The Center for Research, Evaluation, and Program Development of BGSP
In this era of accountability, offering human services isn’t enough. Funding sources increasingly demand that outcomes be measured in order to determine whether the delivered services are effective. Further, research is more and more being used to guide the design of human service programs. Thus, researchers and evaluators are increasingly part of the service delivery team.
High quality, useful research and evaluation require the artful combination of many skills. A deep knowledge of current research and evaluation methodologies – including the development of research questions, the design of measurement instruments and data collection protocols, and data analysis and presentation techniques – are essential. In order to make the results of the research useful to busy program administrators, clinicians, and policy makers, it is important for the researcher to understand the culture of human service programs, functioning with limited resources and pressures to be cost-effective and productive. Without this understanding, even the best-designed study often will not be conducted successfully and the results may not be utilized.
The Center for Research, Evaluation, and Program Development is based in the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis, a vibrant accredited graduate school offering Masters, Doctoral, and Certificate training in the theory and practice of psychoanalysis. BGSP has a long-standing commitment to combining clinical insights with the broad range of social and human sciences. The Center for Research, Evaluation, and Program Development constitutes the next step in the evolution of the school.
As befits its location at BGSP, the Center combines state-of-the-art research and evaluation expertise, leavened with in-depth clinical and policy insights. Many of our staff and consultants are trained clinicians; others are or have been program administrators. Thus, all our research and evaluation work strives to integrate research rigor with an orientation toward practical utility. We specialize in working with program administrators and clinicians in the design of research and evaluation studies. Consistent with this mission, the Center is also the organizational location for new BGSP projects integrating psychoanalytic concepts with existent strategies for the solution of social problems.
The Center is directed by Dr. Stephen Soldz, who has been Director of Research at Health and Addictions Research and at the Boston Institute for Psychotherapy, as well as Director of Research and Evaluation at Advocates for Human Potential. Dr. Soldz has over 20 years of research and evaluation expertise and has published over 80 professional publications. Dr. Soldz is a Professor at BGSP and has taught at several other schools, including Boston University, Boston College, Harvard Medical School, and the University of Massachusetts at Boston.
Our staff has conducted research and evaluation projects funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), the Agency for Children, Youth, and Families, the Rhode Island Department of Health, and the Massachusetts Departments of Public Health, among many others. We have evaluated statewide and community-based prevention and treatment programs and have conducted local and statewide needs assessments. In addition, we draw on a range of consultants who aid us in conducting individual projects. Recently, the Center arranged to provide ongoing research and quality improvement consultation to Beacon Health Strategies, one of the country’s leading behavioral health management companies.
Sample projects our staff have conducted:
• Developing a phases of treatment model in collaboration with a statewide methadone treatment provider organization
• Analyzing insurance company consumer behavioral health satisfaction data
• Writing technical assistance briefs on child assessment and on program evaluation for state Medicaid Real Choice grantees
• Conducting a case study evaluation of a statewide tobacco-related health disparities strategic planning initiative
• Designing and pilot-testing a statewide substance abuse treatment outcomes monitoring system
• Studying the prevalence of and factors associated with youth use of alternative tobacco products – cigars, bidis, and clove cigarettes
• Conducting a social indicator needs assessment for substance abuse treatment and prevention
• Designing a database for an emergency intervention program for the developmentally disabled
• Developing a measure of client progress in psychodynamic psychotherapy
• Evaluating a statewide prevention initiative
• Evaluating the effectiveness of efforts to reduce youth smoking
• Helping a fellow evaluator revise a paper for publication in a peer-reviewed journal
Our staff and consultants have in-depth expertise in many relevant content areas, including:
• Mental health
• Substance abuse
• Domestic violence
• Bullying and youth aggression
• Criminal justice
• Tobacco control
• Program evaluation
• Health policy
• Needs assessment
• State-of-the-art statistical analyses
• Grant writing
For further information, contact:
Stephen Soldz, Ph.D.
Director of Research