To establish the University Park Alliance to revitalize and transform the diverse University Park neighborhood of Akron, a 50-block area surrounding the University of Akron, by engaging the community and leveraging real estate and business investment.
ASSESSMENT PURPOSE & APPROACH
• What strategies for revitalization had the most impact?
• How can Knight leverage findings to promote revitalizations efforts in other communities?
Approach: After a period of regrouping and reorganizing, the UPA initiative has been favorably restructured into a newly established formal partnership outside of the University of Akron. A prospective research and learning plan is being put in place in partnership with the UPA team. The initial phase of work involves developing a shared theory of change, identifying and assessing local existing data sources, and developing primary data collection strategies for the UPA to be able to track the outcomes of its work on an ongoing basis. Methods for this initial phase of the evaluation include interviews with key stakeholders and local partners, and document reviews.
The multi-year project launched in December 2010. The initial phase of the research and learning plan will be completed in June 2011.
To help sustain healthy communities in a democracy, we aim to increase the ability of individuals to engage in change. Trabian Shorters on our strategy
As part of our grant making process, program teams work with grantees to establish indicators that will be tracked to provide feedback on project implementation and outcomes. In certain cases, we also partner with grantees to conduct in-depth third-party evaluations to understand the effectiveness and impact of specific projects.