Our teams work intentionally to ensure the voices and experiences of marginalized, underserved, or underrepresented populations are accounted for in government programming. Our teams are continuously innovating on methods, models, and solutions to improve economic, social, and environmental resilience, with lasting impact. For more details on our work and impact, read the project highlights covered in our blogs.
Change the Narrative: Addressing Gaps and Barriers for Sexual Assault Survivors Seeking Housing Services
Decades of research about sexual violence response and prevention show that sexual violence is experienced across a lifespan, occurs in all locations, and doesn’t discriminate based upon race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, or relationship status. The persistent dominant narrative impacts the ability of victim service providers, housing programs, and other human services to provide survivors with holistic, trauma-informed, equitable, and survivor-centered care, including effectively addressing survivors’ safe housing needs. The actual statistics paint a far more diverse picture of survivor’s experiences
Web Scraping and Its Potential for Government and Beyond
With increasing focus on how local organizations contribute to USAID-funded activities, it’s important to look at new ways of applying known technologies. Web scraping — which refers simply to extracting data from a website, collecting it, and then exporting it into a spreadsheet, API, or other format useful for a particular purpose or application — […]
In Recognition of Transgender Day of Remembrance 2022
Cloudburst Consulting Group is deeply saddened and angered by the Club Q shootings in Colorado Springs, CO that left five members of the LGBTQIA+ community dead and many others injured on Saturday, the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance. As we mourn those killed at Club Q, we also remember and honor the lives of […]
The History and Impact of VAWA and DVAM
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). The history of DVAM cannot be told without first telling the story of Sarah Winnemucca and her desire to speak the truth about violence against indigenous communities. Gender-based violence in the United States is not a new issue. There are countless documented incidents of violence of indigenous and […]
LO-MTSR Summit: Building Relationships among Cambodian Civil Society Organizations
In May and June of 2022, Cloudburst, in partnership with PartnersGlobal and Root Change, hosted a four-day Peer Learning Summit as part of USAID’s Local Organizations—Movement Towards Self-Reliance (LO-MTSR) activity. The hybrid event was held both online and in-person) and served as the concluding activity of the ResiliencyCambodia. For the first time, Cloudburst staff, Resiliency […]
The Effect of Hurricane Season on Homelessness
Hurricane season for the Atlantic Ocean began June 1 this year. The National and Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts an above-average season, with 14-22 named storms, of which 6-10 could be hurricanes, more than half of them with wind speeds in excess of 110mph.1 Although the intensity of the wind is what determines whether […]
Highlighting and Reducing Discrimination in Housing for the LGBTQIA+ Community
Reflecting on the importance of Pride Month, Cloudburst continues to elevate issues of concern experienced by the LGBTQIA+ community, both in June and throughout the year. Over the last decade, the number of LGBTQIA+ homeowners has steadily increased. However, the LGBTQIA+ homeownership rate of 49.8% falls below the U.S. average of 70.1%, a Williams Institute […]
The Importance of Culturally Competent and Trauma-Informed Services for AANHPI Communities
AANHPI month was the brainchild of Jeanie Jew, a former Capitol Hill staffer whose great-grandfather, M.Y. Lee, left China for the United States in the 1800s before he helped build the transcontinental railroad. Lee rose to prominence as a successful businessman in California, only to be killed in an act of anti-Asian hate during a period of unrest and anti-Asian sentiment.
On Considering the Cost of Corruption
Today, corruption poses one of the most significant threats to international development and democratization. The World Economic Forum estimates the global cost of corruption at 2.6 trillion dollars per year, or 5% of global gross domestic product. As much as this hampers economic development, the intangible costs of corruption are even more concerning. Corruption breeds […]
Cloudburst Presents Findings at Learning Forum
On March 24, Global Development practice co-lead Aleta Starosta and Research and Evaluation Specialist Miriam Counterman, along with Cloudburst consultant Robert Gerstein and a Social Impact colleague, presented the results of two research projects during a forum entitled “Amplifying Evidence in DRG Programming” at USAID’s Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DRG) Center’s annual Learning Forum. The […]
Advancing Fair Housing for All
April is National Fair Housing Month, and this year it marks 54 years since the signing of the Fair Housing Act in 1968. Throughout the month we commemorate the Act’s expanded protections against discrimination in the sale, rent, and financing of housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and familial status (History […]
Key Practices for Empowering Local Partners to Succeed
For the past decade, the Cloudburst Group, as a small business prime contractor, has leaned heavily on locally owned and non-governmental organizations to achieve development objectives across the globe. As a mission-driven business focused on improving social, economic, and environmental resiliency, especially for vulnerable, marginalized, or underserved populations, Cloudburst is keenly aware of the need […]
How Cloudburst is Helping to Advance Racial Equity in Communities
As a mission-driven small business focused on advancing racial, economic, and environmental equity, Cloudburst works alongside communities to meet this challenge in a variety of ways. A big part of how we do this is by addressing homelessness with clients at all levels of government. Most marginalized groups make up a disproportionate share of the […]
Integrating Gender Equity in Global Development
Even though global gender equity is a core tenant of the United Nations (UN) charter drafted in 1945, no country in the world has yet established equal rights, liberties, and opportunity between men and women. An estimated 2.5 billion women and girls live in countries with laws that discriminate against women, and women have less […]
Intersectionality: A Vital Tool in Advancing LGBTQ+ Rights
“All human beings should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear no matter who they are or whom they love.” —President Joe Biden In the United States, the LGBTQ+ community and its allies celebrate Pride month in June and LGBTQ+ history month in October. Both months are a […]
Veterans Day – Honoring All Who Served
As a mission-driven company, service is always at the forefront of the work that we do. This Veterans Day, Cloudburst recognizes the countless sacrifices and acts of service made by veterans, in the past and present. As we reflect on this, we asked our colleague Joel Warren to share some thoughts on what his service means […]
In the Spirit of Pride Month 2021
“It takes no compromise to give people their rights … it takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no political deal to give people freedom. It takes no survey to remove repression.” – Harvey Milk, LGBTQ Activist, and Politician In support of our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) colleagues, family, and friends, let […]
In recognition of Juneteenth
It has been a pretty exciting week to watch the house and senate expeditiously move ahead a new bill that will recognize Juneteenth National Independence Day as a federal holiday for the future. As a government contractor that follows the federal calendar of holidays, we should expect to see this change starting in 2022. (Read more here). Juneteenth […]
Integrating Governance and Environment in the Era of Climate Action
This past year has provided one reminder after another not only of the connections between human individuals and The West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change (WA BiCC) supports conservation and climate-resilient, low-emission growth across West Africa. This work is featured as a case study in the “Cross Sectoral Guide: Sustainable Landscapes and Democracy, Human Rights, [...]
