Evaluation of the Deutsche Bank America's Foundation Immigrant Education Network

Jun 30, 2009
In 2006, the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation (DBAF) formed a new funding strand focused on immigrant education. The foundation's aim was to improve the educational opportunities and performance of underserved immigrant students in New York City (NYC) public schools and to maximize "students' potential to ultimately access higher education." Toward this end, DBAF directs resources to programs and institutions that have "proven effective in improving student learning and raising academic performance."
  • Between 50 - 60% of grantees said that the funding had helped their organization to "a significant or great extent" to increase the effectiveness of services, increase the numbers of people served, sustain programs, carry out advocacy work, and build delivery systems for immigrant education.
  • Ninety percent of grantees indicated that DBAF funding contributed to advancing their organization's mission and 80% said the grant helped them achieve organizational objectives.
  • Network members feel that positive steps have been taken toward the formation of a network, but think more work is needed to help members understand the purpose and nature of the network and to develop a shared vision.
  • Network members value jointly reflecting on collective experiences and communicating progress and achievements related to immigrant education work.
  • Grantees reported that as a result of participating in DBAF quarterly meetings they had learned useful strategies for strengthening their overall programs but that overall satisfaction depended on the extent to which the organizations shared similar circumstances and goals. Others thought it was useful to hear a range of perspectives and ideas.
  • Survey results indicated that a sense of shared purpose is still emerging among the network, and that the wide range of differing goals and philosophies among network members may, to some extent, prevent the group from achieving as much of a sense of cohesion as might be possible with a more homogeneous group.
  • The level of collaboration among grantee organizations ranged from Level 2 to Level 5 on a fivepoint scale developed by Frey, Lohmeier, Lee and Tollefson (2006). Organizations with common goals and those involved in the EMPIRE network tended to collaborate most.
  • Analysis of the theory of change indicated that the activities and strategies of network members are aligned with DBAF's goals. However, due to geographical dispersion, the range of target populations, and the size of the network, it may be difficult to observe a measurable impact on DBAF's ultimate aims. The variety of strategies being implemented represents both a strength and a challenge for the network.
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