Evaluation and Research Partners
When you contact ERT about a potential research or evaluation partnership, we will start by listening to your program’s needs and goals to develop the solutions that meet your unique circumstances and needs. We draw upon standardized tools and innovative ideas to customize our approach for every project, taking into consideration your organization's needs, capacity, and resources.
Our partnerships are what make us work – we are a central component of the Pittsburgh child development ecosystem, and have been for decades. Our ability to work across sectors, integrating rigor and reality, while prioritizing community needs, results in mutually beneficial, lasting partnerships.
To learn more about our recent partnerships, please see the Partner Case Studies section below.
For more details on our approach and the methods we use, see our Services page.
Our team has extensive experience working with nationally recognized partners and research universities, as well as community-based organizations of all sizes.
- Early Childhood Centers
- Youth Programs
- Family Support Programs
- Educational Consultants
- Educational and Community Advocacy Programs
- Human Service Agencies
- County, State, and Federal Agencies
Pitt Community Engagement Centers: The University of Pittsburgh’s Community Engagement Center in Homewood, the Heinz Endowments and evaluators at Pitt’s Office of Child Development partnered to conduct a developmental, process evaluation of the beginning years of Pitt’s place-based community engagement center in Homewood. The evaluation was designed to capture the foundational processes through which Pitt built trusting relationships and working partnerships with the community during that time.
The 3Rs Initiative (Reading, Racial Equity and Relationships) is a program that aims to address literacy development throughout a child’s ecosystem. The 3Rs Initiative is a development of the Early School Age Cohort of The Pittsburgh Study,a community-partnered multi-cohort intervention study focused on child and youth thriving in Allegheny County. The 3Rs Initiative aims to help children thrive by raising third grade reading scores. Toward this purpose, the Early School Age Cohort developed the 3Rs Initiative, a community-university partnership that is directed by local history and data, community voices, and previous research.
The 3Rs Initiative is a multifaceted literacy approach that integrates racially-affirming texts and high-quality literacy prompts and instruction across (1) family, (2) community, (3) school leadership, (4) classroom-based contexts (3R Strands). ERT is supporting each strand’s evaluation process, which are focused on the development and feasibility of literacy support strategies in each context. ERT is also supporting the 3Rs Initiative’s alignment with larger Pittsburgh Study research processes, and looking across all 3Rs Strands to examine the impact of the larger 3Rs initiative on literacy, adult, and ecosystem outcomes.
Gwen’s Girls has been serving Black girls in the Pittsburgh region with racially- and gender-responsive services for almost 20 years. OCD and Gwen’s Girls have a long history of partnership dating to 2006. Recently, ERT has worked with Gwen’s Girls on evaluations of multiple aspects of their youth services including afterschool programming and remote tutoring. ERT staff are also active within the Gwen’s Girls-lead Black Girls Equity Alliance advocacy collaborative.
ReadyRosie is an evidence-informed and research-based family engagement and early learning resource. ERT partnered with ReadyRosie to conduct a rigorous multiphase evaluation of the complete ReadyRosie program. In the first phase, we focused on examining the newly added ReadyRosie family workshop series and demonstrating the ways in which ReadyRosie aligns with Head Start’s Parenting Curriculum research-based criteria. This evaluation led to ReadyRosie receiving an official “Research-Based” status in Head Start’s reviews of parenting curriculum.
With the Greater Pittsburgh Community Foodbank, ERT conducted an online survey of local college students’ experiences of food insecurity with more than 6,000 respondents. ERT also participated in highly-developed dissemination activities including conferences, symposia, and press events.
For nearly a decade, ERT has partnered with McAuley Ministries to evaluate the Igniting and Sustaining the Dream: Afterschool Initiative. Using data provided directly from afterschool programs and Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS), ERT tracks attendance, GPA, standardized reading and math scores, and suspension rates along with Pittsburgh Promise Eligibility to compare outcomes for McAuley program participants and their peers.
ERT served as the external evaluator for PA Project LAUNCH, a large-scale, five-year, federally-funded project that aimed to enhance local and state infrastructure to support services for children birth to eight years of age, their families, and pregnant women. During the evaluation process, ERT worked closely with the implementation partners at the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Offices of Child Development and Early Learning, and several other Pittsburgh area agencies serving children and families. Evaluation efforts focused on documenting the process, outcomes, and impact of the wide range of infrastructure efforts involved in PA Project LAUNCH.