The New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC), an independent commission affiliated with the City of New Orleans that provides educational, recreational, and cultural programs, operates over 40 summer camps for children and youth in collaboration with a citywide network of program providers and partners. While the camps are diverse programmatically, they all seek to provide balanced summer programs for New Orleans youth that integrate academic support, enrichment activities, and exercise. In 2013, NORDC retained Alan Brickman to conduct an evaluation of the camps that would provide data to support continuous improvement in the quality of its summer programming for children and youth in New Orleans. NORDC had conceptualized the evaluation as centering on case studies of a representative subgroup of the camps.
Mr. Brickman facilitated the process of selecting the specific summer camps that would be the subject of the evaluation so that they reflected the diversity of all the camps in terms of geography, program focus, type of provider, and enrollment. He then collected data via on-site observations, and interviews and focus groups of camp leadership and staff, parents, and youth. Mr. Brickman's report included detailed and actionable recommendations addressing issues such as basic management and organization, the mix and quality of programming, staffing and staff professional development, and the collaborative relationship between NORDC and its summer camp vendors.
Working on a very tight timeline, Alan gathered a significant amount of data on our summer camps, and delivered a report that was a tremendous asset to us as we continued to look for ways to improve the quality of the summer experience for kids.
Youth Programs Manager, New Orleans Recreation Development Commission
Many high school students find themselves "at-risk" of becoming disconnected from school, often because they simply do not have sufficient academic credits that would enable them to graduate before they age out of the system. Cohen College Prep High School sought to develop a collaborative dropout prevention program with the community-based nonprofit Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), based on YEP's proven models of service to older and out-of-school youth. They engaged Alan Brickman to facilitate a planning process and create a report detailing the collaborative program design that would serve as the basis for seeking funding for a three-year pilot project.
Mr. Brickman facilitated the planning process involving staff from both New Orleans College Prep (the nonprofit charter management organization that oversees Cohen College Prep High School) and the Youth Empowerment Project. The result was a report that included a mission and vision for the pilot project, a detailed program design and staffing plan, an evaluation plan and related logic model, three-year goals and objectives with a related implementation plan, and a three-year budget for the project.
Alan was a great resource for us. He designed and facilitated a series of efficient and productive meetings, and wrote a comprehensive report that enabled us to successfully fund this important project.
Founder and CEO, New Orleans College Prep and Youth Empowerment Project
The nonprofit Providence After School Alliance (PASA) developed and piloted a model for coordinated neighborhood-based systems of after-school programs called AfterZones. After an in-depth planning process, PASA conducted a phased implementation of five AfterZones, and engaged Alan Brickman as an external evaluator to assess implementation in a manner that would support the development of a business plan for the improvement and sustainability of the AfterZone Initiative.
Alan Brickman conducted the evaluation of the first phase of AfterZone implementation on the basis of interviews, surveys, and focus groups of the five AfterZone coordinators, as well as neighborhood, city-wide, and state-level partners. The report detailed accomplishments and challenges, and provided actionable recommendations in the areas of the basic system model, programming and operation, partners and collaboration, and funding and sustainability.
Alan's facilitation and inquiry skills helped us truly gauge and tap the interests of our community partners ... over 100 of whom have maintained trusting and active relationships to this day. He is extremely talented and great at motivating people and challenging them to really think deeply about the key issues.
Executive Director, Providence After School Alliance
The New Orleans Kids Partnership (NOKP) is a nonprofit collaborative of over 40 organizations serving children and youth in New Orleans that manages a wide array of collaborative projects addressing issues in the areas of coordinated youth services, mentoring and tutoring, family engagement, and early childhood services. NOKP sought to build a consistent framework for quantifying the activities and impact of all its projects in a manner that could be posted on the organization's website and updated regularly in order to create accountability and transparency, and to demonstrate and publicize NOKP's collective impact. They retained Alan Brickman to work with NOKP member organizations on this project.
Alan worked with NOKP project leaders and other Partnership members and staff to identify quantifiable measures of activity (i.e., outputs) and impact (i.e., outcomes) for every NOKP project. An "Outputs and Outcomes Dashboard" is now a regular feature of the organization's website and provides a highly detailed picture of NOKP's programmatic activity and impact. NOKP has shown great leadership in this area, and this new level of structured planning and accountability is a tremendous asset that supports effective program planning, evaluation, and continuous improvement, as well as partner and funder recruitment.
Alan's passion and rigorous approach to helping NOKP build the Outputs and Outcomes Dashboard has genuinely transformed the culture of our organization. Our members are now highly focused on strategies for quantifying the impact of our work, and developing program plans based on real data.
Executive Director, New Orleans Kids Partnership
Alliance for Nonprofit Management | Central Massachusetts Regional Library System | Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board | Massachusetts Adult Literacy Technology Team | Massachusetts Audubon Society | Massachusetts Department of Education | Massachusetts Tech Prep Roundtable | New Orleans College Prep and Youth Empowerment Project | New Orleans Kids Partnership | New Orleans Recreation Development Commission | Providence After School Alliance | SkillWorks | The Education Resources Institute | Workforce Solutions Group