Insights on Poverty: Connecting Scholars with Programs and Policy Makers
THE SITUATION. Families across the U.S. struggle to create more financial stability in their lives. Although huge investments are made in programs to serve these families, there are few evidence-based programs that support families to emerge from poverty. The Family Self-Sufficiency and Stability Research Consortium (the Consortium) was established to connect selected poverty researchers from around the U.S. and build their relationships with policy-makers as well as program leaders. GLP was asked to design and facilitate the Consortium’s bi-annual gatherings for five years.
THE JOURNEY. The principles and practices of a learning-centered approach bolstered the Consortium in a multitude of ways. For example, when we first invited members to sculpt a vision for their Consortium, they balked. But those sculptures gave way to deep dialogue. Over the years, we all worked together to prepare well and make good use of our meeting time, to engage all voices and perspectives, and to collaborate in meaningful ways on behalf of families.
THE IMPACT. Scholars across the U.S. are engaged in rigorous research to shed light on key questions about poverty – and much of this research is extremely relevant for program leaders as well as policy-makers. Over the life of the Consortium, scholars and policy makers established productive, collaborative relationships, crafted a joint vision and mission, exchanged insights about relevant research and developed ways to share those insights more broadly.