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Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS) is an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support colleges that seek to incorporate technology into their advising and student services. In iPASS, such technology is intended to increase advising's emphasis on a student's entire college experience, enabling advisers to more easily (1) intervene when students show early warning signs of academic and nonacademic challenges, (2) regularly follow up as students progress through college, (3) refer students to tutoring and other support services when needed, and (4) provide personalized guidance that reflects students' unique needs.
To study how technology can support advising redesign, MDRC and the Community College Research Center partnered with three institutions already implementing iPASS: California State University, Fresno; Montgomery County Community College; and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The three institutions increased the emphasis on providing timely support, boosted their use of advising technologies, and used administrative and communication strategies to increase student contact with advisers. The enhancements at all three institutions are being evaluated using a randomized controlled trial research design.
This report shows that the enhancements generally produced only a modestly different experience for students in the program group compared with students in the control group, although at one college, the enhancements did substantially increase the number of students who had contact with an adviser. Consequently, it is not surprising that the enhancements have so far had no discernible positive effects on students' academic performance. The findings also highlight the potential for unintended consequences. Before the study, each of the institutions had required that certain groups of students see an adviser before registering for classes in the next semester. Each institution expanded this preregistration requirement to include all students in the study's program groups, but at one institution, the requirement appears to have contributed to a small reduction in earned credits.
Environmental and Energy Study Institute;
The 116th Congress is weighing potential policy mechanisms to reduce the impact of climate change and cap global warming to an internationally agreed upon target of no more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). As a result, fossil fuel tax subsidies, as well as other mechanisms of support, have received additional scrutiny from lawmakers and the public regarding their current suitability, scale and effectiveness. Indeed, the subsidies undermine policy goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels.
The United States provides a number of tax subsidies to the fossil fuel industry as a means of encouraging domestic energy production. These include both direct subsidies to corporations, as well as other tax benefits to the fossil fuel industry. Conservative estimates put U.S. direct subsidies to the fossil fuel industry at roughly $20 billion per year; with 20 percent currently allocated to coal and 80 percent to natural gas and crude oil. European Union subsidies are estimated to total 55 billion euros annually.
The Advancing Human Rights initiative documents the landscape of foundation funding for human rights and track changes in its scale and priorities. This annual report uses grants data to map philanthropic support for specific human rights issues, funding strategies, and populations and regions served in 2016. In this year, 785 funders made over 23,000 grants totalling $2.8 billion for human rights.
Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights;
In Illinois, nearly 5 million adults, 50% of the population, are estimated to have an arrest or conviction record. Housing is foundational for employment success, family stability, and overall well-being. Unfortunately, criminal history checks are a typical part of the housing application processes, and many people with records are declined housing opportunities they would otherwise be a good fit for, but for the criminal record.
Our goal for Win-Win was to develop user-friendly guidance about the use of criminal records in screening and housing applicants, and to provide recommendations that housing providers can adopt and adapt, in whole or in part, to increase housing opportunities for people with criminal records.
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation;
Since 2015, the MacArthur Foundation's Big Bet On Nigeria is investing in efforts to reduce corruption in Nigeria by supporting Nigerian-led endeavors that strengthen transparency, accountability, and participation. Corruption, impunity, and lack of accountability in Nigeria have far-reaching impacts on access to and quality of public services, the well-being of Nigerians, and overall development. The On Nigeria strategy builds on Jonathan Fox's "sandwich" theory,1 which recognizes the importance of the combination of a push from below and a squeeze from above to effect change and sustain momentum. The push from below is the "voice"— representing citizens' actions to demand change and develop local solutions to corruption, while the squeeze from above is the "teeth"—representing the efforts of government and other high-level actors to develop and enforce laws and regulations, using incentives to discourage corruption and sanctions to punish it. The On Nigeria theory of change harnesses the "voice" of Nigerian citizens and the "teeth" of Nigerian public and private institutions, and combined with capacity building and collaboration, intends to address the problem of corruption in Nigeria.
The On Nigeria evaluation and learning framework seeks to answer three overarching evaluation questions: (1) How is the MacArthur Foundation's strategy contributing to changing transparency and accountability of government and private-sector actors? (2) How is the MacArthur Foundation's strategy contributing to changing social norms and citizens' behaviors related to corruption? and (3) What kinds of adaptation or changes are needed in the theory of change and/or strategy to achieve better results? The framework is designed to provide specific information related to On Nigeria's landscape, outcomes, impacts, and feedback on the strategy to assess progress and adapt the strategy as needed.
