Center for Community Research and Engagement

Community Research and Program Evaluation

CCRE also has extensive experience in evaluating planning efforts and partnerships. Many of CCRE's evaluation work is with diverse groups and has called for devising new evaluation strategies for collecting data and providing feedback to such groups.

Current Projects:

Sample Past Projects:

Remaking Senior Centers for Diverse Populations and a "New Old Age"
This project will investigate the extent to which Senior Centers are fulfilling their mandate to serve the most disadvantaged older adults and to meet the needs of diverse consituencies. CCRE will identify programs with the greatest potential to provide necessary resources to diverse populations; promote meaningful inter-ethnic and intergenerational exchanges and relationships; and stimulate the meaningful civic engagement that has been identified as an essential ingredient for both optimal aging and societal well-being.

Centralville Friends for Improvement, Revitalization, and Enforcement (C-FIRE)
The goals of C-FIRE are to lower crime and delinquency and improve public safety, economic vitality, and the quality of life for Lowell's Centralville residents by addressing chronic crime hotspots and indicators of neighborhood distress. As the research and evaluation partner, CCRE provides technical assistance on assessing gaps in services; analyzing and using data to clearly define problems, goals, and measurable objectives; and identifying evidence-based and innovative strategies.

Health Needs Assessment
Lowell General Hospital has a statutory obligation to conduct community health needs assessments. CCRE's role is to collect and report data on the unmet healthcare and public health needs within the Greater Lowell Community.

Healthy Teens Healthy Relationships Program Evaluation
The goal of this initiative is to reduce teen pregnancies and STIs among youth in Greater Lowell through implementing an evidence-based curriculum and increasing protective factors. CCRE's role is to provide technical assistance, analysis, and reporting of program outcomes and process evaluation measures.

Job Opportunities for Low-Income Individuals: Lowell Initiative to Further Entrepreneurship (JOLI-LIFE)
The JOLI-LIFE program assists low-income and TANF clients to develop microenterprises. CCRE will provide technical assistance, analysis, and reporting of program outcomes and process evaluation measures.

Shannon Grant Local Action Research Partner
The Shannon Program supports multi-disciplinary approaches to combat gang violence through coordinated programs for prevention and intervention. CCRE is working with the Lowell Shannon Community Safety Initiative providing technical assistance, research, and evaluation, as well as documenting the impact.

Alternative House and Wang Middle School Bullying Prevention Program
CCRE was the evaluator on this one-year Department of Education funded project and helped to develop pre- and post-stduent and school personnel surveys as well as process evaluation tools.

Cambodian Community Health 2010
As evaluators and partners in this project, CCRE has (1) developed innovative data-gathering protocols that are culturally appropriate and sensitive, (2) conducted workshops with the staff about evaluation, (3) documented challenges, barriers overcome, successes, and lessons learned from staff and partners, (4) documented system change and change among change agents, and (5) disseminated research results and programmatic best practices at many national and international conferences.

Family Service, Inc. Lawrence, Mass.
CCRE was the evaluator on the Family Service, Inc. programs, Strengthening Families for Lawrence couples and AMIGOS for middle schoolers. The evaluations provided program coordinators feedback on the effectiveness of the programs' implementation and outcomes.

Health Curriculum Evaluation
For over ten years, CCRE worked with Lowell Public Schools to evaluate the effectiveness of new initiatives based on health and violence prevention curricula in elementary and middle schools with a highly diverse student population. Pre-test and post-test data are analyzed to determine statistical differences and reported back in user friendly reports that program coordinators and teachers can use to increase the effectiveness of the curricula.

Brazilian COBWEB Evaluation
CCRE Staff lead the evaluation on this multiyear NIEHS-funded partnership initiative designed to bring Portuguese-speaking Brazilian leaders, university researchers and health providers together to create successful adult learning programs and community-focused research that meets the environmental health needs of new immigrant groups.

Artbotics Evaluation
Under the program's auspices, Art and Computer Science faculty work with schools and community partners to create programs that will increase connections between schools, universities, and community partners.

Maine Community-University Partnership Evaluation
The efforts of the Partnership focus on finding novel and sustainable ways that programs and research at this research-intensive university can be used to design effective engagement and outreach programs.

Children's Health Evaluation
This project has provided professional development programs in collaboration with state and local health departments to more than 500 pediatric providers and community health outreach workers, 40 nurse faculty members at eight schools of nursing and 620 student nurses at 9 schools of nursing throughout New England.

Research Ethics with Underserved Groups
During the year CCRE hosted workshops and trainings for individuals and groups on research ethics with underserved groups.

CCRE has led many other evaluation projects, including Lowell Community Health Center School Based Health Centers; Stepping Stones program for those living with brain injury; Lowell Police Department Problem Solving and Weed and Seed grants; Elder Service of the Merrimack Valley, U.S. Housing and Urban Development funded Public Housing Partnership National Demonstration Project; and Worcester Fights Back and Lawrence Community Partnership, two Center for Substance Abuse Prevention funded partnerships.