Carnegie and SRI Education presented a webinar introducing Networked Improvement Communities to select National Science Foundation (NSF) grantees as part of the NSF INCLUDES, a comprehensive initiative to enhance U.S. leadership in science and engineering discovery and innovation by proactively seeking and effectively developing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) talent from all sectors and groups in our society. By facilitating partnerships, communication, and cooperation, NSF aims to build on and scale up what works in broadening participation programs to reach underserved populations nationwide.
The webinar was the first in a series focused on a core set of closely related issues at the heart of any collective impact or networked improvement community effort. A national backbone for collective impact projects can facilitate a space and provide mechanisms for launch projects to share ideas on improvement, relevant resources, results from improvement efforts, and draw generalities that are more likely applicable to a wider audience of interested researchers and practitioners working on similar problems across different contexts. Our webinar series and final in-person workshop is built to educate researchers about the four essential and coherently related anchors for such sharing: (1) high leverage problems, (2) using data to improve, (3) formative evaluation, and (4) communication within and across networks.