Vision and Mission
Leaders in Equitable Evaluation and Diversity (LEEAD) is based on the Casey Foundation's belief that increasing diversity in the field of research and evaluation improves the knowledge base and makes for better science and social innovation. The effort seeks to increase the field's diversity by developing pipelines of leaders from communities that are underrepresented and who are committed to culturally responsive and equitable evaluation. LEEAD supports talented researchers in their pursuits of careers in evaluation that will influence the life outcomes of children, families and communities. LEEAD is a program of the Foundation's Expanding the Bench® initiative, which focuses on race and ethnicity equity and inclusion.
- Equity: We seek to create a fair and just society through scholars who will conduct culturally responsive evaluations that raise the voices of underserved communities.
- Diversity: We value diverse perspectives, experiences and backgrounds to strengthen the knowledge base.
- Leadership: We strive to develop leaders who will advance inclusion and influence others to join in equitable research and evaluation.
- Excellence: We believe that increased diversity and equitable evaluation will raise the standard of excellence in practice and policy that will benefit all children and families.
About the Program
LEEAD consists of three essential components: 1) A semester of online evaluation coursework; 2) Ongoing mentorship from established experts in evaluation; and 3) A remote evaluation residency placement at a research organization, think tank, foundation or private firm. Additionally, scholars will participate in two in-person gatherings of the LEEAD Network.
- Coursework: LEEAD uses an intensive, fast-track curriculum that combines online evaluation course modules and professional development course electives. Informed by an assessment of the scholars’ competencies and professional interests, scholars will enroll in select credit-bearing course modules administered by the University of Wisconsin-Stout Evaluation Certificate online program. The scholars will engage in self-directed, self-paced study. A minimum of 10 hours a week is estimated to complete the 24-topic module over the fall semester. In addition to the online modules, scholars will participate in a series of professional development sessions and electives on specialized evaluation skills. Professional development sessions will include topics related to network building, securing and negotiating contracts, and managing challenges around race and ethnicity equity and inclusion in the workplace. Specialized electives topics offered last year included NVivo and Implementation Science. Topics are informed by the needs of the cohorts and our partnered host sites.
- Mentorship: Mentoring is an essential component and will occur throughout and beyond the program cycle. Mentoring efforts will focus on supporting scholars in attaining an evaluation subcontract for their remote residency placement. Mentors will work with scholars to hone their proposals in response to open projects from partnering sites such as evaluation firms, nonprofits and other organizations requiring evaluation services. Once an evaluation project is obtained, mentors will then focus their efforts on coaching the scholar through a successful remote residency experience.
- Remote Residency: The residency is a culminating project where scholars will apply their developed evaluation competencies at a partner host site and add specialized experience in evaluation to their curriculum vitae. Scholars will be expected to execute discrete evaluation projects of about 40 to 60 hours of work accomplished remotely over the duration of a six- to nine-month contract period. Scholars will be considered subcontractors and will be paid as consultants at a competitive hourly rate. The host site and scholar can agree to extend the contract for a longer term. Since the residency will involve discrete projects, they can be completed by the scholar remotely and do not require relocation. Scholars will be expected to include a culturally responsive evaluative lens to their work. Practicum host sites include large, reputable evaluation organizations such as Child Trends, American Institutes for Research, the University of Memphis, Harder & Company, Mathematica Policy Research, ORS Impact, RAND Corporation and Urban Institute.
For more information, please see our frequently asked questions document or contact Natalie Alizaga.