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									COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT & DEVELOPMENT SERVICES
PROJECT OVERVIEW
Communities and organizations throughout Illinois require access to reliable and affordable information
to be effective in identifying assets and finding solutions to meet needs. CADS will serve these
communities and organizations by making available information and services. This will be accomplished
by a trained cadre of professionals who focus on providing reliable data, offer assessment and evaluation
services, and provide training and information for decision-makers.
Communities and organizations need high quality information. Currently, information is gathered in
various ways depending on services and resources available within the community or area. It is not
uncommon for outside private consultants – “experts” – to be brought in at great expense to provide these
services. It is important to note that when “communities” are referenced in this document, that term does
not refer solely to governmental units. In addition to counties, municipalities, school districts and other
taxing authorities, CADS would also regard “communities” as groups with a common interest, such as
businesses within a city or defined region, landowners within a watershed, regional institutions and
organizations (e.g., Workforce Investment Board), specialty crop producers along a designated highway,
or child care providers in the state of Illinois. These are obviously examples, provided to display the
potential reach of a CADS program.
In some counties, University of Illinois Extension has helped meet such needs for information and assessment.
However, this service and the accompanying product seems to vary greatly based upon the resources,
knowledge, skills and interests of the respective Unit staff. CADS will provide a more mobile cadre of trained
staff with skills, expertise and resources to provide a consistently high quality product.
The University of Illinois Extension “community” (as an organization) would also be a key customer of CADS
services. Once operational, this could come in the form of providing assistance as consultants for internal
organizational (i.e., not resulting in a branded CADS community deliverable) projects, such as developing a
Team’s Plan of Work. This would be a valuable tool for the organization, but it would need to be balanced
with the goal of revenue generation. This internal relationship might also take shape as providing consultant
services for other funded (non-CADS) projects guided by faculty and staff.
This proposal represents something new and original, something which might eventually be exported to other
state Extension services. The budget, found later in this document, represents serious discussions about how
this effort could be achieved. At every step those involved spoke in favor of presenting a realistic proposal.
This is a proposal to create a flagship program from the ground up, and the budget reflects that. Adequate
staffing and training is vital to success.
Flagship Criteria
CADS meets seven of the eight goals set forth in the University of Illinois Extension Strategic Agenda
including:
A. Foster entrepreneurship throughout the organization.
B. Strengthen Extension’s ability to deliver high-quality programming through building additional Extension
   educator capacity.
C. Strengthen and expand Extension’s utilization of information technology and alternative delivery methods
   to enhance program delivery.
D. Develop additional mechanisms to tap academic expertise.
E. Direct programming towards identified critical issues.
F. Strengthen and enhance program delivery partnerships.
G. Support Extension staff to be successful in the implementation of the Strategic Agenda.

