Robert L. Fischer, PhD

Associate Professor
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences
Co-Director
Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences
Chair
Master of Nonprofit Organizations Program
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

Robert L. Fischer is an Associate Professor at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences of Case Western Reserve University, where he leads a range of evaluation research studies and teaches evaluation methods to graduate students in social work and nonprofit management. He is also Co-Director of the The Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development. Since 2001, he has led the Center’s research on Invest in Children, a county-wide early childhood initiative that includes home visiting, children’s health, and childcare components. Dr. Fischer is also faculty director of the Master of Nonprofit Organizations (MNO) degree program.

Biosketch
Curriculum Vitae
Google Scholar

The Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development

Robert L. Fischer, Ph.D is Co-Director of the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development.The Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development seeks to address the problems of persistent and concentrated urban poverty and is dedicated to understanding how social and economic changes affect low-income communities and their residents. Based in Cleveland, the Center views the city as both a tool for building communities and producing change locally, and as a representative urban center from which nationally-relevant research and policy implications can be drawn.

Read More About the Center

Teaching Information

Courses Taught

SASS 410. Nonprofit Data-Based Decision Making
SASS 532. Needs Assessment & Program Evaluation
SASS 545. Nonprofit Program Design

Research Information

Recent Funding

Recent Grants

Kaiser HEAL Evaluations
Principal Investigator
Kaiser Permanente of Ohio
$95,000
2012‐2015

Cleveland Botanical Gardens – Green Corps Evaluation
Principal Investigator
Cleveland Botanical Garden
$91,450
2012–2015

East Cleveland Teen Collaborative
Principal Investigator (Co‐Investigator: Cyleste Collins)
Cleveland Clinic Foundation
$105,250
2012–2014

Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Evaluation
Principal Investigator
Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation
$82,000
2012–2014

Positively Moms of Cuyahoga County Evaluation  
Principal Investigator
O’Neill, William J. Foundation
$65,000
2012–2103

Evaluation of Campbell Works for Children
Principal Investigator
Swanston Fund/Community Foundation of Mahoning Valley
$15,000
2012–2013

2010 Census Community Survey
Principal Investigator
Center for Community Solutions
$21,900
2012

Ways and Means at Cascade Village
Co‐Principal Investigator (Co‐Principal Investigator: Mark Joseph)
The Community Builders, Inc.
$253,000
2011-2014

Business Plan Development for NEO CANDO
Project Director
O’Neill, William J. Foundation
$25,000
2011–2012

Collaboration for Ministry Research on Women Religious
Principal Investigator
Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland
$20,825
2011–2012

Cuyahoga County Invest in Children: Ongoing Evaluation 2011‐2012
Co‐Investigator (Principal Investigator: Claudia Coulton)
Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners
$403,000
2011–2012

NPI Organizational Assessment
Co‐Principal Investigator (Co‐Principal Investigators: Mark Joseph and Mark Chupp)
Neighborhood Progress Inc.
$28,000
2011–2012

Cuyahoga County Land Bank 2010 Data
Project Director
Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation
$72,000
2010–2012

Promise Neighborhood Data Collection & Analysis
Project Director
Gund Foundation
$9,200
2010–2011
   
Cuyahoga County Invest in Children: Ongoing Evaluation 2009‐2011
Co‐Investigator (Principal Investigator: Claudia Coulton)
Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners
$550,000
2009–2011

Research on Ministries of Women Religious in Cleveland Region
Principal Investigator
Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland
$30,211
2009–2011

Cuyahoga County Invest in Children: Ongoing Evaluation 2006‐2009
Co‐Investigator (Principal Investigator: Claudia Coulton)
Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners
$2,018,950
2007–2010

NPI (Reform Initiative) CanDo Database
Co‐Project Director (Project Director: Sharon Milligan)
Neighborhood Progress, Inc.
$181,500
2006–2012

Strategic Investment Initiative Support
Co‐Project Director (Project Director: Sharon Milligan)
Neighborhood Progress, Inc.
$155,000
2006–2012

External Appointments

Advisory Board
Promoting Health Across Boundaries
Research Advisory Board
National Center on Nonprofit Enterprise
Academic Advisory Board
CareSource

Publications

Recent Publications

Fischer, R. L. & Bai, R. (2018). Ministries of Catholic Sisters in the Diocese of Cleveland: Assessing capacity and opportunity in a period of transition. Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion, 14(5), 2-18.

