The Forum has regularly managed or overseen professional learning communities of agency staff, nonprofit partners, and other stakeholders throughout our history. Learning communities connect people, organizations, and systems that are eager to learn and work across boundaries in pursuit of a shared goal. A summary of recent learning communities—and access to related resources—is available below. Subscribe to our Evidence-Based Policymaking Newsletter to stay up to date on future learning communities.

Use of Research Evidence (URE) Learning Community

Since 2015, the Forum for Youth Investment has partners with the William T. Grant Foundation to support a learning community of researchers, practitioners and policymakers that advances the field’s efforts to build theory, methodological tools and empirical evidence on ways to improve the use of research evidence. The Forum supports this growing network through meeting planning and facilitation, and ongoing written products to share lessons learned that support the broader field in improving the use of research evidence.

i3 Learning Community

From 2011-2013, in partnership with the W.T. Grant Foundation, the Forum facilitated a learning community of a subset of the federally-funded Investing in Innovation (i3) grantees, along with guests from key related organizations, foundations and the U.S. Department of Education. The goals of the learning community were to: promote sharing and reflection across projects, roles and disciplines; provide targeted support/consultation on practical and substantive challenges; build collective knowledge on topics of mutual interest; and create opportunities to network and build relationships. Blog posts related to this community from the “Lessons from Innovators” series include:

·       STEM Learning Opportunities Provide Equity (SLOPE)

·       Collaborative Strategic Reading

·       Education Connection

·       Reading Recovery

·       The National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform

·       eMINTS

·       Calibrating Expectations for i3 Results

·       Erikson Institute’s Early Math Initiative

·       Children’s Learning Initiative

·       Strategic Literacy Initiative

·       Taking a Charter School to Scale: IDEA Public Schools


Since 2005, the Forum for Youth Investment has partnered with the William T. Grant Foundation to support their mentoring supplemental awards to Scholars. The mentoring supplement and program supports scholars to become strong mentors within their academic institutions with the goal of strengthening high-quality training and mentoring for researchers of color. The aim of the mentoring program, which includes an annual meeting facilitated by the Forum, is to help William T. Grant Scholars and others to become stronger mentors and develop a better understanding of the career development issues facing their junior colleagues of color. Additionally, the program aims to increase to a modest extent the number of strong, well-networked researchers of color doing work on the Foundation’s research interests.

Cross-Agency Learning Community on Federal Investments in Research and Evaluation

From 2013-2016, in partnership with the W.T. Grant Foundation, the Forum facilitated a learning community of federal officials advancing evidence-based policymaking. This learning community comprised federal officials in agencies focused on research and evaluation related to children, youth, and families. The members of the group included mostly senior career staff in agencies within the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, Justice, and Health and Human Services as well as in the Corporation for National and Community Service and the National Science Foundation. Since 2016, this group has continued to meet under its own auspices. This learning community provided the inspiration and much of the content for our paper Managing for Success: Strengthening the Federal Infrastructure for Evidence-Based Policymaking, which can be found on the publications pageThis learning community also paved the way for our current series of convenings focused on supporting federal career staff who are interested in the various facets of evidence-based policymaking. Information on these upcoming events can be found on the events page.

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