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Evaluation of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Teams Pilot: Final Report

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The Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative (SC2) is a new interagency approach to partnering with cities for economic growth launched by the White House Domestic Policy Council in 2011. The SC2 initiative represents a new model of collaboration between federal and local government to improve how the federal government invests in and offers technical assistance to support locally driven economic development and job creation goals. The initiative focuses on changing how federal and local government systems interact, promoting enhanced collaboration and communication among federal agencies, tailoring solutions to local conditions, and increasing the capacity of local leaders and institutions for economic development. At the start of the pilot, federal agencies assigned employees to interagency teams of experts called SC2 teams. Each SC2 team consisted of a team lead and federal employees assigned to work for the city full-time, part-time, or in an advisory capacity. A small number of SC2 team members were deployed to the pilot cities where they worked at or in close proximity to city hall; other SC2 team members were based out of their agency’s headquarters in the Washington, DC area or out of regional or field offices. The Department of Health and Human Services contracted with Abt Associates and Mt. Auburn Associates to evaluate the first 18 months of the SC2 pilot. The evaluation focuses on how the pilot was implemented and the factors associated with its success. The evaluation addresses three research questions: 1. How are the activities of the SC2 teams being implemented? 2. How have federal participants experienced SC2? 3. What has been learned that can be used to enhance future program implementation

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