particular expertise in communicating research findings, data, and issues to non-research audiences.
- Strong quantitative and/or qualitative research skills and experience with mixed methods.
- Computer skills that encompass databases designed for routine grants management, reporting and correspondence and statistical analysis.
- Substantive knowledge and expertise in relevant areas such as juvenile justice, human service systems practice and policy.
- Familiarity with relevant national databases, on-going studies and technical trends.
- Connection to robust and diverse networks of researchers and evaluators in the field of study.
- Ability to appropriately prioritize among multiple competing demands in a manner consistent with the REAL mission of promoting data-driven, research-based decision making in the Foundation and the field.
- Sound and seasoned judgment, including a demonstrated capacity to both support and lead effectively when working with Foundation leaders, senior researchers, policy makers, consumers and advocates.
- Organizational, analytical and planning skills that can sustain the multi-faceted work of complicated initiatives, as well as the specific activities of individual grantees and sites.
- Willingness and aptitude to work effectively in an environment of collective decision-making and cross-disciplinary cooperation, while taking leadership on Research and Evaluation decisions.
- Ability to act as translator and liaison between research grantees/contractors, and colleagues in the Foundation’s program units.
- Independence and initiative to anticipate and act upon the needs of grantees and the goals of the Foundation, in ongoing consultation with the Director.
Work Environment and Tools and Equipment Used
- Microsoft Office Suite, smart phones, copy machine, fax machine.
- The work is performed primarily in an office setting with approximately 20% travel required.
- This is an exempt position, meaning pay is on a salaried rather than hourly or daily basis. Starting salary is commensurate with experience and earnings history. A strong benefits package will be provided as well.