Online Program

Baby Steps: Learning from evaluating the place-based, cross-sector work of the Best Babies Zone Initiative

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 9:10 a.m. - 9:20 a.m.

Kym Dorman, MPH, Director of Evaluation and Research, Raimi+Associates, Berkeley, CA
The Best Babies Zone Initiative is a pilot project funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, aims to improve birth outcomes and reduce infant mortality through a place-based, multi-sector approach. Led by a team at the U.C. Berkeley School of Public Health, the BBZ Initiative works in 3 neighborhoods across the U.S.- Cincinnati, Ohio (Price Hill); Oakland, California (Castlemont); and New Orleans, Louisiana (Hollygrove).   Each site collaborates with resident leaders and organizational partners from the economic development, early care and education, community systems and health sectors to cultivate and build local leadership and social cohesion to improve community conditions and create communities where every child is born healthy and into communities that enable them to thrive and reach their full potential.

Harder & Co. Community Research has served as the outside evaluator for the BBZ Initiative since 2013. Our presentation will highlight the initiative-level findings from the early stages of this developmental evaluation.  We document the importance of the initial planning and relationship building phase, and also share the evaluation results from the community initiative survey, site interviews, and neighborhood and health indicators from secondary sources to track community changes over time, and to add context and allow for comparison in our evaluation summary.  Reflecting on these data, we will discuss how these evaluation findings are helping to inform the next steps and strategy adjustments as the Best Babies Zone Initiative moves into its 4th year and contemplates bringing on new zones.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the methods employed in evaluating the BBZ Initiative, a place-based, multi-sector initiative. Discuss at least 3 key findings of the BBZ evaluation. Explain how these findings are helping to shape the future directions of the BBZ Intiative. Identify the successes and challenges of evaluating a place-based, multi-sector national initiative.

Keyword(s): Evaluation, Infant Mortality

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently the Chief Operating Officer of Raimi+Associates. Before that I was VP at Harder+Company Community Research for 15 years. I have been the lead evaluator on the Best Babies Zone Initiative for the last three years, and have extensive experience in conducting community based evaluation and developmental evaluation of complex place-based, multi-sector projects. At R+A we support equitable, sustainable and healthy communities by providing urban planning, research and evaluation consulting services.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.