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Active Surveillance of Policy Ecosystems and Networks (ASPEN)


William T. Grant Foundation

In partnership with the Rutgers University School of Communication and Information, the ASPEN Project seeks to broaden the understanding of the way that policymakers interact with research data by tracking its dissemination through knowledge brokers in and around policy ecosystems, specifically by looking at the way that implementation-side research on the implementation of adolescent universal depression screening in New Jersey’s schools. As research partners, CESP is responsible for conducting key informant interviews with school guidance counselors, psychologists, and members of child study teams across the state to gather and assess data of the feasibility of annual screenings to inform publications. Additionally, CESP will develop and administer online surveys for hundreds of respondents across the state to gather additional data.

These publications will be aggregated in an online hub, and information from them will be tracked through social media analysis, news coverage analysis, and ultimately through their use by policymakers as laws are written, debated, and enacted. This $1,000,000  project, funded by the William T. Grant Foundation, began in 2019 and is scheduled to end in 2022.