A Model of Community Change Through Best Practices

Kaleidoscope Project Initial Evaluation:

The Kaleidoscope Project was a four-year, $2 million project funded by the John Rex Endowment to ensure that every young child in Wake County experiences nurturing relationships and supportive environments that promote their social and emotional well-being. The Kaleidoscope Project is built on two big ideas: 

 

The places where young children (0 – 8) spend time can have a lifelong impact on their social and emotional well-being.  
The relationships children have with each other and adults can build their resilience, give them the tools they need when times are difficult and arm them with confidence as they grow into adulthood.

 

In choosing sites with which to work, the Kaleidoscope Project went beyond spaces designed for children such as daycares and child development centers and partnered with agencies where parents and caregivers have to be with their children. This includes organizations serving families who are homeless and Wake County Human Services. The staff connected with service providers and other professionals whose work intersects with families experiencing trauma as well as  architects, designers, and builders who focus on the design and use of space.

 

The Partners for Impact team adapted the social ecological model1 to build a proposed framework for the evaluation of the Kaleidoscope Project. Four key levels of action were observed in the initial examination of the data: the individual, the organization, the system, and the community. Change strategies evident in the first three of these levels will lead to the community change described in the vision of the Kaleidoscope Project: all children in Wake County experience nurturing relationships. 

 

The evaluation process consisted of several distinct phases. The initial step included reading the original Integrated Plan for the project, reviewing project documents and data from a previous evaluation team, and redesigning the final year of the evaluation for the Kaleidoscope Project. 

 

Second, we hosted two focus groups. The first included stakeholders from across Wake County and the second consisted of staff members of the project sites receiving funding and support from the Kaleidoscope Project. This stage also included interviews with the original steering committee. 

 

In the third phase, participants in the 2018 series of Kaleidoscope Connection Trainings were surveyed and results were reported.  The evaluation team designed a stakeholder survey sent to the entire network of Kaleidoscope Project and reviewed evaluations from 2019 training sponsored by the local Area Health Education Center (AHEC). Results from these two pieces were combined into one report about training not associated with site work. 

 

Finally, the Kaleidoscope Project funded and worked directly with 13 project sites in the four years of the project. Site visits were conducted, including tours and extensive interviews, at the six projects that had been completed. The evaluation coupled the data generated from these site visits with the information obtained from interviews with Kaleidoscope Project staff for an in-depth, though preliminary, report addressing the evaluation questions. 

 

The work culminated in a final report which can be seen here
1McLeroy, K. R., Steckler, A. and Bibeau, D. (Eds.) (1988). The social ecology of health promotion interventions. Health Education Quarterly, 15(4):351-377.

During 2019, Partners for Impact was hired to undertake an evaluation of the project. The evaluation team sought to answer two main questions: Was the Kaleidoscope Project effective in disseminating the best practices in Wake County? What facilitated the adoption of the best practices?

The Partners for Impact team adapted the social ecological model to build a proposed framework for the evaluation of the Kaleidoscope Project. Four key levels of action were observed in the initial examination of the data: the individual, the organization, the system, and the community. Change strategies evident in the first three of these levels will lead to the community change described in the vision of the Kaleidoscope Project: all children in Wake County experience nurturing relationships.

Kaleidoscope Project Final Report

The Kaleidoscope Model of Community Change through Best Practices

Infographic by Partners for Impact Design Consultant Fiona W. Dunn