The Research Bureau was engaged by the Investing In Girls Alliance (IIG), a project of the Women’s Initiative of United Way of Central Mass, to conduct a new needs assessment. The Alliance was established in 2007 to improve services for middle-school girls in Central Massachusetts through research, education, advocacy, and collaboration. Following a six-month needs assessment, the Alliance developed a strategic plan through the year, 2011. The plan’s purposes included the following:
- build the capacity of its member organizations;
- engage a wide range of constituencies in efforts to improve services for girls;
- improve access to information about girls and girls’ programs;
- raise public awareness of the unique strengths, needs, experiences, and perspectives of girls;
- collectively advocate for girls’ needs among legislators and policymakers.
With funding from the Fred Harris Daniels Foundation and United Way, the IIG spent three years implementing strategies and programs related to the Alliance’s mission. The Research Bureau updated the needs assessment through surveys of middle school girls, parents, service providers, and focus groups. These surveys provided sufficient data for the Alliance to set its priorities for three years and to benchmark its progress on an ongoing basis.