Review to Determine Effectiveness of Anti-Violence Money in Philadelphia | Local News

An effort is underway to evaluate anti-violence initiatives in Philadelphia, to ensure funding reaches those most at risk.

Equal Measure’s Leon Andrews said the group partners with nonprofits and government organizations to apply new ways of thinking and learning to advance social change. The effort will review the nearly three dozen groups receiving money from the city to reduce gun violence.

“The purpose of our evaluation is to help the city understand which anti-violence community partnerships, grant-funded programs, and interventions are effectively reaching those at high risk of engaging in gun violence and advancing the city’s efforts. to reduce gun violence,” Andrews said.

He thinks the evaluation will take a multidimensional approach to determining whether the money is being well spent.

“Our collective work in this 14-month partnership will focus on two workstreams: a comprehensive assessment of 31 grantees and an assessment that examines the administrative processes of assessment. We’ll address critical questions, such as: Is the funded program reaching its target audience? What are the results of the funded programs that are aligned with the objectives? Which organizations and programs have the greatest potential to impact gun violence, and how can Black and Brown-led programs be best supported to serve Black and Brown communities most effectively?

Samantha Matlin of the Scattergood Foundation said she had been doing capacity building around evaluation and impact for the past decade.

“We think it’s really critical to meet organizations and communities where they are, to leverage the good work they do to make it stronger,” Matlin said. “So our role in this initiative will be to work directly with organizations to see where they are and help them scale up and grow their impact. We recognize that all nonprofits and our greater region work very hard, and our job is to make sure we understand what we do as an organization, how much we do it, and what difference it makes. And most importantly, what difference does it make to a home? »

Matlin said there was no way to “program our way out of the problem” of gun violence.

“We need to have effective programs, but we also need to have effective policies and practices that go beyond what a nonprofit can do. And that’s why we’re so excited that this partnership includes, of course, the city and includes criminal justice and political work, because we’re all going to have to be a part of that to have an impact. We will therefore work directly with these organisations, doing group learning and training, as well as individual consultation and coaching. »

Andrews said his Philadelphia-based group was happy to take on the assessment challenge.

“We are honored to have this opportunity to work with the city and community to prevent and reduce violence and help dismantle the drivers of violence such as structural racism, disproportionate contact with the justice system, incarceration, unemployment and poverty,” Andrews said. .

“Our evaluation team brings deep and extensive experience in mixed methods, research and public policy change in community gun violence prevention and public safety, all with the goal of making communities more stronger, healthier and fairer,” he added.

The goal of the year-plus effort, Andrews said, is to “develop assessment reports on all of the individual groups that can be shared with them, and then an overall review that can be made public.”

There have already been more than 30 homicides in Philadelphia this year, a 19% increase from 2021, when a record number occurred.

Sara H. Byrd