Evidence Library

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Sharing what we’re learning about different program models, service-delivery approaches, or best practices is an important way for the public benefit sector to advance its work together.

We’ve populated this searchable library with a collection of documents – from academic and community-based research and program evaluations – that we hope can help organizations working in the sector be more effective in their work.

This collection of evidence is a work in progress. As we come across important pieces of research or knowledge, we’ll take note of them, and update this library periodically. Importantly, if you know of a resource not yet included, or want to share the findings from your program evaluation, please share a link to it or upload it here in our Discussion Forum.

Name of Document Author Date Brief Description
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights 2006

The document is divided into three chapters. Chapter I outlines the basic principles of and rationale for a human rights approach. Chapter II (guidelines 1–7) sets out in more detail how human rights principles should inform the process of formulating, implementing and monitoring a poverty reduction strategy. Chapter III (guideline 8) deals with the human rights approach to determining the content of a poverty reduction strategy, identifying the major elements of a strategy for realizing a number of specific human rights and human rights obligations of particular relevance to poverty reduction.

Michael Frese, Denise M. Rousseau, Johan Wiklund 2015

Evidence-based entrepreneurship (EBE) pursues the science-informed practice of entrepreneurship. A prerequisite is the systematic accumulation and interpretation of the body of evidence from entrepreneurship scholarship (Rauch & Frese, 2006). EBE builds on insights from the related practice of evidence-based management (EBMgt; Rousseau, 2012), itself influenced by evidence-based approaches in medicine, criminology, and other fields.

Stephen Morse, Nora McNamara and Mose 2009

Sustainable Livelihood Analysis (SLA) has since the 1990s become the dominant approach to the implementation of development interventions by a number of major international agencies. It is defined in terms of the ability of a social unit to enhance its assets and capabilities in the face of shocks and stresses over time. SLA first seeks to identify the important assets in livelihood, their trends over time and space as well as the nature and impacts of shocks and stresses (environmental, economic and social) upon these assets. Following this, and after taking cognisance of the wider context (e.g. political, legal, economic, institutions, infrastructure etc.), interventions are designed to address any vulnerability of enhance livelihoods perhaps by diversification of income streams. Thus SLA could be said to be a practical framework for evidence-based intervention and has much logic resting behind it, especially in a world undergoing rapid change and where resources to support development interventions are inevitably limited.

David Jason Fischer 2005

This is a comprehensive 6 month review by the Annie E. Casey Foundation of 3 program models on employment retention and workforce development. All 3 programs have retained over half of low skilled individuals in work for over a year. All case studies share a commitment both to preparing jobseekers for the culture of the workplace, and identifying and addressing those “life issues” that can interfere with sustained employment even if everything on the job is fine.

Gaetz, Stephen 2014

In recent years, policy-makers and service providers have expressed concerns about whether and how Housing First can be applied to the population of young people who experience homelessness. It is important to note that the development of this framework was the result of a collaboration between the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and two bodies that work with young people who are homeless: The Street Youth Planning Collaborative (Hamilton) and the National Learning Community on Youth Homelessness (details about these organizations are in the appendix of this report). The collaborative process of producing this report involved not only drawing on the existing research evidence base, but on the expertise of leading thinkers on youth homelessness in Canada. Several workshops were held in Hamilton organized by the Street Youth Planning Collaborative (which included Executive Directors from a number of agencies, front line service providers and young people with lived experience of homelessness). Several youth participants were interviewed as part of this process.

Gaetz, Stephen 2014

This report presents an alternate way to approaching youth homelessness and the causes are very different from adult homelessness. Gaetz provides a framework for preventing youth homelessness and outlines emergency services and the changes that need to be made in various areas such mental health supports and harm reduction work.

Olivia S. Mitchell 2015

This paper reviews what we have learned about financial literacy and its relationship to financial decision-making around the world. Using three simple questions, we have surveyed people in many countries to determine whether they have the fundamental knowledge of finance needed to function as effective economic decision makers. We show that levels of financial literacy are low not only in the United States, but also in many other countries, including those with well-developed financial markets. Moreover, financial illiteracy is particularly acute for some demographic groups, especially women and the less-educated. These findings are important since financial literacy is linked to borrowing, saving, and spending patterns. We also offer new evidence on financial literacy among high school students, drawing on the newly-released Programme for International Student Assessment implemented in 18 countries.

Boadway, R., Cuff, K. and Koebel, K. 2016

Support for a basic income guarantee in Canada has been building in recent years partly in response to growing income inequality. Yet the form of such a guarantee has not been specified, and the complexity of setting up such a program cannot be underestimated given that federal, provincial, territorial and First Nations governments must be involved. This paper studies the design, financing and implementation of a basic income guarantee program that covers all residents and builds on existing programs. Special emphasis is put on federal-provincial coordination issues. An illustrative simulation of the program using Statistics Canada’s SPSD/M is presented.

Scharf, K., Levkoe, C. and Saul, N. 2010

This report outlines the comprehensive approach of the Community Food Centre (CFC) model. The core principles of the CFC model are meet people’s immediate needs and meet them where they are, good food is an investment in good health, provide a welcoming and respectful environment: reduce the blame and shame, remake ourselves: build knowledge and skills to grow, prepare and advocate for good food, work to remake the system, build infrastructure and a critical mass for food programming, and take advantage of the inspirational power of food to make friends and raise money. The report also examines the impacts of the CFC model and the steps forward to maintain sustainability.

Stern, M.J et al. 2014

Researchers conducted a systematic literature review of peer-reviewed research studies published between 1999 and 2010 that empirically evaluated the outcomes of environmental education (EE) programs for youth (ages 18 and younger) in an attempt to address the following objectives: (1) to seek reported empirical evidence for what works (or does not) in EE programming and (2) to uncover lessons regarding promising approaches for future EE initiatives and their evaluation. While the review generally supports consensus-based best practices, authors also identified additional themes that may drive positive outcomes, including the provision of holistic experiences and the characteristics and delivery styles of environmental educators.

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