BTW informing change


informing change is excited to share new research and discussion topics that are the result of our work over the past few months. We hope you find these learnings useful for your work.
Insights on Change

In her recent blog What Data Can Do, Senior Consultant  Naomi Orensten responds to David Brook's New York Times article on the limitations of quantitative data. Naomi addresses three critical data collection practices that speak to some of Brook's concerns. She also reminds us that the combination of good data and good process go a long way to help consultants, researchers, consumers and decision-makers understand our work, make better decisions and pursue solid strategy.

Education Should Dismantle Barriers, Not Fortify Them

BTW's Director of Education Jay Sherwin argues that when poor students do not receive the support, advice or academic foundation they need, educational opportunity is a false promise. In his recent blog, Education Should Dismantle Barriers, Not Fortify Them, Jay suggests that while poverty prevents many young people from pursuing and persisting in higher education, other social and structural factors also conspire to keep even high achieving low income students from learning their way into the middle class. Jay argues that in a world where achievement is the gateway to social mobility, we must find ways for our educational system to tear down the barriers to equality instead of fortifying them.

Health & Happiness at Any Age  


Senior Associate Nadia Salibi explores the role of strong community bonds and extended family interactions in creating healthy communities. Through her experience evaluating health initiatives, Nadia knows the value of building community to collectively improve health outcomes. Nadia's blog, Health and Happiness at Any Age, looks at what it takes to create healthy environments where seniors, like 97 year old Ida, can run a 100-meter dash alongside 20 year olds.



For blog updates and other BTW insights, follow us on Twitter @informingchange.    




The Nadiv Story Unfolding    


The Nadiv Program (Nadiv) is an innovative pilot program made possible by a partnership between the Jim Joseph Foundation and AVI CHAI Foundations and operated by The Foundation for Jewish Camp. The collaborative Nadiv partnership created six new Jewish educator positions which are shared between both Jewish summer camps and schools.


BTW documents and summarizes the story of Nadiv's development and early implementation in a set of two memos. The first memo, The Nadiv Story, Unfolding, documents the formation and early implementation of the new Nadiv program. The second memo, Key Learnings from Nadiv's Launch, shares successes, key learnings and offers recommendations for the program's ongoing implementation and future partnerships. These learnings will help inform the six pilot Nadiv partnerships as they move forward, and many of the lessons are relevant to institutional collaborations more broadly.


On behalf of the Jim Joseph Foundation, BTW collaborated with Rosov Consulting LLC, to conduct a body of research around teen education programs, identifying leading efforts inside and outside of the Jewish world that are engaging young people in experiences that are relevant, meaningful and ongoing.  


This report offers 10 overarching observations and key themes that emerged from a scan of 21 programs, as well as from consultations and convenings with both teens and leading innovators inside and outside the Jewish world. A companion set of summaries of each teen education program included in the scan highlights each program's purpose and key activities, along with some noteworthy characteristics and qualities that could be considered when designing or implementing programs for teens and youth.


Fostering Innovation in Community Health Centers


In January 2012, 13 community health centers throughout California received one-year seed funding and support to develop innovative ideas, support out of the box thinking and test new solutions to common problems in health care. The Center for Care Innovation and Blue Shield of California Foundation engaged BTW to conduct an evaluation of this pilot program, called the Community Health Center Innovation Challenge. A short document based on the larger evaluation provides examples of grantee projects and highlights key learnings about innovation.

West County Health Centers Telemedicine Innovations

Community Health Center Innovation Challenge Grant Project:

West County Health Centers' Telemedicine Innovations


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Meet the BTW Team

BTW welcomes Isaac Agree to the team as our new Project Assistant! Isaac is committed to working to improve communities and foster civic engagement. He supports BTW's client projects by playing a key role in project administration, research and production processes. Prior to joining the team at BTW, Isaac worked as an operations analyst and project coordinator in the legal services industry in New York City, where he was involved in several diverse business development and strategic growth projects. Isaac holds a BA in Political Science and Anthropology from The University of Vermont.