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Research-to-practice inspiration in the CVR Library, part 2

R2P 2

In a 2020 survey of Texas victim service providers, respondents said that hearing from others who have partnered with researchers would help with their own efforts to work with a researcher.1 How can you learn about other researcher-practitioner partnerships and their studies? The Center for Victim Research (CVR) Library has some ideas!

Previously, the CVR Library shared search tips for finding reports from researcher-practitioner partnerships by using terms related to Research-to-Practice. In this post, we will cover search tips for finding research approaches that may be used by such partnerships.

Search Terms

The examples below come from the Justice Research & Statistics Association’s mini-grants, supported by IACP’s Law Enforcement-based Victim Services and Technical Services Program. All definitions come from CVR’s glossary.

Search the CVR Library for:

  • gap analysis– “The process of identifying gaps between the services and programs currently provided by an organization and the ideal level of service provision.” The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office and the University of North Carolina used mapping to identify underserved populations in the Cleveland County jurisdiction covered by victim services.
    • Related terms: barriers to service, underserved, reaching victims
  • needs assessment– “A systematic process to determine a specific population’s needs, with the goal of developing or improving services to effectively meet those needs.” The Chicago Police Department and Sancent Consulting, Inc. analyzed case record assessments and interviewed advocates to understand the needs of nonfatal gun violence victims. Brockton Police Department and Curry College compiled data from multiple sources and reviewed other advocacy programs’ language access plans to reveal victims’ language needs and police resources to meet those needs.
    • Related terms: community-engaged, effectiveness
  • process evaluation: “measures the progress or implementation of a program or service to determine how closely activities are implemented as intended, and to identify barriers and opportunities for correction.” The Saginaw Police Department and Saginaw Valley State University conducted surveys of police officers, community partners, and victims to increase  their understanding of repeat victimization. This partnership also conducted a process evaluation, analyzing victim service staff members’ journals about serving victims.
    • Related terms: implementation, progress, workflow, inputs
  • outcome evaluation: “measures a program’s results and determines whether or not it achieved its intended goals. It answers the question: Did this program change anything?” The Auburn Police Department, Cayuga Counseling Services, Inc., and Dr. Alison Marganski analyzed pre- and post-implementation crime report data and victim services data to capture the impact of the victim specialist on victims’ engagement with services and justice processes.
    • Related terms: impact, effectiveness, goals

How do I use these search tips?

Visit the CVR Library and copy and paste any of the search terms suggested above.

Add in any other topics related to the type of service or victimization you want to learn more about. Boolean operators can help focus the search results.

Additional Resources

After seeing examples of practitioners partnering with researcher, you may want to get started on your own study! Here are some suggested tools to simplify the process:

  • CVR Researcher Directory: Find a local partner with expertise in your topic.
  • Working Together tools: these guides walk through how to agree on the shape of the collaboration, expectations, and responsibilities. This page also includes ready-to-fill-in templates for a memorandum of understanding and a data-sharing agreement.
  1. In July and August of 2020, CVR and the Texas Victim Services Association (TVSA) conducted a survey of TVSA network members regarding their interest in and use of research, data, and empirical evidence . A total of 130 persons responded, mostly practitioners from community-based and criminal justice-based victim service providers. Here is an excerpt from the report on Survey of Victim Service Providers in Texas, August 2020 (internal, unpublished report):

We asked respondents, “In addition to funding, what would help facilitate your efforts in partnering with a researcher? (check all that apply)”


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