Wilkins Community Fellows Program
We are now accepting applications for the Second Wilkins Community Fellows Program Workshop. Please note that our deadline is May 1st, 2015.
To access the Wilkins Community Fellows Program Application CLICK HERE
If you were unable to attend the Informational Meeting and would like to access the PowerPoint about the Program CLICK HERE
Traditional approaches to policy analysis, developed for the majority population, do not factor in the structural differences that exist between communities of color and majority-group communities. Communities of color, therefore, are at a disadvantage when conventional policy analyses are undertaken. One example is evaluation. Non-profit evaluation does not align automatically with academic evaluation, which often entails randomized trials or sophisticated methods of matching control and experimental groups. Nevertheless, it is academic evaluation that will produce the evidence to support local remedies in the face of skepticism by policy makers and decision makers. Widespread, respected tools of policy analysis, designed for the majority population, must be adjusted or reevaluated when examining the causes of inequality to be certain that their application is reaching the people who have the problem. Researchers trained in advanced tools of policy analysis at the Roy Wilkins Center will guide community leaders in understanding and applying sophisticated methodologies in assessing the effectiveness of their programs.
The Roy Wilkins Center asks, “Does this policy work for the communities of color?” when other researchers only ask, “does this policy work?” In short, we are able to model the complexity of the policy problem while keeping race and ethnicity central to the analysis.
Roy Wilkins Center research can permanently transform how policy research and policy analysis on problems confronting communities of color are conducted in the Twin Cities. Its findings can be translated into ammunition for communities of color to make their own case to funders and policy makers. The benefits of establishing accurate, external validity for remedies to racial and ethnic inequality will have significant influence on public policies in the future.
The Wilkins Community Fellows Program addresses structural causes of inequality and provides a framework for creating social change using two approaches:
1. Build the capacity of local community based organizations to use the tools of policy analysis and evaluation with the assistance of Wilkins Center graduate students trained in policy analysis;
2. Prepare leaders of communities of color, via Wilkins Center graduate Students to make their own cases or social change.
This course provides an introduction to policy analysis. Participants will be able to understand basic concepts and terminology of policy analysis and understand the strengths and weaknesses of alternative approaches to policy analysis. Two key elements of policy analysis are emphasized: problem structuring and recommendation.