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Robert L. Fischer, PhD

Research Professor
Program Director, Master of Nonprofit Organizations
Co-Director, Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development


PhD, Vanderbilt University
MPP, Vanderbilt University
AB, Duke University

Google Scholar citation page

Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

Mandel Center for Community Studies, Room 211
Case Western Reserve University
11402 Bellflower Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
216.368.2711
fischer@case.edu

About

Robert L. Fischer is a Research Professor at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences of Case Western Reserve University, where he leads a range of evaluation research studies and teaches evaluation methods to graduate students in social work and nonprofit management. He is also Co-Director of the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development. Since 2001, he has led the Center’s research on Invest in Children, a county-wide early childhood initiative that includes home visiting, children’s health, and childcare components. Dr. Fischer is also faculty director of the Masters of Nonprofit Organizations (MNO) degree program.  Read full biosketch.

Course List

MAND 410 Quantitative Analysis for Nonprofit Leaders
MAND 422 Organizational Assessment & Program Evaluation in Nonprofit Organizations
MAND 444 Program Design for Nonprofit Organizations

Affiliations

Co-Director, Center on Urban Poverty & Community Development
Program Director, Master of Nonprofit Organizations
Board President, Ohio Program Evaluators’ Group
Faculty Associate, Schubert Center for Child Studies

The Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development

mandel center webRobert L. Fischer, Ph.D is Co-Director of the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development.The Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development seeks to address the problems of persistent and concentrated urban poverty and is dedicated to understanding how social and economic changes affect low-income communities and their residents. Based in Cleveland, the Center views the city as both a tool for building communities and producing change locally, and as a representative urban center from which nationally-relevant research and policy implications can be drawn.. | Read More |


Recent Publications

Collins, C. C., Fischer, R. L., & Lalich, N. (in press). Enhancing child care for children with special needs through technical assistance. The Journal of Family Strengths. Accepted December 2013.

Small, M., Fischer, R. L., Berner, L., & Cooper-Lewter, S. (2014). Support for Sister-affiliated ministries during challenging times: Understanding a foundation initiative in two regions. Foundation Review, 5(4), 14-25.

Chaidez-Gutierrez, F., & Fischer, R. L. (2013). Reflecting on grantee accountability to funders: Exploring power dynamics with grassroots organizations in communities of color. Journal of Community Practice, 21. 304-326.

Roudebush, M. M., Fischer, R. L., & Brudney, J. L. (2013). Adding assets to needs:  Creating a community data landscape. Journal for Nonprofit Management, 15(2), 5-18.

Chelimsky, T. C, Fischer, R. L., Levin, J., Cheren, M., Marsh, S., & Janata, J. (2013). The Primary Practice Physician Program for Chronic Pain (4PCP): Outcomes of a model for community-based training and support. Clinical Journal of Pain. Publication ahead of print at The Clinical Journal of Pain.

Fischer, R. L., Peterson, L., Bhatta, T. R., & Coulton, C. (2013). Getting ready for school: Piloting universal pre-kindergarten in an urban county. Journal of Education for Students Placed At Risk, 18(2), 128-140.

Fischer, R. L., & Murphy, M. A, (2013). The harvest of ministry: Exploring the ministry of women religious in Cleveland. Journal of Religion and Society, 15,1-15.

Recent Presentations

Fischer, R. L., Brudney, J., & Roudebush, M. (2013). Expectations and experience:  The adoption and use of community data systems. Annual Conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action. Hartford, CT. November.

Foreman, K., Fischer, R., Greenberg, S., & Berges, M. (2013) Deep Green and Healthy Homes- Occupant Interview Study: The role of occupant behavior in achieving energy reductions and improved indoor air quality in affordable housing. Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Cleveland, OH. November.

Fischer, R. L. (2013). Upfront evaluation planning. Swanston Fund Innovations Conference. Youngstown, OH. November.

Fischer, R. L., & Coulton, C. (2013). Using integrated data to assess and monitor a community initiative on child well-being. American Evaluation Association Annual Conference. Washington, DC. October.

Fischer, R. L., Coulton, C., & Kim, S. J. (2013). How partnerships with higher education help your state agency use early childhood data for decision-making. Invited presentation. Improving Data, Improving Outcomes conference. Washington, DC. September.

Fischer, R. L., & Staib, R. O. (2013). Addressing early childhood mental health needs: Outcomes from Cuyahoga County. Cuyahoga County Conference on Social Welfare. Cleveland, OH. March.

Dorman, R., & Fischer, R. L. (2013). Invest in Children: A community update. Philanthropy Ohio. Cleveland, OH. March.

Fischer, R. L. (2013). Using socio-economic data to inform health policy and practice. Invited talk. Center for Health Care Research & Policy, MetroHealth Medical Center. February.

Dorman, R., & Fischer, R. L. (2013). Early childhood services and Invest in Children. Pediatric Grand Rounds, Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. Cleveland, OH. January.


In the News


“Use of Community Data by Nonprofits” Research Colloquium featuring Dr. Robert Fischer on January 27

Jan 13 2017
Research Colloquium | Use of Community Data by Nonprofits

 

All are invited to Use of Community Data by Nonprofits: Opportunities and Challenges, a FREE research colloquium at 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. EST on Friday,January 27, 2017, in room #108 of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Community Studies Center at 11402 Bellflower Road on the campus of Case Western Reserve University. Lunch will be provided.

