After the 2010 Census, it was estimated that there was an undercount of over 200,000 children ages 0-5 in California. This undercount significantly impacted funding and resource distribution to critical organizations serving young children and their families. A key goal for the 2020 Census was to ensure that this undercount did not happen again. To support efforts toward this goal, the First 5 Association of California (F5AC) partnered with the California Head Start Association (Head Start California – HSC) and the California WIC Association (WIC), to provide a unique, grassroots, trusted messenger approach to 2020 Census outreach targeting the 0-5 family population in California. Given the positioning of these three organizations in the state and local communities, as well as the breadth of their networks, the aim was to achieve an accurate count by reaching hard-to-count (HTC) families and underrepresented populations throughout the state to spread awareness and information about the census and promote census completion.

The First 5 Association of California served a critical role, leveraging its 58 local First 5 County Commissions, as well as new and existing partnerships with administrative
community-based organizations (ACBOs) and Census Sector Lead organizations throughout the state, as well as with the California Complete Counts committee.

Although the First 5 Association of California is experienced in convening its statewide First 5 County Commission members, it was new to its 2020 Census role, in which it built a statewide network across different associations and sector types to promote civic engagement. In the spirit of continued learning and growth, the First 5 Association of California enlisted the support of VIVA Social Impact Partners to evaluate its impact in this new role.

VIVA developed an impact evaluation approach that included collecting feedback via interviews during the 2020 Census work in order to provide the First 5 Association of California the opportunity to implement change in real time, as well as analyzed feedback at the end of the project to allow for reflection and learning. VIVA conducted 11 interviews in February and March 2020, in which VIVA spoke with 12 executive directors and staff members from California Complete Counts, Administrative Community Based Organization (ACBO), Sector Lead, and First 5 County Commission partners. VIVA synthesized interview findings into a report and presentation for the First 5 Association’s leadership team.

Evaluation Report Cover

Key activities of this partnership:

  • Impact evaluation
  • Interviews
  • Data analysis
  • Key findings reporting