Contact Us If You Would Like To:

Dig in to help better understand a problem or opportunity.

Convene or develop a collaborative strategy with your partners.

Surface assumptions, such as why your work is expected to make a difference, and develop shared values within your project team.

Identify and assess what it looks like for your program to be “fully implemented.”

Identify how to maximize the reach or improve the effectiveness of your work.

Identify strategies to enhance impact for historically underserved populations.

Help your team review and make meaning of data.

Build evidence for existing or innovative strategies to drive outcomes.

Improve your team’s ability to engage in evidence-based decision-making.

Break down data silos and effectively translate research into practice and policy change.

What Can We Provide?

The Colorado Lab works with governmental and community partners throughout the iterative life cycle of a project, from identifying a challenge or opportunity to scaling and sustaining change. We use the Steps to Building Evidence to meet partners where they are. In all of our projects we work to build our partners’ capacity to review, make meaning, and act on data.

Our projects typically include a state or local governmental partner. We recommend you create a project team, an active group of diverse stakeholders that supports the planning, execution, and sustainability of the project. The Colorado Lab can help you pull together a group that includes the right mix of skills, perspectives, and roles.

Our services fall into six primary categories:

Problem and Opportunity Identification:
We support partners to deepen their understanding of challenges and opportunities. This includes the magnitude of the problem or opportunity, who the problem is impacting or the opportunity can help, and the root drivers of the problem or opportunity for change.


Evaluation and Applied Research:
We support partners in identifying the extent to which strategies have been implemented effectively and with fidelity, as well as whether strategies have led to targeted outcomes–and how to improve based on results.

Coordinating Hub:
We coordinate evidence-building investments on behalf of local and state governmental partners. This includes activating the research community to reduce burden on partners and improving alignment between multiple evaluation activities and partner decision-making goals.


Strategic Planning:
We support partners in convening stakeholders; making clear their assumptions and hypotheses; understanding the current level of evidence; identifying promising or innovative practices; and developing testable, collaborative, systemic solutions.

Boundary Spanning Leadership:
We serve as an expert intermediary at the intersection of science and policy/practice to catalyze evidence-based decision-making in Colorado. We do this by convening cross-system partners to break down silos, facilitate sustained exchanges across system and community partners, and act as an honest broker to effectively translate data into action.

Implementation Science:
We support partners in “setting the stage” for successful and sustained implementation of a new or existing initiative. This includes clearly defining core components of their strategy and intended outcomes, and proactively anticipating and addressing implementation drivers such as leadership, staff and partner buy-in, community perspectives, referral processes/practices, and external conditions.

What Makes Us Different?

We use a values-driven approach as reflected in our essential elements. Our goal is to leverage data to inform policy and practice, set the wheels in motion to achieve and sustain change, and position our partners to pursue additional, meaningful change for the communities they serve.

We aim to support partners in building their evaluative capacity. We take a collaborative or co-created approach (see example here). This means that we work alongside you to develop agendas, facilitate meetings, create products, and foster action. We will kick off our time together by collaboratively developing a project scope and written set of agreements that defines our roles, expectations, and collaborative processes.

We prioritize gathering data that is useful to support you in learning, improving, and sustaining practices that are impactful, over external accountability. We define rigor as employing an appropriate design for our goals and questions; being systematic and transparent; and asking challenging questions. This often means taking a mixed-methods approach.

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The University of Denver is an equal opportunity affirmative action institution.