Research and Evaluation

The Office of Research & Evaluation (ORE) builds, shares, and uses knowledge to identify effective strategies for national service and volunteering, increases the evidence-base for its mission and programs, infuses data into agency decision-making, and strengthens civil society in America.


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What's New

What's New

Find out what's new in the world of national service and civic engagement research.

Check out the State of the Evidence



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Evidence Exchange

Evidence Exchange

Check out grantee reports, briefs, studies, evaluations, and more.

Evidence Exchange Homepage

Search the Exchange


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View past and upcoming webinars to learn more about our research findings. 

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Evaluation Resources

Evaluation Resources

Navigate the evaluation cycle; explore resources for planning, implementation, analysis, and more.

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Research Grant Program

Research Grant Program

Engage academic researchers through research grant competitions for higher education institutions. 

Learn More about ORE's Research Competitions
Explore our Grantee Profiles


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Research Convenings

Research Convenings

Connect, share research and experience, and build relationships to better infuse evidence into future action. 

2016 Summit
2015 Summit



Click on the drop-down menu below to read regularly updated Newsletters. 




Meet Our Research Team

Mary Hyde, Director of Research and Evaluation

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Dr. Mary Hyde is a community psychologist with more than 20 years of research, evaluation, technical assistance, and training experience in social and human services. She is responsible for advancing the evidence base for national service programs, sponsoring scholarship on volunteering and other forms of civic engagement, as well as fostering a culture of evaluation within the agency and the field. Prior to joining CNCS, Dr. Hyde worked in the private sector and was responsible for a portfolio of projects related to strengthening families and communities. Dr. Hyde developed her unique skill set by directing and managing both national and local program evaluations.



Lily Zandniapour, Research and Evaluation Manager

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Dr. Zandniapour supports CNCS’s mission, programs, and policy priorities through the design, implementation, and oversight of research, evaluation, and capacity building activities, as well as knowledge management and communications.  Her portfolio of projects currently includes Opioids and Veterans Research, Scaling of Evidence-Based-Programs, Return on Investment Studies, Grantee Evaluation Training and Technical assistance, and AmeriCorps and Social Innovation Fund Evidence-Based Grants. Dr. Zandniapour has over 20 years of experience in the applied research and evaluation field across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. She holds a B.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from American University.



Andrea Robles, Research and Evaluation Manager

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Dr. Robles is a sociologist with more than 20 years of experience conducting research on an array of local, regional, and global social challenges that prevent marginalized groups from equally participating in all aspects of society. At CNCS, she manages civic engagement and volunteering related research that includes directing the National Service and Civic Research Grant Competition for institutions of higher education and several multi method impact studies with the AmeriCorps’s National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) program. Dr. Robles specializes in participatory research and is developing several new initiatives to incorporate this approach into CNCS’s research and programs. Dr. Robles has a B.A. from New York University; a M.A. in International Development from The American University; and, a M.S. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Melissa Gouge, Research Analyst

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Dr. Gouge is a sociologist with specializations in both public and applied scholarship as well as action research. Currently, she is responsible for managing a portfolio of National Civilian Community Corps longitudinal impact studies. She also works to make connections between action research scholars across the nation, their community partners, and other engaged community members with our national service program partners at the state, regional, and national level. Prior to joining CNCS, Dr. Gouge’s research topics included drivers of long-term volunteerism for allies to the farmworker justice movement as a graduate student as well as cross-cultural competence and resilience studies at a DC area social science institute.



Katy Hussey-Sloniker, Program Officer

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Katy Hussey-Sloniker MBA/MSW, is a Program Officer for the Office of Research and Evaluation Social Innovation Fund portfolio. She brings a wealth of knowledge from over 20 years’ experience in program management and development with military social service agencies, veteran service organizations, local nonprofits, and four federal agencies. Her work at CNCS includes programmatic award life-cycle oversight and monitoring Social Innovation Fund awards that include five-year federal budgets, one-to-one match, and intervention study designs that builds evidence for vulnerable populations that are 200% below U.S. poverty line while leveraging public-private partnerships in local communities. Current portfolio value managed is over $1 billion in federal and match. Hussey-Sloniker is passionate about program evaluation that ensures outcomes that achieve results, military and veteran families, social justice for vulnerable populations, and empowering people through evidence-based interventions. She believes in national, public, and military service and is proud to say she has worked for the betterment of society as a volunteer or public servant within each of the 13 local communities the military has moved her and her family to.


Huda Hamden, Graduate Fellow

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Huda Hamdan assists the Office of Research and Evaluation with related projects for AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Service (NCCC). She applies her experience in social research methods and theory, develops logic models, assists with data collection and analysis, and writes data reports.

Hamdan is a certified program evaluator and holds an M.S degree in sociology from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Before joining CNCS, she served as a teaching and research assistant at VCU, and later served as an instructor of sociology.


ORE is comprised of professionally trained researchers, program evaluators, and public policy/administration analysts; please contact us at



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