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An Evaluability Assessment of the Not In Our Town Hate and Bias Action Teams Model

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, $686,997)

In the United States, hate crimes (also known as bias crimes) are complex, significantly on the rise, and often vastly underreported. They are distinct from other crimes because their impact is felt not only by the victim but also by other members of the targeted group. A large body of research exists on general hate crime topics such as prevalence, causes, consequences, and related issues, but research specifically examining hate crime interventions is lacking. 

The purpose of this project is to conduct a mixed-methods evaluability study of the Bureau of Justice Assistance-funded Not in Our Town (NIOT) Hate and Bias Action Teams (HBAT) model. The primary activities will be to: 1) develop a generalized HBAT model; 2) validate the generalized model; 3) conduct implementation case studies of the model; and 4) develop a preliminary evaluation plan to assess the generalized model’s effectiveness. (The project is phase one of a larger process to evaluate the HBAT model; phase two—the subject of a future effort—will entail executing the evaluation.) 

The proposed study will produce outcomes that represent major contributions to the field of hate crime prevention and intervention. First, it will advance our understanding of how to address hate and bias crimes in a community context, by mapping the NIOT–HBAT activities that are intended to bring about change and the results that can be realistically expected from those activities. Second, it will result in the development of a program implementation guide for use by advocates interested in developing programs to address hate crimes in their communities. Third, it will make an essential contribution to the state of the science regarding the evaluation of programs seeking to reduce hate  crimes, through the development of a NIOT–HBAT evaluation plan that will provide solutions to the unique challenges (e.g., defining the intervention, defining success, defining the treatment group, powering the design) that plague hate crime community-level interventions. 

The project’s service area consists of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Bloomington–Normal, Illinois.

The intended beneficiaries include a variety of stakeholders (e.g., hate crime victims, victim service providers, policymakers, researchers).

We will partner with NIOT to develop the generalized HBAT model and conduct implementation case studies of two localized adaptations of the model. We will collaborate with hate crime victims, using participatory research methods. We will also convene an Advisory Group of subject matter experts who will offer guidance on the generalized model. 

Date Created: September 28, 2023