Specific to the identified criteria for Flagship Programs:
Financial sustainability: The budget included in this proposal reflects a projected loss each of the first three
years. However, the amount of money in that loss changes dramatically by Year Three. As with any financial
projection, it is easy to project great success. This proposal is conservative, reflecting the knowledge of how
much effort will have to be expended for Extension to develop the capacity to deliver applied research services
across the state. The potential for future revenue generation once start-up needs are covered is substantial.
Innovative and entrepreneurial approach: The project will encourage and nurture entrepreneurial behavior and
innovative thinking throughout the organization. As CADS Consultants reach maturity through training and
experience there will be an extraordinary array of opportunities for creative application of their skills. CADS
will bring an entirely new product to the Extension system that will add value for existing customers and open
new markets.
Inclusiveness of different disciplines and cross-campus engagement: Every discipline within Extension could
realistically be involved in a CADS project. Promoting CADS within the system is a high priority in the first
year. It is hoped that CADS Consultants will eventually come from every discipline and team across the
system. Campus engagement is likely to take two forms. First, it will be important to tap faculty expertise for
training CADS Consultants. Second, for some specialized projects it will be necessary to recruit faculty as
research partners. Given the expected complexity and diversity of CADS projects and clients, the involvement
of staff from other disciplines and campus departments will be critical to producing deliverables of the highest
quality.
New opportunities for Teams to work together: This would be true, both intra- and inter-Team. The first group
of CADS Consultants will probably come primarily from the ranks of the CED Team. It is intended that the
first round of projects will demonstrate the need for active involvement by members of other Extension Teams.
During the first year the Program Manager will make a presentation at each Team meeting to provide
information, prospect for projects and encourage participation.
Substantial inclusion of County Directors: County Directors will be critical to CADS success. The category of
Project Spotter was created with these professionals in mind, although the ranks of CADS Consultants will
likely include representation from this group. Project spotting is already happening in an ad hoc manner.
CADS will formalize and centralize this activity allowing for increased capacity and higher quality
deliverables. It is intended that the concept of revenue sharing will increase participation, and the likelihood
that CADS branded projects in their respective Units will also mean greater awareness of local Extension
offices, new local partnerships, and additional CADS projects in the future.
Responsiveness to local needs: This would be the case, regardless of the project at hand. The very concept of
meeting local needs is what spurred conversations leading to this proposal. The decentralized structure
outlined in this proposal reflects a desire to embrace local needs so that projects will come from the bottom up
rather than the reverse.
Provision of Services
What constitutes a CADS project? In a meeting attended by a cross section of University of Illinois Extension
professionals, representing different regions and disciplines, consensus was achieved on the following
components of a CADS project:
     There will always be a readiness assessment. In other words, CADS staff will ensure that the
         customer is ready for this level of service.
     There will be a charge for services.
     There will be an applied research activity (data is collected and analyzed) and a deliverable product.
     There will be an educational component
     There will be some level of follow-up activity – perhaps dissemination or presentation of the product,
         or an action plan, or measurement of impact after some time has elapsed.
A CADS project might be something as simple as a survey with basic analysis and recommendations or it
might be a comprehensive plan for a community involving surveys, interviews, focus groups, GIS mapping
and more. It could be working on a strategic plan with a rural hospital or identifying options for a shrinking
school district. It could be conducting an internal assessment of how Extension Teams function or assisting a
program Team in conducting a process designed to yield a Plan of Work that meets the needs of their
customers.
CADS will provide services within 5 broad areas: Data, Assessment, Training, Implementation, and
Evaluation. More specifically, the following components might be part of a CADS project: questionnaire
design, sample selection, statistical consulting, surveys (phone, mail, and personal interview), focus groups,
key informant interviews, demographic profiles, strategic planning, feasibility studies, evaluation, client
satisfaction surveys, asset mapping, and more. In addition, the CADS team will collect, analyze, interpret and
disseminate information on social, economic, and demographic trends in support of community and regional
analysis.
Currently research support services are provided inconsistently within the system. CADS will reverse this
situation by implementing the following actions:
1. Provide statewide leadership and coordination by hiring full-time staff – Program Manager and Data
     Director – who will function as the operations and research managers respectively. Leadership is crucial
     to success, these hires must embrace the CADS concept, have experience with applied research projects,
     and excellent communication skills.
2. Recruit and train a cadre of CADS Consultants. These individuals are the backbone of CADS; they are the
     boots on the ground that will put knowledge to work on projects across the state. During the first year
     between five and ten Extension staff will receive training in applied social science research methods with
     the expectation that each will have a cost recovery project in progress within Year One. The same number
     will be recruited in Year Two. Consultants will be required to participate in a rigorous training program
     that will include:
