Innovation in Action

Innovation in Action Workshop

A three-day event to help develop stronger programs, optimize evaluation, and engage in fast-cycle iteration.

November 18-20, 2019
Cambridge, MA
Applications now closed

The Innovation in Action Workshop offers program teams the opportunity to come together and focus on strengthening their program to achieve the best possible outcomes for children and families. The teams attending the workshop may be reaching different populations and focusing on building different skills, bull all innovators and program developers in the early childhood field come to the workshop with the same mission: to strengthen their program and make a bigger difference in the lives of children and families.

Designed for programs at any stage of development, facilitators at the workshop will support teams in applying the IDEAS Impact FrameworkTM to1:

  • new programs in early development,
  • existing programs that are already being implemented, and
  • programs being implemented at scale.

During this highly interactive and personalized workshop, facilitators provide consultation based on the individual needs of each team, and teams will be able to connect with and learn from experts and each other.

If you want to learn more about how your program works, in what contexts it works, and for whom it works, this workshop is for you!

Workshop Description

This three-day event begins with a one-day training followed by a two-day hands-on workshop on the IDEAS Impact Framework. The IDEAS Framework is designed to help teams develop stronger programs, optimize evaluation efforts, and engage in fast-cycle iteration in order to learn more about how an intervention works, for whom, and in what contexts.

Team members discuss their program at an Innovation in Action workshop

The two-day workshop, immediately following and building on the Science-Based Innovation Training on day one, will provide a small, selected group of teams with an opportunity to dig deeper into the content presented during the first day and work closely with facilitators to apply that knowledge to their own work or program. This workshop is an opportunity to jumpstart the fast-cycle learning process in a personalized, small-group setting. The two days will be highly interactive, and we encourage participants to come as teams of at least three people, including the key personnel who will be involved with planning and implementation. Teams will receive targeted consultation based on their individual needs, and will also have time to connect with and learn from other project teams and experts.

“The workshop facilitators have a way of making you work without noticing you’re working. There is a team spirit while you work together to build and strengthen your project and identify the gaps.”

-Past Workshop Attendee

The workshop will be structured around the three components of the IDEAS Impact Framework introduced in day one. During the Theory of Change session, participants will develop a set of testable beliefs about how, why, and for whom their program has an impact. Each team will identify program strategies, targets, outcomes, and moderators using the IDEAS Theory of Change template. In the Program and Materials Development session, each group will have an opportunity to review their existing program materials and plan for future development. This session will focus on building usable programs that have the potential to be implemented with fidelity in real-world settings. In the Evaluation session, each team will begin to develop a feasible evaluation plan designed to investigate the program’s Theory of Change. The workshop will conclude with a session on Project Planning in which each team will create a detailed timeline for a feasibility test, pilot, or later-stage study.

Criteria for Admission to the Workshop

Participation is limited to teams with existing programs, interventions, or concrete ideas they’d like to implement that are focused on early childhood and/or building parent/caregiver capabilities.

The IDEAS Framework is based on a set of guiding principles that include precision, co-creation, fast-cycle iteration, and shared learning. Space in the workshop is limited, and we are looking for projects that are aligned with these principles and that have the potential to become part of the FOI portfolio of projects.

A team works on a theory of change at an Innovation in Action workshop

Logistical information

The fee for participation in the three-day event (including the one-day training and two-day workshop) is $6,000 per team of 3-6 people. There is a limited amount of funding to support project teams that are unable to pay the full fee. If you feel that your financial circumstances might qualify you for a scholarship, you can request one using the scholarship request form in Appendix A of the application. You are also encouraged to seek sponsorships from funders with whom you have existing relationships. Participants are responsible for their own travel, lodging, and dinners. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks during the training and workshop will be provided.

Contact Us

Please contact with any questions about this application.


Sign Up to Receive Information About Our Next Workshop

The next workshop will take place April 21-23, 2020. Please fill out the short form below and we’ll contact you when the application is released in January 2020.

Sign up here to receive more information about the Innovation in Action hands-on workshop and application.

1 The IDEAS Impact Framework is a joint initiative of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, the University of Oregon Center for Translational Science, and the University of Washington College of Education.