Child Care and Early Education Research Connections

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Building capacity for research and practice: A partnership approach


Building a research-practice partnership that spans two or more organizations can be challenging. University researchers, for instance, may find themselves in schools or departments where the incentives and culture favor more individualistic, single-discipline research projects. Practitioners and policy makers may not see the value of investing in research and evaluation, or they may hesitate to prioritize this work above more pressing operational and strategic aims. In this article, Maia Connors, Debra M. Pacchiano, Amanda G. Stein, and Mallary I. Swartz show how an “embedded partnership” between the program implementation and research teams within a single nonprofit organization (Start Early, formerly the Ounce of Prevention Fund) can help overcome such challenges and build important capacities that research-practice partnerships need in order to be effective: an organizational culture that values research evidence, sound measurement, and continuous learning; interdisciplinary expertise; and sustainable infrastructure, including administrative support, technology, and financial resources. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
United States

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