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Children and families have disparate access to opportunities for learning, health, and development and face powerful challenges in the systems and settings they traverse. Understanding how these challenges exacerbate inequality, and how supportive policies and programs expand opportunities, will advance equitable outcomes for more children.

Research-practice-policy partnerships are central to understanding and reducing inequality. The Institute works in partnership to (a) build knowledge of effective policies and practices and their implementation across sectors, and (b) create capacity to eliminate disparities and foster learning, health, and development.

Partnership News

A graphic with a yellow human silhouette and text that reads "Latest Journal: Research-Practice Partnerships to Strengthen Early Education"

Partnerships Between Researchers, Policymakers and Practitioners Improve Early Childhood Education

Research-practice partnerships (RPPs), long-term collaborations between researchers, policy makers and practitioners, represent an especially promising strategy for making sure that all children benefit from early childhood education, according to a journal released by Princeton University and the Brookings Institution. 

The journal, Future of Children, edited by Daphna Bassok of the University of Virginia and Pamela Morris of New York University’s Steinhardt School, argues that RPPs are crucial for solving today’s most pressing question in early childhood education—how to deliver high-quality prekindergarten programs at scale.

What Do We Do in Partnership?

Research and Consultation

Institute researchers work with policy and practice leaders to conduct original research on questions relevant to practice, policy and science. Research projects are developed and executed by the partnered team and supported by internal or external funding. The Institute also facilitates links between researchers and agencies for short-term, targeted guidance.

Internships and Training

Our IES-PIRT program, and related programs, provide opportunities for students to assist partner organizations with “client-driven” research aimed at specific, actionable policy or practice questions. Students design surveys, conduct analysis, translate research findings, and support the work of state agencies, non-profit organizations, and more.

Communication and Outreach

The Institute generates and shares collaborative reports, white papers, policy memos, and blog posts that speak to all sides of the research-practice-policy divide. IHDSC’s blog, On the Ground, highlights how partnerships can address the many pressing social issues we face, both domestically and globally. We welcome partner-initiated communication co-created with research teams.

Networking and Events

Members of partner organizations are invited to Institute events, e.g., talks, workshops, debates, or film screenings. Events aim to encourage knowledge dissemination and network building as well as future research and action. Partner organizations are eligible to reserve university space for community meetings, staff retreats, or other events relevant to research-practice partnership.

What Principles Guide Our Work?

We are committed to partnered work that is mutually beneficial, equitable, and sustainable. We approach each collaboration with our principles of trust and commitment, responsive communication, production of actionable, shared knowledge, and engagement with diverse stakeholders.

A photo of the panel from the "Working Across Sectors" event

We are Faculty, Students, and Staff with Content Expertise in:

  • Education
  • Child development
  • Mental and behavioral health
  • Inequality / equity
  • Juvenile justice
Jim Kemple, Elise Cappella and Jennifer Hillman talking

… and Methodological Skills in:

  • Measurement
  • Implementation science
  • Qualitative & mixed methods
  • Descriptive analysis
  • Causal methods

Selected Current Partnerships

Blueprints for Progressive Change in Juvenile Justice

Blueprints for Progressive Change in Juvenile Justice involves faculty working across disciplinary boundaries, and in partnership with public agencies and nonprofit organizations, to understand and address race and gender disparities in youth encounters with the legal system and its pipelines.

Global TIES for Children

Global TIES for Children, an international research center at IHDSC, collaborates with Sesame Workshop, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), and partner agencies around the world to generate actionable evidence, communicate and disseminate this evidence, and build capacity of researchers, practitioners, and policy makers working to improve children’s development globally.

Good Shepherd Services

Given the need for safe, supportive, and engaging after-school care for school-age children, particularly in low-resource communities, IHDSC and Good Shepherd Services launched a research-practice partnership in 2014 called ACROSS to understand and strengthen NYC’s after-school programming and inform the science and practice of out-of-school time.

Division of Early Childhood Education

Since 2014, IHDSC and the NYC Department of Education (DOE)’s Division of Early Childhood Education (DECE) have partnered to “put science to work” on behalf of the learning and development of young children in NYC’s universal pre-kindergarten program, Pre-K for All, and to build early childhood research and policy nationwide.

Other Partnerships

Our partners include government agencies, NGOs, nonprofits, and other organizations who partner with IHDSC and our faculty affiliates on research and consultation, internships and training, communications and outreach and networking events. Some examples of current partners are listed below.

Blogs with our Partners

Research Partnerships: Mentte Cedat and Dr. Anil Chacko

Mentte Cedat, a Mexico-based organization that works with adolescents and policy makers to prevent violence, partners with IHDSC affiliate and NYU Steinhardt Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology Dr. Anil Chacko. IHDSC sat down with them to discuss the work of Mentte Cedat and the benefits of their partnership.

Q&A: Young Women's Freedom Center and Dr. Shabnam Javdani

On the Ground interviewed Young Women's Freedom Center executive Director Jessica Nowlan and NYU Steinhardt professor Dr. Shabnam Javdani about the role of their research and partnership in working with girls, young women, and TGNC young people towards decriminalization, decarceration, abolition, and reimagining the juvenile justice system response.

Research Partnerships: IHDSC and Educational Alliance

IHDSC interviewed Drs. Erin Godfrey (director of IHDSC and associate professor of Applied Psychology at NYU Steinhardt) and Andrew Cavanagh (director of Research and Evaluation at Educational Alliance) to discuss the process of developing their research partnership.

Studying STEM in Sunset Park

IHDSC spoke with Dr. Natalie Brito and Sunset Spark — a Brooklyn-based non-profit— about their partnership, the importance of diverse and representative samples, and the benefit of conducting research in community-based settings.

Partnering to Improve Afterschool

What role can afterschool programs play in addressing inequality and promoting opportunities? The Advancing Collaborative Research in Out-of-School Settings (ACROSS) partnership represents a unique partnership between researchers from The Institute of Human Development and Social Change and Good Shepherd Services. Read a Q&A with Dr. Miranda Yates, Dr. Elise Cappella, and Sophia Hwang.