As a research group, Power of the City has expertise in evaluation research, methodology development, impact studies, and impact training, primarily focusing on the social sector, youth sector, and public authorities. We adopt a theory-driven approach, wherein we not only examine data related to realized outputs and outcomes but also strive to elucidate and test the underlying program theory - how and why an intervention would lead to specific outcomes. In this way, we pay sufficient attention to relevant contextual factors and the perspectives of various stakeholders, influencing the effectiveness of a social intervention.
- For example, we collaborate with the city of Antwerp on various impact evaluations concerning different operations of the city.
- In the case of our partner Sint-Niklaas, we support the welfare cluster of the municipality in building expertise in impact-oriented work and social impact evaluations.
- Together with the Department of Work and Social Economy of the Flemish government, we address the question of whether employment in social economy leads to a sustainable reduction in the poverty risk for target group employees.
- Additionally, our applied research on 'collective impact' aims to develop a framework and tailored support offering for the social sector. This approach takes into account the complexity of social problems, the unpredictability of social interventions, and values the various knowledge sources and expertise. We explicitly focus on so-called 'eco-system interventions,' which involve diverse actors collaborating and 'orchestrating' their actions to collectively address complex problems.