Presented by the Mandel School’s Office of Research Administration and the Doctoral Program, 2016-2017 Research & Training Colloquia are part of the Centennial Speaker Series and are “Featuring Our Own,” spotlighting the Mandel School’s own groundbreaking research.

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Nonprofit organizations strive to build and serve the community in a variety of ways. A relatively new development to assist nonprofits with this critical task is the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) that incorporate data assembled from area nonprofit organizations. Based on in-depth interviews conducted with 18 sites in the U.S. that have adopted a prominent GIS application, this presentation explores the reasons why nonprofits adopt these systems, their inclusion of various stakeholders in their launch, and the challenges for sustaining GIS use.


rfischerSPEAKER

Robert Fischer, PhD, Research Professor; Co-Director, Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development; Faculty Director of the Master of Nonprofit Organizations (MNO) Program.

 

 

 


COST and CEUs

Free and open to all. 1.5 social work CEUs are available for in-person attendees ($10 for CWRU alumni; $25 for non-alumni). To attend online via livestream, click the livestream option when RSVPing and you will be provided a link via email as the event date approaches. No CEUs are available for livestream attendees.


STUDENT INFO

Mandel School students receive 1.5 PD hours for attending (online and intensive weekend students who watch via livestream can receive 1.5 PD hours by submitting a brief summary to their field advisor). On-campus students can also visit with the speakers immediately following the colloquium.

For more details about this and other Mandel School Centennial Speaker Series events, visit http://msass.case.edu/Centennial

Questions? Please email MandelSchool@case.edu or call 216.368.2270.


Poverty Center at the 2017 Society for Social Work and Research Conference

Jan 9 2017

Several faculty and students from the Center of Urban Poverty and Community Development will be attending and presenting at the 21st annual conference of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) in New Orleans this week.

Dr. Claudia Coulton, co-director, and Dr. David Crampton, associate director, will be participating in the round table discussion Advancing the Impact of Ecologically Oriented Research on Child Maltreatment Prevention on Friday, January 13.

Recent Poverty Center faculty associate Dr. Cyleste Collins presents Bridging the Gap Between Researchers and “Regular People:” Building Research Capacity in Community Organizations on Friday as well.

Rong Bai, a doctoral student research assistant at the Center, is the presenting author on the ePoster Evaluating the Implementation of Partnering for Family Success on Saturday, January 14. The other authors on the poster are Dr. Collins, Dr. Crampton, and Center co-director Dr. Robert Fischer.

Also on Saturday, Dr. Coulton is presenting Temporal Effects of Distressed Housing on Child Maltreatment Among Young Children; Poverty Center doctoral assistant Youngmin Cho, faculty associate Dr. Francisca Richter, and Dr. Fischer are also authors.

2007 research by Dr. Coulton and others from the Center is being cited in another child maltreatment panel presented by faculty from the University of Southern California and New Mexico State University on Friday.


American Evaluation Association’s 2016 conference

Oct 27 2016

evalutaion-2016Poverty Center researchers Dr. Robert Fischer and Dr. Elizabeth Anthony will be presenting at the American Evaluation Association’s 2016 conference on October 28 and 29, 2016.

Rob Fischer, co-director of the Poverty Center, is presenting on “Evaluating Social Impact Financing in Human Services” on October 28th at 4:30PM as part of the Critical Meta-Evaluation of Social Return on Investment (SROI): Evaluator, Economist, and Accountant Perspectives on Evaluation Design panel. The presentation is on how local governments often lack the resources to invest in innovative models to address key community needs. So-called “Social Impact Bonds” offer a mechanism for attracting private sector funding for initiatives that are targeted to complex and high-cost social conditions. In 2013, Cuyahoga County became the first U.S. county to launch a social impact bond under the name Pay For Success. This initiative involves an intensive approach to keep homeless families together and to reduce foster care costs. This paper provides an overview of how social impact financing works and what the experience with them has been thus far. The presentation describes the development and evaluation of the initiative in Cuyahoga County focused on homeless families with children involved in child welfare. The paper explores the implications of these funding models for the evaluation of nonprofits that carry out innovative services. Beth Anthony along with Poverty Center associate director David Crampton and co-director Claudia Coulton co-authored this report.

On October 29th at 10:45am, faculty associate Beth Anthony  will present “Compared to what? Exploring the value of an RCT in interpreting program delivery in a home visiting context” as part of the panel Randomized Controlled Trials in Social Services and Education. This session highlights the value of comparative methodologies in the evaluation of human services programs. Given the realities of under-staffed, under-resourced social service agencies, program evaluators are often unable to implement a rigorously designed evaluation, settling instead for single group pre-test, post-test comparisons. We present the results and challenges of a longitudinal, randomized field experiment to test the effectiveness of a stress-reduction curriculum embedded in an existing home visiting program for low-income mothers. In light of high attrition and null findings even among a subgroup of women who completed the intervention, the evaluators reflect on the methods to judge the efficacy of home visiting as a model of service delivery. Rob Fischer is also an author on this presentation.

To know more visit the official conference website at American Evaluation Association’s 2016 conference.