We combine community and stakeholder-driven research with practical, hands-on experience and best practices, allowing for solutions that bridge sectors, issues, beliefs, and values. By integrating diverse policy systems, we identify and develop the best solutions for all stakeholders.
Our Roles at Spark
Our culture of participation and innovation creates new energy towards identifying solutions to complex problems. We believe in an organization where everyone contributes to the leadership, learning is a life-long process, and the focus is on meaningful outcomes. Our team-based approach ensures every challenge is met with flexibility, creativity, and the skills and expertise of all our staff. The Spark team includes a mixture of:
- Researchers who are adept at working in messy, complex settings and bring a wide variety of methodologies to their work including fiscal research, evaluation, network analysis, q-methodology, and focus groups;
- Facilitators who understand how to inform dialogues with external information and input and can create a safe environment where all stakeholders can fully participate;
- Project managers whose focus is on working closely with clients and learning together every step of the way, and who are empowered with customized tools to analyze complexity and adapt as needed to achieve a meaningful difference;
- Product developers who specialize in ensuring final products are rich in information and attractive in presentation but, more importantly, are responsive enough to ensure no product becomes another report that sits on a shelf.
As Spark has grown, we have built the skills and expertise needed to tackle complex problems throughout the country in a wide variety of arenas including, but not limited to: human services, health, behavioral health, natural resources, agriculture, housing, juvenile justice, criminal justice, education, early childhood, and diversity/disparities. Our approach recognizes that, regardless of which policy arena a problem emerges from:
- Policy solutions identified in one arena are likely to cause unintended consequences in others;
- Part of identifying a policy solution is understanding public and private funding, including limitations and opportunities;
- Sustainable solutions are only successful when a wide range of stakeholders are involved in identifying both the problem and the solution;
- Finding the solution is only the beginning: implementing change is a long, deliberate process requiring regular evaluation and feedback, as well as the commitment, resources, and engagement of all stakeholders.
The leadership team at Spark has nearly a century of collective experience working with foundation and corporate leaders, communities, and non-profits to produce impact and results.