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Fall 2023 Convenings Accelerate National Dialogue on Villages Data, Research, and Evaluation

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

Village to Village Network (VtVN) facilitated two successive convenings in October of 2023 for Village leaders across the United States to connect, share, and learn. One took place by Zoom as part of a two-day National Virtual Village Gathering. The other–the National Village Conference–was organized in partnership with Washington Area Villages Exchange (WAVE) and took place in person in Silver Spring, Maryland. William Kincaid, VtVN Board President, and Emily Greenfield, Professor at the Rutgers University School of Social Work, contributed to both presentations.

The convenings provided an ideal opportunity for our multi-organizational project team to present on efforts to promote Villages’ engagement in healthy aging research. We presented to 200 attendees at the virtual gathering and approximately 170 attendees at the in-person conference. The presentations emphasized immediate opportunities for Village leaders and members to get involved. We also explained how our project relates to the Village Impact Project (VIP), an ongoing effort of VtVN and partners to generate and aggregate data regarding core Village operations, as well as number of members and volunteers. Both sessions further highlighted ways in which data, research, and evaluation are critical components of the “engine” to drive the Village Movement forward.

In addition to providing an opportunity for sharing information about this work, the convenings also allowed for us to begin to hear from Village leaders directly on what they view as essential elements for healthy aging research with Villages. Points of discussion included:

  • The critical importance of cultivating the participation of Village members in the design of research to ensure relevance and impact;

  • The value of both qualitative and quantitative research for examining the implementation and impact of Villages;

  • The need to consider individual contexts for aging in place, including health and economic status, when designing outcomes research with Villages;

  • The importance of Villages’ work in crafting the story around research findings as part of ongoing advocacy efforts;

  • The need for data and evidence to “unlock” both private and public funding in support of Villages; and

  • General excitement, anticipation, and appreciation for this work as part of a past, present, and future for Villages research and evaluation.

To view a recording of the presentation and discussion at the national virtual gathering, click here. To view the presentation slides, click here.

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