Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

April 2003Vol. 4, No. 3Website Maps Ways to Improve Outcomes for Children

Community groups seeking to improve the lives of children without "reinventing the wheel" often struggle to find information about what works. Even when a promising program is found, it is sometimes difficult to identify the critical elements that will lead to its success in another community. The Pathways Mapping Initiative (PMI) at Harvard University has established a new website, Pathways to Outcomes, to address these needs.

The site's purpose is to strengthen the capacity of community groups, funders, policy makers, and service providers to achieve important outcomes for children, families, and neighborhoods. The initiative's first outcome, All Children are Ready for School, incorporates three related goals: good health, socially and cognitively supportive environments (including strong bonds with primary caretakers and supportive homes), and safe and strong neighborhoods. Visitors to the site will find information to help them:

  • Assess how well their community is doing in preparing young children for school.
  • Develop a community-wide plan.
  • Find examples of programs that have achieved specific results.
  • Determine whether existing services, supports, and community efforts incorporate identified attributes of effectiveness.
  • Understand why a current approach is not working.
  • Prepare agency, grant, or legislative proposals.
  • Identify policies that are important to school readiness.

PMI believes there is "no silver bullet" to improving outcomes for families. The actions discussed are comprehensive and cross disciplinary, political, and systems boundaries.

PMI was established in January 2000 through a collaboration between the Project on Effective Interventions at Harvard University and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The PMI team is currently researching and developing a second pathway to the outcome, Families are Economically Successful.

Visit the Pathways to Outcomes website at

For more information, contact:
The Pathways Mapping Initiative
Project on Effective Interventions at Harvard University
3113 Woodley Road NW
Washington, DC 20008

More promising programs for families and children can be found on the Promising Practices Network website, at