          a. Primary data collection with a focus on research design, survey research methods, and
               development of qualitative research skills (focus groups, interviewing skills, group
               processing/facilitation).
          b. Data base management and statistical analysis with demonstrated competence in the use of Excel,
               Access, and SPSS.
          c. Working knowledge of secondary data resources including national (Census, BEA, BLS, etc.),
               state (especially administrative records like Dept. of Revenue, School Report Cards, etc.), and
               proprietary (ESRI Business Analyst, InfoUSA, etc.) sources.
          d. GIS training using ArcGIS as a software platform.
          e. Report writing and presentation skills.
     Subsequent education for the cadre of CADS Consultants may consist of advanced training in these skill
     sets. Ongoing internal communication and interaction will be critical to sustaining research skills and
     leveraging talents and expertise.
3. Promote CADS within the system through a combination of PDOs, presentations at Team and Regional
     meetings, and development of a website and communications/marketing strategy. The key objective will
     be to train Project Spotters. It is our belief that every day a County Director or Educator, somewhere in
     the State, is sitting in a meeting where a potential CADS project is being discussed. Our mission is to
     seize these opportunities.
4. Expand existing relationships with campus-based specialists and faculty and create new ones. The
     Program Manager will attempt to integrate research interests with proposed CADS projects whenever
     possible. The creation of an Advisory Board will hopefully assist in this effort.
Marketing Strategy
The importance of County Directors and others who will accept a role as Project Spotter has been mentioned
already. While there will be high quality print and electronic marketing efforts, CADS will succeed if field
staff understand and embrace the concept. Identification of CADS projects will come primarily from these
colleagues. Successful implementation of these local projects will lead to more in the same community,
county or region, and with success building on success, projects covering a wider area (statewide or regional)
will become more readily available. Having one or more Project Spotters in every county would be a
tremendous asset and would go far towards achieving success for CADS.
The role of the Program Manager is critical in helping to recruit Project Spotters across the state and then to
help ‘close the deal’ with local partners. He or she will be traveling across the state, meeting with local
Extension professionals and their partners, making presentations both internally and externally. One of the
first CADS products will be a presentation describing the functions and services of CADS for people in the
field to present to local service clubs, governmental boards, statewide entities, and other potential partners.
The first year of CADS will be critical to building the foundation with strong building blocks of an engaged
and excited Program Manager, local advocates, and trained professionals to successfully design and complete
the project at hand. That year will also see the development of high quality materials, print and electronic, as
part of the larger CADS marketing strategy.
Sustainability / Cost-Recovery
There is great potential for revenue generation through CADS. The services that will be offered are the same
for which private consultants charge substantially. The challenge will be to develop a fee scale with prices
somewhere in-between what Extension would charge now for such services and what a private sector
consultant would charge. However, the goal is not to compete with the private sector for every possible
project. The criteria identified in a previous section will limit the potential clients to some degree. After all,
an Extension program should have an element of education, bringing campus knowledge to the rest of the
state, and ideally the potential for scholarship and applied research will be present, as well.
A basic three-year budget can be found in a later section. That budget contains projections of a monetary loss
in all three years, but substantially closing the gap by Year Three. Even so, projections are merely that and
could have just as easily projected more revenue than expenses after three years – and there may well be.
Again, it all comes down to the people on the ground. If the Program Manager is a CADS evangelist and if the
majority of Units have one or more staff looking for potential projects and advocating for them, success
(defined by revenue) will come sooner.
A comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness of CADS will be developed and tracked from the beginning.
Both quantitative and qualitative measures will be included along with the ability of CADS to become self-
sustaining over time. Types of indicators to be measured will include:
   Number of communities and organizations served.
   Satisfaction surveys
   Tracking of activities related to recommendations
   Revenue generation
There is a commitment to measuring impact of projects whenever possible. Such measures will naturally vary
from project to project.
The potential for applied research projects is significant with a CADS team in place, and with such research
underway, the likelihood of adding to Extension scholarship through writings, presentations and posters is
significant.
Below are the outcomes (impact) identified in the logic model developed as part of this proposal process.
Short-term
 Increase understanding of the importance of data for good decision making.
 Increase knowledge of identifying & using reliable data.
 Increase awareness of the value and role of Extension in communities.
Intermediate
 Improve decision- making and policy development based on reliable data.
 Improve assessment & planning both internal and external to UIE.
 Expand role of UIE as key player at the local community level.
 Increase communication within and between Extension teams.
 Increase UIE revenue
Long-term
 Communities & organizations (including UIE) make decisions and policies based on sound, reliable data
     and information.
The complete logic model for this proposal can be found at the end of this document.
TIMEFRAME
The following is based upon starting July 1, 2007, corresponding with Extension’s fiscal year.

