TIER’s Community Evaluator (CE) model brings together program participants, local residents, service providers, community leaders, and researchers to share their knowledge, skills, and resources, with the common goal of shaping the development, implementation, and dissemination of research and evaluation.

The TIER CE model comprises recruitment, training, and ongoing mentorship and support of CEs as we co-design and implement projects, analyze data, and work together to translate findings into practice and policy recommendations.

What TIER CEs do:

  • – Inform researchers, programs, and policy-makers about community priorities and the experiences of families and children
  • – Provide input and guidance on evaluation designs, findings, and dissemination
  • – Share ideas and guidance on how to approach and engage community members on particular evaluation projects
  • – Work to ensure that evaluation projects are ethical, culturally responsive, and beneficial to the communities they focus on
  • – Foster collaboration among community populations, evaluators, programs, and policy-makers
  • – Use evaluation findings to provide agencies, organizations, and policy-makers with the tools needed to identify and address racial inequities

Current TIER CE projects:

National Initiative to Address COVID-19 Health Disparities Award

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) contracted TIER to design and direct a 2-year evaluation and needs assessment project as part of MDPH’s National Initiative to Address COVID-19 Health Disparities Award from the CDC. The goals of the grant are to reduce pandemic-related health disparities, improve rural community health outcomes, and improve data collection and reporting capacity for populations experiencing the disproportionate burden of COVID-19. TIER CEs will ensure Massachusetts residents with lived experience in the communities prioritized in the grant are an active part of the evaluation process and public health response. The team will implement policy analyses, needs assessments, and evaluation projects in response to MDPH’s priorities and work with MDPH to translate findings into program recommendations.

Past TIER CE projects:

Evaluation of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) Perinatal Tobacco Cessation Programs

TIER was contracted by the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program (MTCP) at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) to conduct an evaluation to understand how MDPH can better tailor its tobacco and nicotine cessation efforts to meet the unique needs of pregnant and parenting people in Massachusetts, with the goal of promoting quit success. The goals of the mixed methods evaluation were to understand: (1) the prevalence of tobacco use among pregnant and parenting clients of substance use treatment and family support programs in Massachusetts; (2) substance use treatment and family support provider preparedness to support tobacco cessation efforts, and how preparedness differs between the two provider types, (3) substance use treatment and family support provider practices related to working with clients who use tobacco, and how these practices differ between the two provider types, and (4) factors related to tobacco reduction or cessation among substance use treatment and family support program clients.

Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) and Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Block Grant Needs Assessments

TIER was contracted by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) to conduct the needs assessment for the Massachusetts Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MA MIECHV) Program. The goals of the MA MIECHV needs assessment were to: (1) identify communities with concentrations of risk; (2) identify the quality and capacity of existing programs or initiatives for early childhood home visiting in the state; (3) discuss the state’s capacity for providing substance use treatment and counseling services to individuals and families in need of such treatment or services; and (4) coordinate with and take into account requirements of the Title V, CAPTA, and Head Start needs assessments. TIER’s broader aims were to generate a comprehensive understanding of the needs of families with young children across Massachusetts within the context of racial inequities, to determine whether existing family support programs and services are sufficient to both meet families’ needs and effect change at a structural level, and to identify strategies to strengthen the state’s early childhood systems of care.

Meet our CEs from this project!


More information about how to be involved in the COVID-19 Health Disparities Project coming soon. Contact Emma with any questions.