Promise Neighborhoods Case Studies

Prepared for
Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink

Promise Neighborhoods are designed to build a continuum of support for children from “cradle to career.” Based on the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) model, Promise Neighborhoods are place-based initiatives, anchored by high quality schools, that seek to build sustainable systems to enable children to reach their potential. They pursue this goal by focusing on integrating services throughout communities and incorporating proven practices and the principles of collective impact.

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) began funding organizations that plan and implement Promise Neighborhood systems in communities across the country, with the Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink (PNI) and its partners, HCZ and the Center for the Study of Social Policy, serving as central supports. As of 2012, ED’s Office of Innovation and Improvement provided $100 million in funding to 58 grantees across the nation. 

Mathematica conducted in-depth case studies that focused on five of the Promise Neighborhood grantees. These case studies informed the efforts of PNI, ED, and the grantees to enhance the program. In the final report, we examined cross-cutting themes and unique aspects of the five grantees. The report documented system-building activities, key partners, challenges, accomplishments, and the contexts in which these took place.