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Friday, April 10 • 10:30am - 11:55am
FR10.30.02 Methodological challenges and associated key research findings: The payoff of tackling complex and labor-intensive data issues

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The Making Connections initiative, funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF), sought to improve outcomes for disadvantaged children by strengthening their families, improving their neighborhoods, and raising the quality of local services. The Making Connections Survey was designed to provide information about how neighborhood change affects the well-being of children and families. The Making Connections Survey data are of great interest to researchers in the fields of economics, psychology, public health, public policy, social work, and sociology. Survey topics include mobility, social capital and networks, neighborhood processes, resident perceptions and participation, economic hardship, the availability and utilization of services and resources, and child and adolescent well-being. The survey was conducted in Denver, Des Moines, Indianapolis, San Antonio, Seattle (White Center), Hartford, Milwaukee, Oakland, Providence, and Louisville. The baseline survey was fielded in each of the ten Making Connections neighborhoods, and in each county that contained a Making Connections neighborhood. The Wave 2 survey was fielded in the neighborhoods only. Baseline data were gathered between 2002 and 2004. Wave 2 was completed between 2005 and 2007 in the same ten sites. The Wave 3 cycle, scheduled between 2008 and 2011, was conducted in seven of the ten sites. Research using the survey data offers valuable guidance, not only for community development practitioners and neighborhood groups in the field, but also for state and federal officials who develop guidelines about best practices for community policy. This colloquy will present the methodological challenges faced over the ten year period, the decisions made along the way about the data we were collecting and preparing for analysis, and the rich research findings associated with meeting and overcoming the challenges to broaden and improve the scope and usefulness of the data.


Daniel Brisson

University of Denver

Claudia Coulton

Case Western Reserve University

Robert Goerge

Chapin Hall Center for Children

Brett Theodos

Urban Institute

Emily Zimmerman

Virginia Commonwealth University

avatar for Ned English

Ned English

Senior Research Methodologist, NORC at the University of Chicago
Ned English is a Senior Research Methodologist with considerable experience geographic information systems (GIS), spatial analyses, sample design, global positioning systems, and data analysis. Ned is responsible for the Geographic Information GIS capacity at NORC, in addition to... Read More →

Friday April 10, 2015 10:30am - 11:55am EDT
Hibiscus (lobby level)