Harvard Spotlights WINGS Work

WINGS is featured this month in a publication of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education for using a continuous flow of data to improve the effectiveness of our program. We also received a visit from Priscilla Little of the Harvard Family Research Project as part of an ongoing effort to document successful school partnerships with out-of-school-time programs.

Sharing WINGS’ Best Practices with the Field

Priscilla Little, Associate Director of the Harvard Family Research Project, HFRP, paid a visit to the WINGS program at Chicora School of Communications in North Charleston. She spent time getting feedback from faculty and staff on how the WINGS program has been carefully integrated into the school day at Chicora Elementary, and how that benefits teachers, students and the staff of WINGS.

The Harvard Evaluation Exchange published an article that takes a look at how the performance management data WINGS measures and monitors helped identify necessary adjustments in our program model in preparation for scaling up.

An increasing number of nonprofit organizations collect data to measure the impact of their programs. But far too few use this treasure trove of data to drive performance and make improvements.

At WINGS part of our mission is sharing best practices with the field, and we wanted to spread some of our own findings. Although results-driven since our beginnings, WINGS gained new focus when we implemented this state-of-the-art performance management system known as ETO, Efforts to Outcomes.

After clarifying precisely what factors and efforts were driving our educational outcomes, ETO’s detailed, easy-to-access records allowed managers to monitor whether the program was being implemented with fidelity. Real time feedback provided powerful motivation for our staff in aligning efforts with outcomes. But by far the most significant gain is that this continuous flow of data provides us with valuable lessons in how to improve our program model for maximum effectiveness.

By building into the process ongoing review and assessment of the data, WINGS has become far more responsive and accountable. Monitoring the data at frequent intervals means that WINGS doesn’t wait until the end of the year, or even the end of a school term, to review how staff efforts are progressing.

Read the article.

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