- Facilitation and research tools to enable systems thinking – systems mapping, stakeholder analysis, network analysis, etc.
- Enabling data-driven decision-making through user-centered design.
- The intersection of evaluation and strategy – developmental evaluation and strategic learning.
Joby Schaffer is a senior researcher at Spark. He has expertise in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research. He has led research projects with methods ranging from computer lab experiments, to public opinion surveys, to in-depth interviews and process tracing. Joby is a strong believer in participatory approaches to research and evaluation, and he’s passionate about developing user-friendly tools and processes for clients and communities to explore and use data.
Joby also brings a background in complexity theory to Spark, and maintains an active research agenda in which he uses ideas and tools from complexity theory (ex. emergence, agent-based modeling) to study how norms of policy implementation emerge and evolve from the ongoing interaction of government officials and local communities. This research has policy implications for current issues like police-community relations and the decriminalization of homelessness.
Before joining Spark, Joby was a graduate instructor and PhD candidate (ABD) at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he taught courses on public policy analysis, comparative politics, and economic development. Joby holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration with a focus on finance from the Leeds School of Business, a B.A. degree in Political Science from the University of Colorado-Boulder, and an M.A. degree in Political Science from the University of Colorado-Boulder.
In his spare time, Joby enjoys exploring Colorado’s beautiful outdoors and playing soccer, spending time with his growing family (added a baby boy and a dog in the past year!), and learning new things through reading and taking online courses.