Whether the need is for designing and implementing system change initiatives, engaging stakeholders, developing trainings, or creating tools and products to expeditiously yield results, Westat responds with innovative, custom-tailored technical assistance (TA)—helping clients help recipients achieve end goals.
Westat works with clients across sectors through our TA services to help them design and implement systems change initiatives and achieve improved outcomes. Our teams of TA specialists include change management professionals, quantitative and qualitative researchers, deeply experienced practitioners, data analysts, product development specialists, knowledge managers, and dissemination experts who bring together the varied sets of expertise that ensure our services are tailored to the specific needs of each client.
Westat’s human-centered project planning and implementation approach draws on research that envisions client capacity as a continuum that can be shifted through intensive support and a focus on engaging in continuous improvement to achieve desired outcomes. Our work is rooted in gaining a deep empathy for our stakeholders and using this understanding to produce solutions to address root causes of problems. We see capacity-building as both collaborative and iterative, rather than linear, as we adapt with our clients to changes in their needs, resources, and contexts. Our robust project management systems allow us to track real-time information on project implementation that allows us to change the project plan to accommodate new needs.
Westat’s research and analysis teams gather robust evidence-based information across a diverse set of topical areas to guide policymakers. Our teams conduct systematic policy scans and synthesize information into easy-to-understand formats to ensure that those with little time to make decisions have what they need. Each of these scans is based on the most relevant, updated data and research that inform leaders to make important decisions that impact the future of their communities, states, and our nation. Our ongoing relationships with a broad set of past and current clients allow us to quickly connect those in policymaking roles to their peers in different organizations to engage in honest conversations about lessons learned to avoid similar challenges as well as make connections to topical research experts. Our communication and dissemination teams work as needed with our policy specialists to distill information into different formats and strategies to help our clients communicate policies and the implications to a variety of audiences.
Westat designs and implements comprehensive stakeholder engagement plans for relevant projects. This includes mapping stakeholder groups to ensure voices that were previously missing in conversations are fairly represented, developing a plan to engage with each group in a way that works best for them, conducting in-person, remote and hybrid sessions to understand needs, design processes to resolve different viewpoints and ensure stakeholders can come to a shared consensus on program outcomes and creating formal and informal mechanisms to incorporate stakeholder feedback into every stage of a project implementation plan and generating reports for different audiences to make data-driven decisions.
Tool and Product Development
Using design thinking and agile methodology, Westat’s product development teams use a co-creation approach where we involve stakeholders in our design process to ensure each tool and product meets the needs of each end-user. We develop print- and web-based materials to share knowledge about content and techniques. Our product development teams include communication specialists to incorporate strategies to ensure knowledge can be accessed by those in varied roles, as well as adaptive formats for those with disabilities and those with varied literacy levels, to successfully reach the specific targeted audiences.
Training and Coaching
Westat designs trainings around specific client needs based on in-depth needs assessments, using adult learning principles, creating learning experiences through facilitated discussions, data simulations, online modules, and via virtual and in-person retreats. All training is delivered by practitioners in the field who bring knowledge of how evidence from the research can be applied to real-world contexts. All training and coaching engagements include discussions around intended outcomes and knowledge, skills, and abilities where stakeholders want to see improvement along with defining and measuring the changes over time.
Meet the Team
Deep Dive with Our Experts
PerspectivePlaying a New Role, States Set Visions for Summer Learning
To counter pandemic-related learning loss, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) in March 2021 called on state education agencies (SEAs) and school districts to deliver…
Expert InterviewCircles of Reflection Toolkit: Improving Education for Native Students
For decades, Native students have faced significant opportunity gaps that impede their academic achievement and trajectories. To close these gaps, the Native Education Collaborative, supported…
PerspectiveNational Health Center Week: August 6-12, 2023
As children across the country are getting ready to go back to school, the National Association of Community Health Centers is promoting National Health Center…