Philanthropy for Social Justice and Peace;
Individual giving in India, Russia, the Arab region and Brazil is part of PSJP's Philanthropy Study. Previously the study has focused on producing a series of papers on philanthropy in four emerging market countries/regions – India, Russia, the Arab region and Brazil. These studies have taken a broad view of philanthropy, encompassing everything from individual giving (by the very wealthy and by people of more modest means, including crowdfunding) to giving by private and corporate foundations, CSR, community philanthropy, social justice philanthropy, self-funded movements and impact investing.
The current paper looks at individual giving by ordinary people in these countries/ regions in more depth. Seen as an area of great promise in India and Russia, it is at an earlier stage in Brazil. In the Arab region giving to the social sector is barely making headway, though traditional giving is very much alive.
Uganda's Oil Industry has attracted huge foreign investment, but participation by SMEs has remained poor despite their importance in income generation, employment and poverty eradication. Although the Oil industry is highly specialised, it provides indirect investment opportunities for SMEs who make up 80 percent of Uganda's private sector. The opportunities available however have not been sufficiently usurped by SMEs due to the information gap on how to create business partnerships, requirements of the industry and actors in the industry.
Center for Effective Government;
OMB Watch partnered with Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute and Accenture's Institute for Public Service to craft consensus recommendations for the next president related to improving government performance measurement systems. The project convened a wide range of policy experts, academics, government representatives, and others to explore areas of agreement in a very disparate field.
la Caixa Foundation;
The 2030 Agenda calls for transformational change and a new approach to supporting development. Open Innovation Platforms represent a departure from traditional, projectbased, "business-as-usual" efforts, recognizing that new approaches to address deep systemic development issues are necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Center for Economic and Policy Research;
Patent monopolies on prescription drugs raise their price by one or two orders of magnitude above the free market price. In this way, they are equivalent to tariffs of several thousand percent or even tens of thousands of percent. Just as tariffs lead to economic distortions, and provide incentives for corruption, so do patent monopolies on prescription drugs. We continually see evidence of this as drug companies are routinely found to make payoffs to keep generics out of the market, promote their drugs for uses for which they are inappropriate, and conceal evidence they are less effective than claimed, or even harmful.
The enormous distortions from patent monopolies mean that there are large potential gains from working around them. This working paper discusses four mechanisms for getting drug prices closer to free market levels with actions at the state or local level or by private actors.
Center for Economic and Policy Research;
In the absence of national paid leave laws, some states have responded by creating programs that provide partial replacement of lost wages when urgent health or family needs mean workers must miss work. The three states with the longest track records are California, which implemented paid family leave in 2004; New Jersey, which implemented it in 2008; and Rhode Island, which followed in 2014. All three have had paid medical leave to address a worker's own serious illness for 70 years or more. Today, six states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws that provide workers with paid family and medical leave. Despite the existence of these state laws, both awareness and usage — especially among workers in low-paid jobs and members of minority communities — have been low.
This report examines a number of innovative projects in California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island designed to produce usable knowledge about what works — and what doesn't — in raising awareness among workers most likely to need paid family leave and least likely to know about it. It draws the lessons learned in the field and provides guidance to advocates in states with paid family and medical leave programs as they design interventions to address this challenge.
Ghana Philanthropy Forum;
Ghana has a vibrant culture of personal giving and charitable contributions, which offers hope for increased domestic resourcing and more effective and sustainable civil society organizations (CSOs) in this time of declining global support. However, the policy and legal frameworks for organized forms of giving/philanthropy in Ghana are lacking. It is difficult to find consistent and regularly-produced information on the nature and extend of organized giving and corporate social responsibility (CSR) engagement to facilitate collaboration and ascertain impact.
In May 2018, the International Center for Non-For-Profit Law supported a research to identify and document current regulatory provisions that influence philanthropy; and to identify and develop specific positive policy reform recommendations.
The rationale for this study was to help improve understanding amongst non-profits, government and other stakeholders on philanthropy in Ghana. It is also aimed at suggesting legal and administrative framework required to strengthen the philanthropy space.