CentroNía was a participant of the second cohort of the Measure4Change program, an initiative from the World Bank Group and the Urban Institute designed to improve the performance measurement capacity of non-profit organizations in the Washington, DC, area by providing technical assistance, grant funding, a community of practice, and knowledge briefs. This program helped CentroNía improve its ability to measure its program effectiveness.
From February 2016 – December 2017, CentroNía received $70,000 to implement new software, provide training to all teachers in the Early Childhood Education Program, and fund part of the Outcomes Department. The Outcomes Department has been in charge of the implementation of new software like the Child Outcome Planning and Administration (COPA) performance measurement system, which has improved the organization’s ability to produce real-time demographics, attendance, enrollment, and assessment reports. The grant support also allowed CentroNía to invest in teachers’ professional development through trainings on observational data collection, communicating child’s progress using data, and using this data to individualize instruction. This year, 27 teachers will receive a tablet to easily collect educational assessment data, which will be used in intentional lesson planning to support children’s progress toward school readiness goals.
For many years one of CentroNía’s biggest challenges has been the required change in organizational culture toward data use as a resource. The technical assistance, trainings, and increased availability of data for teachers and other users have shifted the culture toward one of understanding the usefulness and value in data to support children’s growth and development in staff across all levels of the organization. The community of practice provided opportunities to learn from subject-matter-experts about performance measurement and evaluation topics such as quantitative and qualitative data analysis, visualizations, data walks, organizational culture, survey-design, and target setting. The community of practice also provided valuable networking opportunities with organizations facing similar performance measurement related challenges.
“I would like to thank the World Bank Group and the Urban Institute for their invaluable support in improving CentroNía’s performance measurement capacity through better data use for continuous quality improvement.” Says CentroNía Outcomes Manager “This initiative has enabled CentroNía to implement new data collection skills and software that will allow its staff and teachers to identify the needs of its participants and respond to them through intentional lesson plans and activities that will support them in achieving developmental milestones.”