YEAR ONE
   Hire full-time CADS Program Manager
    o Conduct PDOs for Extension staff to inform and build buy-in (Project Spotters)
    o Visit Regional Meetings and County Directors’ meetings
    o Build relationships with other groups for potential partnering
    o Connect with faculty and grad students to build relationships around research interests
   Acquire data and information management resources useful in CADS projects (PCensus and secondary
    data resources)
   Establish plan for responding to internal demand for CADS services
   Identify and train 5-10 CADS Consultants
    o Four 2-1/2 day training sessions
    o Six 1-1/2 day meetings
   Develop a marketing plan and prepare marketing materials
   Build a website
   Identify and begin at least five projects (ideally one per region with Consultants partnering)
   Recruit an Advisory Board from ranks of Team Leaders, County Directors, campus-based specialists and
    faculty, and representatives from selected target areas (local government, economic development, etc.)

YEAR TWO
   Hire Data Director
   Develop Secondary Data Center with strong GIS Component
   Identify and train 5-10 more CADS Consultants
   Continue training regimen for new Consultants
   Investigate C2ER Certification for veteran consultants
   Develop standardized tools and products
   Five projects completed; 10-20 new projects identified and started
   Develop communications strategy, centering around a newsletter (print and electronic) with solid content
   Develop line of secondary data products for niche markets – economic development organizations; local
    government; non-profit organizations, health care organizations, schools, etc.
   Scholarship: begin identifying potential papers for publication or poster sessions from projects

YEAR THREE
   Program Manager and Data Director aggressively seek statewide contracts
   Continued training of CADS Consultants (now numbering between 10 and 20)
   Twenty projects completed; 20-30 new projects identified and started
   Continue scholarship efforts
   Implement communications strategy
   Roll out secondary data products line
APPENDIX 1: EXAMPLES OF CADS PROJECTS
The potential variety of the objectives for projects falling under the CADS umbrella is substantial. This
proposal is not accompanied by letters of support or memoranda of understanding. Brief descriptions of some
examples of CADS-like projects will hopefully offer evidence that there will be interest.

Brown County Action: The Adams/Brown Unit partnered with The Medical Foundation out of Boston to
conduct a comprehensive needs assessment of Brown County, a follow-up to such an assessment five years
prior. The Tracy Family Foundation provided funding for this effort. Following the presentation of the
findings to a community gathering, the recommendations of the report were transformed into community
“Action Teams” which were given the charge of meeting the recommendations outlined in the report. These
Teams continue to meet and develop strategies for community improvement, with Extension staff continuing
to be involved in these smaller groups. ($9640 contract and then annual funding to continue action process)
    The project entailed: survey development, dissemination, input and analysis; key informant interviews;
    focus group facilitation; organization and presentation of key demographic data; development of indicators
    to measure progress; final report containing recommendations based on accumulated data, both qualitative
    and quantitative.

Quincy Catholic Schools: The catholic elementary schools desired someone to conduct an objective analysis
to determine which of the schools should be closed to address decreasing enrollment. This was a highly
charged environment, requiring great skill to manage large meetings. Two schools were eventually closed
with this effort recognized as a spur to that unfortunate necessity.
    The project entailed: survey development, dissemination, input and analysis; key informant interviews;
    focus group facilitation; meeting facilitation; organization and presentation of key demographic data;
    development of indicators to measure progress; presentation of final report containing recommendations
    based on accumulated data, both qualitative and quantitative.
LaMoine River Watershed: As part of C2000, the LaMoine Watershed was charged with writing a
Management Plan to lay out projects for the volunteer governing group to conduct in subsequent years. The
Plan was required to result from citizen input and the perspective of local experts working in various connected
fields. Numerous sessions were held with both groups, resulting in an extensive action plan and attainable
objectives. ($4500 contract)
    The project entailed: survey development, dissemination, input and analysis; key informant interviews;
    focus group facilitation; organization and presentation of key demographic data; development of indicators
    to measure progress; final report containing recommendations based on accumulated data, both qualitative
    and quantitative. There was substantial GIS mapping in this project, provided in this case by an Illinois
    DNR staff person.
Youth2Work: The Workforce Investment Board of Western Illinois, covering nine counties in the western part
of the state, commissioned a survey to determine the extent of programs and services within its region that
address training for young people around workforce issues. Extension offices in each of the nine counties
were compensated for collecting this information, which included both written surveys and key informant
interviews.
    The project entailed: survey development, dissemination, input and analysis; key informant interviews;
    final report containing recommendations based on accumulated data, both qualitative and quantitative;
    website development (www.youth2work.org) for continued sharing and updating.
Assessment of 0-5 Services in Adams County: The Adams/Brown Unit and Pat Curry provided a 0-5
community needs assessment of early childhood program services and needs that currently exist in Adams
County for the Early Childhood Quality Services Coalition. ($5000 contract)
    The project entailed: Reviewing existing list of providers from the ECQSC and insure it is as complete and
    up to date as possible, Gathered and assembled available data from census and other available sources on
    the population. Developed and distributed a survey to area providers and analyzed results. Coordinated
    parent focus groups with help from the ECQSC and providers. Analyzed results and submitted final
    report.

