Learning What Works — April 2017 - SRDC

Learning What Works — April 2017

April 12, 2017


News from SRDC

Future to Discover experimental results to be presented at post-secondary access conference

Reuben Ford is presenting the long-term results of Future to Discover at the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario’s annual research conference. Future to Discover is one of the first randomized studies to report long-term results on the effectiveness of an early promise of post-secondary study grants to low-income students. The latest evidence indicates such grants have significant long-term impacts on persistence, completion, and credentials earned in post-secondary education. Future to Discover also offered enhanced career education programming, separately and in tandem with the grant offer. The career programming had significant impacts on high school graduation and post-secondary enrolment rates, but the grant is showing greater potential in helping low-income students achieve post-secondary credentials. The most recent Future to Discover impact report can be found here.

Rethinking Access: When non-traditional is the new normal is the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario’s 7th annual research conference. Presenters will examine the systems, programs, and strategies that lead to greater post-secondary participation, retention, and attainment. The conference will take place April 19-20 in Toronto.

Reuben Ford is the Research Director in SRDC’s Vancouver office.

New BC Centre for Employment Excellence study and mapping tool highlighted at career conference

Governments are increasingly interested in innovative programs and delivery structures. The Youth Employment Social Enterprises (YESE) project combines both of these elements to connect youth to employment opportunities with local employment social enterprises. At this year’s BC Career Development Conference, SRDC’s Shawn de Raaf and Maryam Nabavi provided insights into the role that social enterprises can play in providing meaningful employment opportunities for young Work BC clients struggling to gain a foothold in the labour market. The project is a partnership with the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria.

At the same conference, Greg Lockwood showcased the PD Map for CDPs, a new tool developed to support information sharing of training and professional development opportunities for career practitioners in BC. The tool displays user-supplied training information in an interactive map. The map was developed by the BC Centre for Employment Excellence in partnership with experts from UBC Okanagan and can be accessed here.

The BC Centre for Employment Excellence (www.cfeebc.org), a division of SRDC, serves as a knowledge clearinghouse and research hub for the career development and employment services sector in BC. Shawn de Raaf is the Research Coordinator for the Centre and Greg Lockwood is the Stakeholder Coordinator. Maryam Nabavi is a Research Associate in SRDC’s Vancouver office. The Centre’s March 2017 Newsletter can be found here.

The BC Career Development Conference is the province’s largest annual event devoted to the career development and management field. Organized by the BC Career Development Association (bccda.org/), the Conference has been contributing to the professional development of employment services practitioners for 20 years.

SRDC discusses experimentation and social innovation at Policy Community Conference

The Policy Community Conference brings together practitioners and researchers from federal and provincial governments, research institutes, and innovation hubs to better support governments’ growing demands for evidence-based social and economic policy research. The inaugural conference took place in Ottawa March 28-29, 2017.

Jean-Pierre Voyer, SRDC President and CEO, spoke in a panel that addressed how experimental approaches can contribute to the design, delivery, and rigorous evaluation of public programs and services.

David Gyarmati, Research Director at SRDC’s Ottawa office, participated in a workshop discussion on Experimentation for Evidence-based Policy. David’s remarks focused on SRDC’s contributions to social policy experimentation, key resources for practitioners and current policy community leaders in applying experimental techniques.

Advancing social innovation through cross-sector partnerships

Cross-sector collaborations are becoming increasingly important in social innovations. Susanna Gurr, Managing Director of the BC Centre for Employment Excellence, will highlight a number of the Centre’s collaborations at the annual Canadian Evaluation Society Conference. These partnerships have involved researchers, practitioners, community agencies, business and others, who have traditionally not worked together, to develop and test new employment and career development approaches. The presentation will highlight the role of the evaluator in these projects and evaluation’s contribution to generating reliable evidence for decision making. It will reflect on the role of partnerships in these projects — what worked and what did not.

The Canadian Evaluation Society’s Conference will take place in Vancouver April 30–May 3, 2017. More details are available at the Conference’s web site. More information on the BC Centre for Employment Excellence’s research and innovation projects can be found here.


New projects

Relationship between post-secondary education participation and household income

The current decade has seen little new research into the relationship between household income and post-secondary education participation. This creates knowledge gaps related to recent trends in the income–participation relationship and a need for a baseline from which to evaluate the current transformation of Ontario’s student financing system. This project, funded by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, is using a time series of harmonized long-form Census data from 1996-2016 to examine the relative impact of household income and parents’ human capital on their children’s post-secondary education participation.

Developing an effective public health approach to cannabis

In light of the Government of Canada’s announcement that it would introduce legislation to legalize and regulate cannabis, the Canadian Public Health Association has been funded by Health Canada to engage a range of individuals and organizations from the health, public health, and social service communities to enhance their knowledge of and capacity to address issues related to cannabis and other substance use. The project is grounded in a public health approach to the legalization of cannabis. SRDC is working with the Association to evaluate the project, with a particular focus on outcomes related to knowledge transfer, capacity-building, and stakeholder engagement.

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