An initiative of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, Change in Mind is a learning laboratory for understanding how advances in neuroscience can be leveraged to create broader systems and policy change. Through the Change in Mind cohort’s 10 U.S. and five Canadian organizations, it has demonstrated the impact of intentionally infusing brain science and evidence into programs and organizations, and identified new insights into the longer-term challenge of facilitating and accelerating change at the systems and policy levels.
The Change in Mind initiative used a developmental evaluation approach to understand how the Change in Mind sites addressed the challenges of:
- Infusing brain science research into their organizational cultures, programs, and practices
- Leveraging scientific advances in brain development to facilitate sector and systems change
- Accelerating systems change within a larger policy context
- Supporting peer learning through a peer-based learning community model
The evaluation was designed to monitor, track, and map the sites’ development, identifying patterns of activity across organizational types and country contexts. Change in Mind’s use of a developmental evaluation approach, rapid testing of program and practice innovations, and tracking of the evolution of the sites’ theories of change distinguished Change in Mind from other ACEs and resilience initiatives.
This approach was designed to enhance understanding of the sites’ strategies to align their internal program and organizational practices, external community capacity building, and systems and policy change efforts with advances in neuroscience.The evaluation was not designed to determine best practices of the sites, but to uncover promising patterns of practice across the sites.
Part of a series of four briefs examining the evaluation’s site-level findings, this brief focuses on how the Change in Mind sites advanced systems and policy change by building networks of collaborators, educating their communities about brain science, facilitating sector-specific change, and advocating for larger cross-sector policy change.