WIEDA Enterprise Zone: The Western Illinois Economic Development Authority (WIEDA) was created two
years ago to boost economic development. One component of the authorizing legislation was the authority to
create a new enterprise zone, the first in many years. Intended to bring the benefits of enterprise zones to areas
without such incentives, the thirteen-county area provides a particular challenge to meeting that objective.
There are many restrictions to where an EZ might function, all of which need to be addressed in managing it.
Each time the EZ expands to meet a proposed new project there is potential for a small-scale CADS project to
result. Extension is participating in discussions about managing this EZ.
    The project will likely entail: survey development, dissemination, input and analysis; key informant
    interviews; focus group facilitation; organization and presentation of key demographic data; final report
    containing recommendations based on accumulated data, both qualitative and quantitative; GIS mapping.

In addition to community partners, certain projects will likely be of interest to UIUC faculty and research staff,
including graduate students. For one example, the Department of Urban and Regional Planning is currently
invested in a partnership with Extension around the Community Matters program. Reaching out to
municipalities to conduct comprehensive planning would be complementary to that program. Adams County
is just beginning a two-year process to develop a county comprehensive plan, and Extension professionals will
be highly involved in that effort. However, that involvement will likely be uncompensated as the mechanism
does not currently exist to present a realistic bid to manage the project from start to finish.
APPENDIX 2: CADS JOB DUTIES
Several distinct positions have been referenced in this proposal. Below are some basic duties for these
positions as envisioned by the program developers.

Program Manager
The face and voice of CADS – responsible for overall project management and coordination:
 Financial management
 Marketing – internal and external
 Provides training and information within the system
 Administrative liaison
 Oversees evaluation
 Quality control
 Tracks research activities and makes recommendations as needed
 Meets with Advisory Board
 Attends meeting where final product is delivered
Data Director
The brains of CADS – responsible for designing and implementing community research projects:
 Design and deliver training for associated Extension staff (CADS Consultants)
 Develop and maintain secondary data center for use by CADS Consultants
 Develop and update secondary products line (community profiles, research briefings, etc.)
 Meet with clients and other Extension staff to develop scope of work to achieve client objectives
 Implement applied research projects from data collection through report writing
 Liaison to CADS Consultants
 Assist with marketing
 Promote scholarship as key component of CADS projects
 Develop positive working relationship with campus-based specialists and faculty
 Meets with Advisory Board
 Attends meeting where final product is delivered
CADS Consultants
The hands and feet of CADS – responsible for project management in designated areas around the state:
 Participates in initial meetings with client
 Assists Data Director and/or Program Manager to write scope of work
 Coordinates local resources to meet needs of scope of work
 Develops initial instrument / protocol for approval by Data Director
 Conducts initial analysis of data
 Attends meeting where final product is delivered
Project Spotters
The eyes and ears of CADS – responsible for identifying local projects for the CADS Team:
 Conduct direct marketing of CADS program in local communities
 Create and nurture relationships with community institutions (local government, schools, nonprofit
    organizations, economic development groups) to enable rapid response to possible projects
 Coordinate visits by Program Manager and/or Data Director to meet with possible clients
 Assist in writing and submitting local proposals

								
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