MAP Final Report: Study Methods (Sidebar)


Between 2017 and 2019, JohnJayREC researchers conducted 44 direct observations of MAP-related programming, 51 interviews with program staff and agency stakeholders, two focus groups with MAP Engagement Coordinators (MECs), and a survey of stakeholder team members across all MAP communities. Researchers also collected administrative data describing programmatic activity from 11 partner agencies. Multiple data sources allowed the research team to contextualize and describe MAP program components and identify implementation challenges.

Programs were selected for direct observations based on the following criteria:

1) some program activities were observable (e.g., workshops, community events, trainings, etc.),
2) program activities began no later than January 1, 2017,
3) activities were underway in at least half of the NYCHA developments involved in MAP,
4) programs were funded at least in part by MAP, and
5) direct observations would add to researchers’ understanding of a program beyond what was available through administrative data.

Researchers conducted direct observations of nine MAP partner programs: NextSTEPS, Play Streets, Cornerstone Community Centers, Kinship Care Giver Support / Parenting a Second Time Around, Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender Based Violence Elder Abuse workshops, Mayor’s Office to End Domestic Gender Based workshop on dating and healthy relationships, Kids in Motion, and Green City Force classes (first and second phases). All observations occurred at program sites, but the research team arranged to be as unobtrusive as possible during program activities. Researchers conducted two rounds of semi-structured interviews with various stakeholders and MAP partners. The first phase of interviews concentrated on activities from the original conception of the initiative, its roll-out in July 2014, and concluding with the establishment of the Neighborhood Stat (NStat) meetings in July 2016. The second phase focused on 2017 through 2019.

Phase 1 interviews were conducted with individuals who met the following criteria:

1) employed with the initiative for at least six months,
2) contributed to the planning or early implementation of MAP, and
3) held leadership or management positions in MAP during the planning phase.

Selection criteria for the second round of interviews included:

1) affiliated with MAP since January 2017, and
2) involved in MAP leadership or key staff from partner agencies with active roles in MAP implementation.

Two important groups were unavailable for interviews. The New York Police Department denied formal requests to interview Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCOs), and John Jay’s requests to interview NYCHA property managers never received a response. As a result, researchers were unable to learn directly about NCO interaction with residents or how MAP was perceived by local NYCHA staff. The study was forced to rely on the experiences and perceptions of other agencies.

The research team also conducted two focus groups with MAP Engagement Coordinators (MECs), especially those unavailable for one-on-one interviews. Questions addressed by the groups focused on collaboration with MAP agencies, stakeholder team strategies, and specific site successes and challenges.

Finally, in addition to observations, interviews, and focus groups, the research team analyzed various administrative datasets to estimate agency activities and resident participation in program components. Analyses examined the NYC Department of Probation’s “Next STEPS” program, the Department of Parks and Recreation’s “Kids in Motion” program, Senior Centers operated by the NYC Department for the Aging, the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence and its Family Justice Center / Healthy Relationship Trainings, and programs offered by the Police Athletic League (e.g., Play Streets).