Fischer, R. L., Vadapalli, D., & Coulton, C. (2017). Merging ahead, increase speed: A pilot of funder-driven nonprofit restructuring. Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs, 3(1), 40-54.

Dorman, R., Anthony, E., Osborne-Fears, B., & Fischer, R. L. (2017). Investing in high quality preschool: Lessons from an urban setting. Early Years: An International Research Journal, 37(1), 91-107.

Fischer, R. L., & Richter, F. G. C. (2017). SROI in the Pay For Success Context: Are they at odds? Evaluation and Program Planning, 2017 Oct; 64:105-109.

Anthony, E., Fischer, R. L., & D’Orazio, A. (2016). Surveying homeless and unstably housed youth: Methodological considerations when estimating the prevalence and characteristics of the population. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, 97(4), 330-335.

Brudney, J. L., Russell, A., & Fischer, R. L. (2016). Using data to build community: Exploring geographically-specific data use in the nonprofit sector. Community Development Journal, 52(2), 354-371.

Coulton, C., Richter, F., Kim, S.J., Fischer, R. L., & Cho, Y. (2016). Temporal effects of distressed housing on early childhood risk factors and kindergarten readiness. Children and Youth Services Review, 68, 59-72.

Fischer, R. L., Anthony, B. A., Lalich, N., Nevar, A., Bakaki, P., & Koroukian, S. (2016). Assessing the deployment of home visiting: Learning from a state-wide survey of home visiting programs. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 20, 674-683

Theurer, J., Pike, E., Sehgal, A., Fischer, R. L. & Collins, C. (2015). The Community Research Scholars Initiative: A mid-project assessment. Clinical and Translation Science, 8(4), 341-346.

Collins, C. C., Fischer, R. L., & Lalich, N. (2015). Enhancing child care for children with special needs through technical assistance. The Journal of Family Strengths, 14(1), article 9.

Presentations

Recent Presentations

Fischer, R. (2018). Legacy of disadvantage due to housing during early childhood. Cleveland: A Community Committed to Our Children." Schubert Center for Child Studies. Cleveland, OH. April.

Fischer, R. & Dorman, R. (2018). Expanding high quality preschool through the use of data. Data Days Cleveland. Cleveland, OH. April.

Fischer, R. (2018). Understanding the poverty landscape in Cleveland. Stokes Civic Leadership Institute. Cleveland, OH. January.

Anthony, E., & Fischer, R. L. (2017). FERPA and integrated data: Exploring longitudinal educational outcomes with high quality pre-school attendance. American Evaluation Association Annual Conference. Washington, DC. November.

Fischer, R., Schuch, L., & Foreman, K. (2017). Integrated data, child lead exposure, and kindergarten readiness. Data Days CTRL+ALT+CLE. Cleveland, OH. March.

Coulton, C., Richter, F., Kim, S. J., & Fischer, R. (2017). Temporal Effects of Distressed Housing on Child Maltreatment Among Young Children. 21st Annual Conference of the Society for Social Work and Research. New Orleans, LA. January.

Bai, R., Collins, C.C., Crampton, D., & Fischer, R. L. (2017). Evaluating the implementation of Partnering for Family Success. 21st Annual Conference of the Society for Social Work and Research, New Orleans, LA. January. [Poster]

Fischer, R. (2016). The link between housing conditions, elevated lead exposure, and kindergarten readiness. Ohio Healthy Homes Network Fall Forum. Columbus, OH. November.

Anthony, E., & Fischer, R. L. (2016). Compared to what? Exploring the value of an RCT in interpreting program delivery in a home visiting context. American Evaluation Association Annual Conference. Atlanta, GA. October.

