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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The Least of These: Amachi and the Children of Prisoners

July 31, 2012

There is no rule book for creating, implementing and sustaining a successful social intervention. Hundreds, if not thousands, of now-defunct social programs attest to this reality. These programs may have succeeded in identifying a social need, a cogent and sometimes creative way of meeting that need, and some capacity (both financial and operational) to launch the effort.These are necessary elements -- but not sufficient ones. The social policy field does not consistently recognize or reward good ideas. Success is often as much a product of unusual circumstances -- confluence of the right time, the right idea and the right people -- as it is a result of inherent program quality and effectiveness.The Amachi program is a prime illustration of the unpredictable nature of success in the social policy arena. Its success resulted from a nearly unique blend of factors -- Public/Private Ventures (P/PV), which had been studying the issue of relationships as a way of helping young people for almost two decades; the Pew Charitable Trusts' interest in the potential of faith-based organizations to meet social needs; the well-known academic John DiIulio, who was looking for practical ways to put Pew's interest into action; a source of stabilizing program knowledge (Big Brothers Big Sisters of America); and finally a leader, W. Wilson Goode, Sr., whose combination of personal contacts, managerial knowledge and experience, and dedication to the idea of Amachi was decisive in making the program a success locally, and later nationally.Politics also played a role: the election of a president (in 2000) interested in faith-based initiatives; DiIulio's role in steering the president's attention to Amachi during its early days in Philadelphia; and the way that attention led to a sustained national focus (with federal program funding) on the target group Amachi was designed to serve: children of prisoners. The interplay of these factors -- along with good luck and good timing -- is in many ways the core of the Amachi story, which is detailed in the pages that follow.

Illuminating Solutions: The Youth Violence Reduction Partnership

June 1, 2012

Over the last decade, P/PV has undertaken several studies of the Philadelphia-based Youth Violence Reduction Partnership (YVRP), an intensive collaboration that targets young people deemed at highest risk of being involved in a homicide. YVRP provides young probationers with enhanced supervision and support, with the goal of keeping them out of trouble and putting them on a path toward productive adulthood.

Growing What Works: Lessons Learned from Pennsylvania's Nurse-Family Partnership Initiative

September 1, 2009

In 2001, P/PV was asked to oversee the statewide replication of the Nurse-Family Partnership in Pennsylvania -- one of the largest and most successful expansions of this well regarded home-visiting program, which has been found to produce substantial and enduring improvements in the health and well-being of low-income first-time parents and their children. Our experience in Pennsylvania has shown that the replication of evidence-based models can be an enormous challenge, even for highly defined and effective programs like Nurse-Family Partnership. Replication across many sites simultaneously, and by a common funder, is labor-intensive and comes with expectations of outcomes similar to those achieved in research trials. As a result, ensuring fidelity to the established program model, while allowing for local innovation, is paramount to success.Using the Pennsylvania Nurse-Family Partnership experience as a case study, this report provides key lessons for policymakers and funders interested in bringing proven models to a statewide scale, including best practices for selecting implementing agencies; fostering a sense of community among geographically dispersed sites; monitoring program results to promote quality; and engaging local administrators and site leaders.

Quality Time After School In Brief

May 30, 2007

This issue of P/PV In Brief focuses on key findingsand their implications for policymakers and fundersfrom Quality Time After School: What Instructors Can Do to Enhance Learning. Drawing on extensive qualitative and quantitative data collected from five Philadelphia-based Beacon Centers, our study identifies characteristics of after-school activities that are linked to youth engagement and learning across a rich diversity of out-of-school-time activity areas. The brief explores the importance of good group management and positive adult support of learning, providing program directors and funders with guidance for improving program quality and fostering engagement and learning in after-school programs.

Quality Time After School Executive Summary

April 24, 2007

This executive summary provides an overview of key findings from Quality Time After School: What Instructors Can Do to Enhance Learning. The executive summary focuses on the importance of two features of high-quality activities: good group management and positive adult support of learning. Drawing from surveys and interviews with more than 400 participants and instructors from five Philadelphia-based Beacon Centers, this study will begin to help program managers and funders make headway in identifying key features of high-quality after-school programs.

Leaving the Street: Young Fathers Move from Hustling to Legitimate Work

February 4, 2005

This report explores employment and hustling among men in Fathers at Work, a three-year national demonstration designed to help low-income, noncustodial fathers secure living-wage jobs, increase their involvement with their children and manage their child support obligations. As part of P/PVs evaluation of the initiative, researchers undertook an in-depth interview study. When they learned that more than three quarters of all Fathers at Work participants had been convicted of a crime, they focused the interview study on 27 men who had relied on hustlingprimarily selling drugs, but also other illegal activitiesas a source of income. The report describes how the men became involved in hustling and what led them to seek alternatives. Participants hustling and work experiences are detailed, with four distinct patterns emergingresearchers found that these patterns appeared to influence early employment outcomes. The report closes with a look at the ongoing challenges faced by the men, and recommendations for programs working with similar populations.

Enriching Summer Work: An Evaluation of the Summer Career Exploration Program

August 23, 2004

To determine the impact of the Summer Career Exploration Program (SCEP), a privately funded summer jobs program for low-income teens, P/PV examined the lives of over 1700 applicants. These youth were randomly assigned to participate or to not participate in SCEP in the summer of 1999, and their outcomes were compared at four and twelve months after program application. Researchers found that implementation was strong, but program impacts were less impressive. While SCEPs participants got summer jobs at a substantially higher rate (92%) than the control group (62%), the programs ability to translate this large and immediate summer employment impact into intermediate gains (in terms of future plans, college enrollment, work success, sense of self-efficacy or reduced criminal activity) proved to be negligible. Although impacts were short lived, the report concludes that SCEP and similar programs have an important place in the larger mosaic of supports, programs and opportunities for young people.

Enriching Summer Work: An Evaluation of the Summer Career Exploration Program (Executive Summary)

August 23, 2004

This document summarizes the key findings of the Summer Career Exploration Program evaluation.

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