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Robert L. Fischer, PhD

Associate Professor
Chair, Masters in Nonprofit Organizations
Co-Director, Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development


PhD, Vanderbilt University
MPP, Vanderbilt University
AB, Duke University

Google Scholar citation page

Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of
Applied Social SciencesMandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations
Room 211
Case Western Reserve University
11402 Bellflower Court
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
fischer@case.edu
216.368.2711

About

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 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 Masters of Nonprofit Organizations (MNO) degree program.

Course List

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

Affiliations

  • Co-Director, Center on Urban Poverty & Community Development
  • Chair, Master of Nonprofit Organizations
  • Faculty Associate, Schubert Center for Child Studies
  • Advisory Board, Promoting Health Across Boundaries
  • Research Advisory Board, National Center on Nonprofit Enterprise
  • Academic Advisory Board, CareSource

The Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development

mandel center webRobert 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.

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, 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, 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.

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 pres-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.

Robert Fischer in the News

  • COMMENCEMENT 2018: CONGRATULATIONS, GRADUATES!
    by Mandel School on June 5, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    On Sunday, May 20, 2018, the Mandel School celebrated Commencement 2017 and the graduation of nearly 200 students! Photo Album on Facebook Several students received dual degrees in Nonprofit Organizations and Public Health. Three students ​received the PhD in Social Welfare. We also had students who received certificates in the Early Intervention Related Service Training Program, Management and Leadership, and […]

  • Rob Fischer Interviewed by Channel 5
    by Mandel School on May 23, 2018 at 4:43 pm

      Rob Fischer, Associate Professor, chair of the Masters of Nonprofits organization at the Mandel School and the Co-director of the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development was recently interviewed by Channel 5 regarding the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services proposed steps to improve overall DCFS services First, it was Ta’naejah […]

  • Strategies in Social Investment Series 2018
    by Mandel School on February 13, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Strategies in Social Investment Series 2018:From Roots to New Growth 1.5 PD hours for students Mandel School Noble Commons or Via Livestream FREE and open to all. February 21, 2018, Wednesday, 12:45-2:15pm Charity vs. Philanthropy: A Historical Perspective  Brian Amkraut, Ph.D., Executive Director, Laura and Alvin Siegal Lifelong Learning Program What we now know as […]