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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 sought to broaden the understanding of how policymakers interacted with research data by tracking its dissemination through knowledge brokers in and around policy ecosystems, specifically by examining implementation-side research on adolescent universal depression screening in New Jersey’s schools. As research partners, CESP was 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 on the feasibility of annual screenings to inform publications. Additionally, CESP developed and administered online surveys for hundreds of respondents across the state to gather further data.
These publications were aggregated in an online hub, and information from them was tracked through social media analysis, news coverage analysis, and ultimately through their use by policymakers as laws were written, debated, and enacted. This $1,000,000 project, funded by the William T. Grant Foundation, began in 2019 and was scheduled to end in 2022.