Note: This blog is adapted from paper presented by our research team at the 2014 AERA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. This research is funded by the William T. Grant Foundation’s program on Understanding the Acquisition, Interpretation, and Use of Research Evidence in Policy and Practice. The Principal Investigators of this project are Drs. Elizabeth DeBray, Chris Lubienski, and Janelle Scott. Please contact Priya La Londe with any questions.
Philanthropies and Intermediary Organizations in Denver, Colorado: Incentivist-Oriented Advocacy Coalitions
Philanthropist involvement in education policy has contributed to the emergence of a dynamic sector of intermediary organizations (IOs). These IOs broker the production and use of research evidence targeted at government and education policymakers. We frame this relationship between foundations and intermediary organizations by drawing on the analogy of a hub and spoke structure, whereby parts of a wheel work together to move an incentivist policy agenda forward. Philanthropists see their investments in IOs as a way to realize more promising and effective educational interventions whose “profit” is understood to be a scaling up of reforms they favor. Foundations exercise investment in the following ways: