RSI provides courts and organizations with a variety of services to help them collect information about their programs when a full, neutral evaluation isn’t necessary. Here are some of the services we offer:
Spreadsheets for tracking cases and collecting outcome data:
Small programs may only need a well-designed Excel spreadsheet to track cases and collect data. We help courts by creating spreadsheets to automate tasks and ensure data is uniformly collected.
The New Hampshire Supreme Court started an eviction diversion program, the first prefiling program in the state. It needed help figuring out how to efficiently administer the program, particularly how to reduce the time it took to track cases and collect outcome data. We developed an automated and data-validated spreadsheet that streamlined case-tracking activities and ensured data could be easily and accurately collected for analysis.
Customization of case management software to fit courts’ needs:
For courts that have case management software (CMS) but want to get more out of it, we determine what the workflow should be, what fields to create and what reports to run, so that court administrative processes are efficient and data collection is robust.
When case management software was needed for eight very different foreclosure mediation programs that were all being evaluated together, RSI needed to be certain that the CMS fit each program’s specific administrative needs while also ensuring uniform collection of data. After meeting with each program administrator, we customized specific fields and workflows for their programs. We also included uniform data fields for all the programs, making it easier to analyze the data across all programs.
Assessment of data needs and the best method for collecting that data:
RSI works with courts to determine what data they need to collect to answer their questions about the performance of their ADR programs and the most efficient and effective way to collect that data.
RSI helped a state agency that facilitates dispute resolution within municipalities and communities to build the capacity to evaluate its efforts. To accomplish this, we developed a self-assessment system for the agency. It included a series of online surveys for dispute resolution and group facilitation participants, an email to send with the link to the surveys, a self-reflection tool for the facilitator, and an instruction manual for staff that walked them through the self-evaluation process.
Program partner and participant engagement:
RSI conducts focus groups and interviews to gain a thorough understanding of how those who use a court’s ADR program view the program, and to get their ideas for possible changes. The focus groups and interviews provide rich context for the praise and criticism one might hear from stakeholders and allow more than just the loudest voices to be heard.
A court had been receiving a lot of complaints about its mandatory mediation program. RSI conducted focus groups with stakeholder groups, including the mediators, to gain insight into these complaints and to obtain more perspectives on the program. We found that the stakeholders by and large believed the program was very useful, but that it was no longer functioning efficiently. We also discovered that the mediators needed more feedback and more training on specific aspects of the mediation. Our report to the court included a number of recommendations for improvements, while acknowledging the benefits that stakeholders gained from their participation in mediation.
Customized participant surveys:
We provide courts and other organizations surveys that have been field-tested and validated. To learn more and read about an example of such work, please see our Survey Design and Administration page.