Fischer, R., & Richter, F.. SROI in the Pay For Success context: Are they at odds? American Evaluation Association Annual Conference. Atlanta, GA. October.

Anthony, E., & Fischer, R. (2016). Compared to what? Discerning Healthy Start impact on birth outcomes using propensity score matching methods. National Healthy Start Convention. Washington, DC. September.

Fischer, R. L., Adams, L., Larson, C. & Long, J. (2016). Building nonprofit appeal to attract and retain upcoming professionals. Not-for-Profit Leadership Conference. Ohio Society of CPAs. Independence, OH. September.

Fischer, R. L. (2016). Using data and technology to inform action in Cleveland. Cleveland Council on World Affairs. Presentation for Civil Society representatives from Belarus. Cleveland, OH. September.

Fischer, R. L. (2016) Using child lead exposure data in Cuyahoga County. Ohio Department of Health Lead Advisory Committee. Columbus, OH. August.

Fischer, R. L. (2016). When the evaluation works but not the program. Ohio Program Evaluators’ Group. Otterbein University. Columbus, OH. May.

Dearborn, D., Shoch, C, Foreman, K., & Fischer R. (2016). Lead exposure in children – what’s going on in Cuyahoga County. Cuyahoga County Conference on Social Welfare. Cleveland, OH. March. [Panel]

Merriman, D., Crampton, D., Hovancsek, A., Anderson, K., & Fischer R. (2016). Partnering for Family Success: Cuyahoga County’s social impact bond experience. Cuyahoga County Conference on Social Welfare. Cleveland, OH. March. [Panel]

Fischer, R. L., Crampton, D., & Coulton, C. (2015). Nonprofits in the social impact bond environment. Annual Conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action. Chicago, IL. November. [Poster]

Walsh, M., Matthews, L., Lalich, N., Anthony, E., Fischer, R. & Blue, M. (2015). Exploring the relationship between reproductive life plans, subsequent births and birth spacing. National Healthy Start Convention. Washington, DC. November. [Poster]

Fischer, R. L., Anthony, E., Crampton, D. & Coulton, C. (2015). Evaluating social impact financing in human services. American Evaluation Association Annual Conference. Chicago, IL. November.

Fischer, R. L. (2015). Evaluation design in nonprofit settings. Swanston Fund Innovations Conference. Youngstown, OH. November.

Fischer, R. L. (2015). Showing that your work matters: Usable program evaluation for the nonprofit sector. Annual Nonprofit Summit, The Raymond John Wean Foundation. Youngstown, OH. September.

Fischer, R. L., Crampton, D., & Coulton, C. (2015). Nonprofits in the social impact bond environment. Nonprofit Academic Centers Council Conference. Chicago, IL. July.

Fischer, R. L., & Anthony, B. A. (2015). Evaluating a strategy to reduce maternal distress through home visiting: Cuyahoga County, OH. Fifth National Summit on Quality in Home Visiting. Washington, DC. May.

Anthony, B. A., Fischer, R. L., & Lalich, N. (2015). Maternal stress and home visiting: Learning from a field-based experiment. Ohio Program Evaluators’ Group 2015 Exchange. Columbus, OH. May.

Fischer, R. L. (2015). Leveraging policy and evaluation: Integrated data as a tool. Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy, The Ohio State University. Columbus, OH. February.

Education

Doctor of Philosophy
Vanderbilt University
Master of Public Policy
Vanderbilt University
Bachelor of Arts
Duke University

Additional Information

Concentration:

  • Master of Nonprofit Organizations (Chair)
  • Undergraduate Minor in Social Work
  • Community Practice for Social Change

Affiliation

Faculty Associate, Schubert Center for Child Studies

In the News

October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. See How the Mandel School Is Approaching the Topic
by Mandel School on October 22, 2018

Commencement 2018: Congratulations, Graduates!
by Mandel School on June 5, 2018

Rob Fischer Interviewed by Channel 5
by Mandel School on May 23, 2018

Strategies in Social Investment Series 2018
by Mandel School on February 13