Many if not most research-practice partnerships depend to at least some degree on funding from philanthropic organizations. In this article, Jacqueline Jones discusses how and why the Foundation for Child Development decided to invest in such a partnership, the New York City Early Childhood Research Network, as the city was building its universal prekindergarten program. She also explains why the foundation chose the type of partnership known as a research alliance—a long-term, mutually beneficial collaboration that promotes the production and use of rigorous research about problems of practice. Funders, Jones writes, are primarily concerned with the impact of the work they support. Yet traditional research activities may take years to be complete, and it may take even longer to determine whether the research had any impact on policy or practice. In a place-based research-practice partnership, collaborative construction of research questions ensures that the work is relevant, and rapid response research models mean that policy makers and practitioners begin to get answers to their questions—and funders begin to see the impact of their investment—much sooner. In this way, Jones writes, research-practice partnerships provide context-relevant data that can lead to quick policy changes, making them rewarding investments for funders. (author abstract)
Philanthropic support for a research-practice partnership
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