Public/Private Ventures (P/PV)

Legacy Collection

Innovation. Research. Action.

After almost 35 years Public/Private Ventures (P/PV) has ceased operations. The organization leaves behind an incredible legacy of knowledge, including hundreds of research reports, case studies and evaluations about how best to improve programs and outcomes for children, youth and families. We are fortunate that P/PV has decided to archive its publications collection with the Foundation Center's IssueLab so that practitioners can benefit from this knowledge for years to come.

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Mentoring, Policy and Politics

October 30, 2007

In this policy brief, former P/PV President Gary Walker asks, Is mentoring now a durable part of American social policy? If so is this unalloyed good news? Adapted from an article that first appeared in The Handbook of Youth Mentoring (DuBois and Karcher, ed. 2005), the brief reflects on the impact and appeal of mentoring, addresses various critiques of the movement and suggests future directions for mentorings application.

Midcourse Corrections to a Major Initiative: A Report on The James Irvine Foundation's CORAL Initiative

May 1, 2007

This report draws lessons from the reorientation of the Communities Organizing Resources to Advance Learning (CORAL) initiative. CORAL is a $58 million initiative aimed at improving education achievement in low-performing schools in five California cities. The report outlines the inherent challenges to making midcourse corrections to major initiatives. It also reveals lessons that foundations and nonprofits can learn from the CORAL experience, including the importance of midcourse reviews for multiyear initiatives and the value of setting clear and measurable interim outcomes.

The Policy Climate for Early Adolescent Initiatives

January 30, 2001

In an era that is instinctively distrustful of public solutions to problems of individual and family behavior, this essay outlines a broad strategy for early adolescent initiatives that considers, then exploits, the limitations of the current policy climate. The author discusses such strategies as connecting local and state initiatives with federal opportunities; the importance of marketing initiatives clearly and with an emphasis on impact; and the nuances of collaboration. Implementing these strategies are the most effective means to transcend the chilly climate that exists for early adolescent initiatives.

Youth Development: Issues, Challenges and Directions

September 2, 2000

During the past decade there has been considerable concern and discussion about what Americans can do to improve the lives and life prospects of our youth. The changing economy, the stress on family and community life that changing economy brings, concern about the adequacy of public education, the highly publicized incidents of gun violence in schools and the very large cohort of teenagers that this decade brings have only heightened the legitimacy, and the rhetoric, of that concern. In this volume of nine essays, leading researchers and practitioners in the field of youth development share what they have learned over the past decade about the potential challenges of the "youth development approach" and offer some suggestions about how to proceed in the coming decade.

An Initial Look at America's Promise: Successes, Challenges and Opportunities

June 30, 1999

America's Promise is a pioneering initiative that seeks to address overall youth development by creating community-wide programming based on proven practices necessary for a successful childhood and adolescence. A few examples of these evidence-based program components include community service, mentoring and developing marketable skills. This brief report presents P/PV's preliminary analysis of how the effort took root in three Communities of Promise: Charlotte, North Carolina; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and San Francisco, California. It explores the successes, challenges and opportunities that have resulted from America's Promise.

Philanthropy and Outcomes: Dilemmas in the Quest for Accountability

April 1, 1999

Grantees report that never before have grant negotiations with foundation staffs been so focused on specifying outcomes. Some foundations have employed consultants to work with their staffs so that inputs, operational processes, and intended intermediate and long-term outcomes and impacts are specified and differentiated. A number have added evaluation departments to their organizational structure. Small and medium sized foundations, which have previously given exclusively to direct services, are now asking for and funding evaluations, so that they may know with objectivity and rigor if the projected outcomes are achieved. We do not recommend a moratorium on all outcome and impact assessments. In some settings, formal impact evaluation is what is called for. What we are arguing for is a strategic rethinking of when to utilize the tools of formal outcome and impact research.

An Anatomy of a Demonstration: STEP from Pilot through Replication and Postprogram Impacts

January 7, 1992

The Summer Training and Education Program (STEP) research demonstration was initiated in 1984 to test the effectiveness of a two-summer remediation, work and life skills intervention on the lives of 14- and 15-year-olds from poor urban families who were already seriously behind academically. The program provided youth with half-days of summer jobs under the federally funded Summer Youth Employment and Training Program, combined with half days of remedial reading and math provided by specially designed curricula and innovated teaching approaches. One half-day each week was devoted to issues concerning decision-making and responsible sexual and social behavior in the youth's everyday lives.

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