ImpactED Joins the Fels Institute of Government

October 30, 2017

ImpactED“ImpactED will strengthen our ability to provide students with valuable on-the-job, practical experience in policy analysis and implementation,” says Dr. Nelson Lim, Executive Director of the Fels Institute of Government.

The Fels “CAP” philosophy resonates well with ImpactED’s use of practical measures to create social change. “Together with our Fels Lab and executive education programs, Fels will be better able to meet the needs of public organizations. With ImpactED, Fels can better assist public and nonprofit organizations in improving their operations through rigorous analysis and enhance the skills and competencies of their employees,” said Lim.

“There are thousands of organizations working tirelessly to make an impact in their community. However, many organizations lack the resources or expertise they need to meaningfully use data to evaluate their outcomes and enhance performance,” said ImpactED Founder and Director, Dr. Claire Robertson-Kraft. To achieve this goal, ImpactED offers two kinds of services to its partners: targeted capacity-building and rigorous evaluation for public and nonprofit organizations. Both services focus on increasing the effectiveness of organizations by equipping them with the information, skills, and tools they need to drive improvement and share their story with the broader community.

The ImpactED team is thrilled to have a new home at Fels and looks forward to a dynamic and mutually beneficial partnership. With this new partnership, MPA candidates will have the opportunity to build marketable skills and gain hands-on experience providing technical assistance to the public sector. At the same time, ImpactED will benefit from the additional expertise, input, and support of the Fels community - including graduate students, alumni, and faculty.

The ImpactED Fellowships, launched this fall, are an example of the new partnership’s potential to enhance capacity at both Fels and ImpactED. The Fellowship is targeted to students who are passionate about using data to inform the work of nonprofits and government agencies. ImpactED Fellows are trained in the organization’s methods of data collection and analysis before being assigned to work on ImpactED projects. This opportunity benefits fellows by helping them refine data analysis skills learned in the classroom and build their professional networks. Likewise, it benefits ImpactED’s full-time staff by providing them with interested and focused project assistants.

Mollie Williamson, a first-year Fels student who was selected as one of nine ImpactED Fellows for the 2017-2018 school year, is excited to participate. “Good administrators should know how to transform data into strategic plans for sustainable impact, and working as an ImpactED Fellow allows me to practice doing this.”

Current ImpactED projects include a city-wide customer service satisfaction survey for the Philadelphia Water Department and an impact study measuring success for the Free Library of Philadelphia. Other recent work includes the formative evaluation of fellowship programs for the Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders, mixed-methods evaluation of talent practices for the Delaware Department of Education, and a study capturing stories of implementation of the School Redesign Initiative for the School District of Philadelphia.

Students will be offered opportunities to create social impact in the Philadelphia area, and ImpactED will more easily be able to access the resources and academic expertise of Fels. Perhaps most importantly, the collaboration will most certainly increase the capacity for both organizations to make their shared vision - that of helping to develop effective public sector leaders and organizations - a reality.

For more information on ImpactED, please visit



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Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829