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Understanding and Refining Violence Intervention Implementation: St. Louis (MO) as a Crucial Case

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $779,614)

Statement of the Problem. Across the U.S., cities are innovating to reduce violence in their neighborhoods. Increasingly, this involves community-driven responses supported and coordinated by Offices of Violence Prevention (OVPs). A new St. Louis OVP began organizing a “cohort” of wraparound service providers and violence interruption groups in late 2022. Given its newness, this offers a unique chance to understand implementation of Community Violence Intervention and Prevention (CVIP) and its outcomes. This project will (1) describe the implementation context for CVIP in St. Louis before considering (2) implementation facilitators and (3) implementation barriers relative to best practices and model cases. A (4) rapid, dynamic assessment and summative evaluation of CVIP efficacy relative to facilitators and barriers is part of the project, too.

Research Participants and Data. Purposive samples of 45 CVIP personnel, 45 CVIP clients, and 30 residents and community leaders will be interviewed. “Follow-up” interviews with some interviewees will bring the total to ~150. CVIP cohort meetings (~20 per year) and relevant documents will be observed and analyzed. De-identified record data will measure case and organizational indicators. At least 6000 client service, violence interruption, and community outreach records will be available. Crime, economic, and health indicators will be used as neighborhood and city-level outcomes.
Research Design and Methods. Semi-structured interviews will focus on participants’ involvement and perception of CVIP efforts. Systematic observation of meetings and public hearings and document reviews of organizational materials will identify and contextualize implementation drivers. Case records from CVIP partners and data from publicly available information systems will be used to measure outcomes across multiple dimensions. 

Analysis. Interview, observation, and document review data will be analyzed with intensive qualitative methods. Descriptive and multivariate statistics with case records and publicly available data will identify trends, capture variation, and assess outcomes. “Member checking” and sensitivity analyses will help ensure sound inferences. 
Partnerships. Seven local organizations and the OVP are partnering on this project. Organizations that join the CVIP during the project period will also be recruited.  
Products, Reports, and Data Archiving. Fact sheets based on dynamic analyses will be distributed to partners four times per year. A CVIP implementation guide will fuse insight from existing evidence with St. Louis’s experience. A final report and progress updates will be submitted to NIJ and a data archiving package will be developed before the end of the project. Presentations and articles will be prepared for research and technical assistance audiences.

Date Created: September 26, 2023