The Next Step: Evaluating Innovation and Measuring Success


Friday, October 23, 2015, 12:00pm to 1:00pm


Ash Center Foyer, 124 Mt. Auburn St., Suite 200-North, Cambridge, MA

Ash Center Student Speaker Series

Deena Zeplowitz (MPP ’16)

Lunch will be provided

About the Event
The neighborhood of East Portland, OR, was not always part of Portland. Throughout the 1980s and 90s, East Portland was slowly annexed by Portland, and although it is now a fully integrated part of the city, service provision still lags. In 2009, the East Portland Action Plan was developed to improve livability in East Portland. The plan was ambitious: it encompassed 63 strategies and 269 action items, all aimed at improving infrastructure, influencing policy and planning, and building community capacity. However, the plan was missing one key component: a mechanism by which to track progress towards meeting these goals.

Deena Zeplowitz, as part of the 2015 Ash Center Summer Fellowship in Innovation, spent 2 months working with the Mayor’s office in Portland, where she led an effort to evaluate the action items on the original East Portland Action Plan. Her work began by determining what progress—if any—had been made on each item. She then developed recommendations on how to improve and hasten city bureau implementation of the remaining uncompleted action items. Deena will discuss the East Portland Action Plan specifically, and delve into evaluation and the process of municipal innovation.

About the Series
The Ash Center Student Speaker Series highlights and explores the implications and lessons learned from the research projects or applied learning experiences of Harvard University students supported by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. Each week, we invite two students to offer brief remarks on their work, or a response to one another’s work, and then open the table for discussion. The series will take place each Friday at noon in the Ash Center foyer, 124 Mount Auburn Street, Suite 200-North. Lunch will be provided.