The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) funds initiatives in East Biloxi, Jackson, and Sunflower County, Mississippi (MS), and in New Orleans, Louisiana (NOLA), to improve the well-being of children and their families. They do this through supporting improved early childhood education and educational systems, employment equity, and health equity, food systems, and maternal and child health. This placed-based approach to grantmaking aims to be more contextually relevant and culturally responsive, and thus more effective, in meeting the needs of children, families, and communities. It is also important that this work aligns with WKKF’s larger strategic plan and goals.
Community Science worked closely with the place-based team, known as the U.S. Southern Pod, and WKKF’s Director of Learning and Impact to assess the alignment and progress of funded programs and strategies. Evaluation activities included: 1) identification and summary of grantee outcomes including knowledge products, dollars and partners leveraged, lessons learned, and policy implications; 2) continued development of process and procedures to support data collection and reporting for newly identified key performance indicators (KPIs); 3) initial mapping of grants to better understand alignment with KPIs; 4) technical assistance to support programs’ evaluation efforts; 5) a document to share insights, lessons learned, and recommendations for future evaluation and capacity building work.