Latest Publication: 

The Work Progress Program (WPP) was launched in 2012 as a partnership between the NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA) and the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity (NYC Opportunity). These organizations recognized an opportunity to supplement the work of community-based organizations (CBOs) with young people ages 16 to 24 by funding an add-on subsidized job component to their existing youth programming. Our report describes both the broader picture of the benefits and challenges of WPP for participating CBOs, as well as the outcomes for program participants from a sample of sites during 2012-2019. For more insights, read the full report here. 

Community Initiatives

Forward Promise
Funder: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Project Time Period: 2015-2016

Project Category: Health/Formative Evaluation

About Forward Promise: Forward Promise is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative focused on promoting opportunities for the health and success of middle school- and high school-aged boys and young men of color. With this initiative, the Foundation aims to expand the potential for boys and young men of color to grow up healthy, obtain a good education, and find meaningful employment in their communities.

The Work: MAI’s evaluation of the initiative was a retrospective, mixed-method assessment. We assessed and documented the extent to which Forward Promise grants and initiatives have strengthened the work of the three groups of grantees, and identified lessons learned that helped to inform the initiative’s strategies moving forward. The project focused on the accomplishments and challenges of three different sets of Forward Promise grantees. MAI conducted extensive interviews with Forward Promise grantees, technical assistance providers, partner organizations and analyzed programmatic data.

What We Learned: Initiative-wide, Forward Promise grantees experienced many successes. For example, grants allowed the grantees to serve more boys and young men of color, and to hire additional program staff. Also, for some, benefits also included increased visibility, greater credibility among funders and stakeholders, access to policy makers, participation in national and local dialogues, and stronger networks of local youth programs. Forward Promise grantees also experienced technical assistance-relevant successes as well. For instance, grantee convenings and peer-to-peer site visits presented valuable professional development, capacity building and networking opportunities for grantees.