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Evaluation Findings

Evaluation, research and an ongoing commitment to learning are important tools that help The Trust to better understand what works, make adjustments and improvements, and strengthen our current and future efforts. Below are our latest and/or most popular evaluation reports. To search for and browse all types of Trust publications (such as issue briefs and white papers), please visit our publications library. For more information regarding these or other findings, please contact Courtney Ricci, vice president of research, evaluation & strategic learning (interim).

Our Approach to Learning

Read more about The Trust’s approach to learning.

Creating Change

Learn more about The Trust’s theory of change.

Health Equity Advocacy, 2014-20
The Colorado Trust’s Health Equity Advocacy (HEA) strategy aimed to establish a field of health equity advocates who could strategically promote policy changes addressing social, economic and environmental determinants of health. Social Policy Research Associates (SPR) served as the learning and evaluation partner for the HEA strategy. SPR interviewed the 34 organizations that participated in the initial planning phase (Phase 1), and also served as the evaluator for Phase 2 and Phase 3, in which a group of 18 organizations (the “HEA Cohort”) began to cultivate the health equity advocacy field in Colorado. A mixed-methods evaluation that included pre-post assessments of organization capacity to carry out health equity advocacy strategies, pre-post network analyses that mapped cohort relationships over time, bi-annual analysis of submitted grants reports, annual interviews of HEA Cohort members, and active documentation of in-person, telephone and online activities among Cohort members provided insights into how the HEA Cohort began to lay the foundation for an emerging health equity advocacy field. 

Strategy Evaluation Reports:

Learning Papers:

Health Equity Learning Series, 2013-15
To better understand the impact of the first three years of the Health Equity Learning Series (HELS) on participants and grantee organizations, and to review lessons learned for future efforts, an evaluation was conducted by Melanie Tran, MHPA of the University of Colorado Denver. Among the 65 grantee organizations between 2013 and 2015, seven organizations were awarded HELS grants all three years, thereby hosting community events for approximately 12 HELS speakers. The evaluation report, based on qualitative interviews with those staff from those seven grantee organizations, explored how these organizations and communities applied lessons from HELS speakers to their daily work, how HELS impacted their efforts and how they were able to implement informed action as a result. An additional report examined perceptions of racism and its role in preventing health equity in Colorado communities, based on interviews with staff at 22 HELS grantees from 2015. Grantees expressed varying perspectives on racism as a factor in health equity, community readiness to address racism issues and strategies to combat racism in their communities.

Project Health Colorado, 2010-13
Spark Policy Institute conducted an independent evaluation of the Project Health Colorado strategy in order to best understand the progress and results. The evaluation assessed what overarching changes occurred as a result of Project Health Colorado grantee efforts and the mobilization campaign; analyzed the progress The Trust and its partners made in building public will to achieve access to health in Colorado; and captured lessons learned. The full evaluation report, which includes an executive summary, was released in April 2015 along with a separate report, From Paper to Practice: Key Lessons for Foundations Deploying Complex Strategies. Additionally, The Trust and Spark Policy Institute published several issues briefs on specific topics pertaining to Project Health Colorado learnings:

Early Childhood Health Integration, 2008-14
The Trust conducted an internal evaluation to examine the effects of the Early Childhood Health Integration initiative, the extent to which the councils integrate health services into their local early childhood systems, and lessons learned about factors contributing to systems change. Spark Policy Institute partnered with The Colorado Trust and 25 Early Childhood Council grantees from 2010-12 to generate emerging information and lessons learned for how to build a more integrated system of care at the local level, linking child health services to other early childhood services. The evaluation of the first phase resulted in a series of briefs intended to leverage knowledge related to the Early Childhood Councils’ efforts. Each brief provided an overview of the respective issue, a description and analysis of findings and a set of recommendations.

Bullying Prevention, 2005-09
The Trust asked CADRE, in collaboration with JVA Consulting, to find out whether beliefs and behavior about bullying changed over time in schools and community-based organizations funded by the Bullying Prevention initiative. Evaluation findings showed that bullying in funded schools and community-based organizations was prevalent during the initiative’s first year—particularly in middle schools—but declined over the three-year period. Click here for the full evaluation report. Also available are an overview of the initiative, and a downloadable brochure for educators, parents and policymakers.

Year one findings showed that the majority of students in fifth through 12th grades experienced bullying, including physical, verbal or Internet/cyberbullying, and students from elementary through high school reported that they had bullied others that year. Yet the findings also show that schools and youth centers can reduce bullying over time. The evaluation included surveys of over 3,000 students and 1,500 adults, case studies of four school programs, focus groups with staff and students, and an analysis of demographic and school achievement data.

Survey instruments:

Learn about the health equity issues affecting Coloradans at Collective Colorado, a publication of The Colorado Trust.