Logo for: Connecticut Opportunity Project

Key Performance Indicators

Over time, grantee partners’ efforts to strengthen their organizational capacity yield improvements in CTOP’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which we monitor on an annual basis to track progress toward our north star of improving positive, long-term outcomes for young people.

While all of CTOP’s KPIs are helpful in informing program improvement and are listed in full at the bottom of this page, the following KPIs best capture the social value grantees create:

The number of CTOP target population youth enrolled in core programming in active service slots.  This KPI is essential as a proxy for the social value that grantees are creating in real time for CTOP's target population of young people by helping them as intended.  In contrast to a program's number of youth served, which is widely used in the nonprofit sector to measure program size, the active service slot as a metric asks much more of an organization.

The Active Service Slot: A CTOP Report

While a program’s number of youth served in any given year will count the number of young people touched by the program regardless of the intensity of the level of engagement, a youth is only counted as having been served in an active slot if they received the appropriate quality and dosage of services as called for in the organization’s theory of change to deliver positive long-term outcomes.  As such, it is considerably more rigorous for an organization to use the active service slot as a measure of program capacity, particularly for organizations working with CTOP's target population of youth who need highly intensive engagement and comprehensive supports.  You can learn more about the rationale behind the active service slot metric and how CTOP applies the concept through the report available here.

The number of CTOP target population youth enrolled in core programming who graduate and the number who graduate and, for the following six months, are actively engaged in education or employment.  While the active service slot metric is an indicator of the degree to which CTOP's grantees are helping young people as intended, these two KPIs tell us whether CTOP's grantees actually have helped young people as intended, by measuring the social value created in terms of the success of CTOP target population youth in graduating from the programs offered and subsequently achieving the long-term outcomes listed in CTOP’s mission.  For some of our organizations the cohorts have not yet had enough time to graduate and subsequently demonstrate long-term outcomes, and so we expect to see these two KPIs to continue to increase substantially over time.  (As more cohorts of young people graduate from CTOP grantees' programs over time, we will also extend the time period over which long-term outcomes are tracked.)

Beginning in 2020-21 and at the end of each subsequent grant year, CTOP will report the data for these three KPIs in the aggregate across the grantees in its portfolio through an update to the chart below, which currently reports on the data for the 2020-21 grant year.  Despite the challenges created by the pandemic during the past year, our grantees were able to respond in real time to urgent needs by providing critical supports while still continuing to implement intensive and comprehensive program models reaching the most disengaged and disconnected youth in Connecticut.

Key Performance Indicators

  • Level of evidence for core program design, levels 0 – 4 *
  • Level of confidence for core program effectiveness, levels 0 – 3 **
  • Number of CTOP target population youth enrolled in core programming in active slots
  • Number of CTOP target population youth receiving services but not in active slots
  • Number of CTOP target population youth enrolled in core programming who leave unsuccessfully
  • Number of CTOP target population youth enrolled in core programming who graduate
  • Number of CTOP target population youth who graduate from core programming and for the following six months are actively enrolled in education leading to high school accreditation, post-secondary education/certification, or maintain unsubsidized employment ***

* 0 = program design by partner’s staff based solely on their ideas and experience; 1 = program design based on incorporation of widely shared practitioners’ “best practices”; 2 = program design based on applying fundamental research concepts (e.g., “attachment theory”); 3 = program design based on combining and incorporating elements that repeatedly are found in programs whose effectiveness has been proven by impact evaluation(s); 4 = program design based on implementing program in full that has been proven effective through impact evaluation(s).

** 0 = Asserted Effectiveness as supported by anecdotal data; 1 = Apparent Effectiveness as supported by internally collected outcome data; 2 = Demonstrated Effectiveness as supported by well benchmarked outcome data; 3 = Proven Effectiveness as supported by one or more rigorous impact evaluations.

*** In the case of an organization intentionally working to help its program participants transfer to another youth development organization, for those participants who are able to make the transition this will count as a success; however, for those who do not transition the long-term outcome as written applies.