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Learn more about training opportunities on institutional analysis
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IATA Technical Assistance IATA Logistics Guide navigation button
Find out more about the support available for conducting institutional analysis
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Consulting Services

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Praxis offers fee-based Audit consulting services
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What is a Safety Audit?

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The Praxis Safety Audit is a multi-system problem-solving tool
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The Logistics Guide

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The Audit Coordinator’s Logistics Guide (Logistics Guide) is intended to offer behind-the-scenes planning and organizational support for conducting a successful
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Best Practice Assessment Tools

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Used for examining systems' responses to battering
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Community Assessment Reports

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A compilation of Safety Audit reports
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IATA Recordings IATA Logistics Guide navigation button
Webinar/audio/video recordings for downloading and on-line streaming
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IATA General Resources IATA Logistics Guide navigation button
A variety of resources on institutional analysis
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Impact map

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Map of communities across the country that have used the Institutional Analysis Audit tools.
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Since 2003, Praxis has been providing training and technical assistance (TA) to communities to analyze institutional responses to violence against women through the use of institutional analysis, community assessment, best practice assessment and Safety and Accountability Audits.

Praxis has developed methods for institutional analysis and systems change work rooted in the field of sociology called institutional ethnography. Our tools provide ways for activists and representatives from institutions that process “cases” to move toward approaches that alter the ongoing case processing routines that ultimately shape case outcomes.

Institutional Analysis is a method of examining how complex institutions and systems operate in ways that either meet people’s needs or produce negative outcomes for the people they are dealing with. Institutional Analysis discovers how workers are organized and coordinated, directly and indirectly, to approach and act on cases in specific ways.

Institutional Analysis can be used to discover information about: (1) people’s actual lived experience with the ways in which intervention is meeting or not meeting their needs; (2) organization and function of current practice; (3) contrasts between the stated official process and the actual process; (4) problems that require a shift in policy and practice; (5) whether recommended policies and protocols have been implemented as intended; (6) where harmful unintended consequences and disparity of impact might exist in a system or institution’s response; and (7) impact of changes in policy and practice.

The tools, utilized extensively in the criminal and civil justice systems, supervised visitation, and child protective services to assess response to violence against women, avoid pointing fingers of blame at individuals for failing to protect victims. Practitioners and advocates work side by side to analyze how systems organize the day-to-day routines of individual practitioners to either centralize or marginalize attention to victim safety and well-being and offender accountability.

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The following tools developed by Praxis reveal systemic problems and produce recommendations for institutional change:

  • Checklists for Best Practice in the following responses to domestic violence:
    • 911 Emergency Communications
    • Police Patrol
    • Police Investigation
    • Prosecution Charging Decisions

The Center for the Study of Social Policy has adapted the Praxis method of institutional analysis to examining disparity in foster care placements for African American children.

Who can I contact for more information? or call (651) 699-8000 x 2500

This project is supported by Grant #2015-TA-AX-K056 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions and recommendations expressed during this presentation are those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Comments from past trainings:

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This is what we came for - tools to conducting an assessment/audit!

February 23, 2016

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Quote from Ellen Pence, founding director
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"Activists and advocates need to be continually reflective about how institutions, such as the criminal justice system, reproduce relations of domination in society, whether gendered, racialized, or classes. And the workings of power are often far more visible to women on the margins of society, or those situated in the intersections of different relations of inequality, than to those nearer the center."

May 4, 2016