ChrisSmithChris Smith

Dr. Smith is the Director of the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities at Kennedy Krieger Institute. He is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, a Faculty in the Center for Women’s and Children’s Health Policy and Collaborating Faculty at the Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. In addition, Dr. Smith is Director of Scientific Inquiry at the Center for Innovation and Leadership in Special Education at the Kennedy Krieger Institute.

Dr. Smith has served as an investigator for a number of technical assistance, training, evaluation, and continuous quality improvement projects including projects serving consumers with developmental disabilities, early childhood, community action programs, after-school programs and mental health programs. Dr. Smith also has served as a consultant to schools on the implementation and evaluation of school-wide projects, and has published articles related to continuous systems-level assessment and evaluation.

Leading and managing in today’s world of non-profits and government agencies requires super efforts to adapt to ever-changing expectations and resources. Most middle and senior-level managers in the human services field today did not arrive with significant experience or training in using or managing data. Many, however, have courageously embraced some of the new data technologies that have become available in recent years. And while intentional adoption of data strategies can seem like a necessary step in leadership and program management, it can also lead to some interesting mismatches between needs and capacities at the organizational level. Adopting data systems at the organizational level can also lead to unexpected expenses and changes in hardware and software to address data access and security.

Dr. Smith will discuss with participants some of their current struggles with knowing and measuring outcomes. He will also use real-life examples to connect with how data systems like Apricot and Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) can be used as part of an ongoing organizational effort to improve an agency’s efforts to investigate and measure outcomes, to use data for professional reflection on individual and organizational impact, to adapt to changing contexts, and to grow an organization’s resources. Dr. Smith will also work with participants to outline some of the tensions between investigating and proving outcomes, between promising and evidence-based practices, and between short-term collaborations and long-term strategic partnerships to achieve and measure outcomes.