Promoting Workforce Development Programs Through Interview-Style Marketing Videos
How do vulnerable youth from high-crime areas in El Salvador find jobs in the formal labor market? Through innovative workforce and positive youth development programs that target the harsh realities of these youth. In El Salvador, at-risk youth from high-crime municipalities often face barriers to entering the formal economy. Some of these barriers include access […]
How Does HUD’s Environmental Review Process Ensure Projects Will Not Have a Negative Impact on the Environment?
HUD’s environmental review process (24 CFR Part 58) is a major cross-cutting requirement for providing federal grants and future projects. It conforms to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which requires federal agencies to comply with federal and state environmental laws and consider in the planning process how their projects may impact social, cultural, economic, […]
Inclusive Data Collection Strategies Elevating the Voices of Marginalized Populations Around the World
Are governments and programs around the world making decisions based on incomplete data collection strategies that are not inclusive of disadvantaged and marginalized populations such as women, youth, and persons with disabilities? Failing to take into account the significant impact of government programs on these populations can skew the findings of assessments and limit the […]
Protecting People Experiencing Homelessness During COVID-19
By the end of March 2020, it was clear COVID-19 was spreading rapidly throughout the country. People experiencing homelessness, who tend to have higher rates of chronic illness, were at higher risk of contracting serious illnesses due to COVID-19 as many live in high-capacity, large barrack-style shelters or outside without regular access to sanitation facilities […]
Applying Remote Trainings Lessons: Engaging Participants and Assessing Learning Pivotal to Success
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt most face-to-face professional trainings, many organizations are now acknowledging that they must view remote learning as more than a temporary measure. For them, and for those organizations that had long considered transitioning to remote methods of delivering training content, this is a good time to assess current remote […]
Cloudburst Photo Essay Showcases How HUD Program Revitalizes Early Public Housing Project
The latest photo essay focuses on Lyman Terrace in the historic town of Holyoke, Massachusetts. Built in 1939, Lyman Terrace is one of the oldest public housing projects in the country, located in downtown Holyoke just one block from City Hall.
A commitment to a movement—not just a moment
As a mission-driven organization, Cloudburst has always been and remains committed to addressing issues that advance social, economic, and environmental sustainability, and ensure that the needs of low-income and vulnerable populations are accounted for in our work. We seek to enhance the quality of life of others and renew our commitment to create spaces for […]
Cloudburst Travels to Phoenix to Film NFHTA Relaunch Video
Last week, two members of the Cloudburst team traveled to Phoenix, Arizona, to interview fair housing practitioners and experts for a video we’re developing to celebrate the relaunch of HUD’s National Fair Housing Academy (NFHTA) in April. This video will highlight the history of fair housing and how it has changed over time; the importance […]
USAID Congratulates Cloudburst on Award of a Small Business Applied Research Contract
On Tuesday, October 1st, the USAID Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) congratulated Cloudburst as one of four small businesses that were awarded a Small Business Applied Research contract co-created with the Cambodia Mission. Cloudburst, along with PartnersGlobal and the DevLab at Duke University, will implement an innovative Randomized Control Trial (RCT) to test […]
Senator Cardin Congratulates Cloudburst on $12 Million Community Compass Award
U.S. Senator Ben Cardin’s office extended a congratulatory visit to celebrate Cloudburst’s continued partnership with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) with the recent announcement of a $12 million Community Compass Technical Assistance Award. Managed by HUD’s Technical Assistance Division, Community Compass is HUD’s integrated technical assistance and capacity building initiative to help […]
Helping Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance to Flourish Worldwide
USAID’s Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance works globally to conduct research and develop initiatives and programming for local partners to demonstrate the value of democracy, advance policy changes in support of democratic governance systems, and strengthen democratic institutions and human rights. Cloudburst is working with USAID in several DRG center focus countries to support these goals.
Solutions for Navigating Changes in the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program
In 2016, Congress passed the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act and modernized the way that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) distributes funding for the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program. As part of a national HUD technical assistance initiative, Cloudburst is currently working with thirteen HOPWA formula grantees as they adapt these HOPWA Modernization changes.
Helping USAID Strengthen Property Rights for Millions Around the World
Strengthening land tenure and property rights (LTPR) is central to ending extreme poverty, reducing hunger, and promoting resilient societies. Cloudburst was recently awarded the Strengthening Tenure and Resource Rights II (STARR II) IDIQ, where we will continue to provide critical technical assistance to help USAID address LTPR challenges and secure the legitimate land rights for millions around the world.
Helping the Homeless During an Epidemic
When a viral outbreak occurs, an area’s homeless population is often considered a lesser priority in containment strategies and community responses, if considered at all. In 2017, San Diego had the largest outbreak of hepatitis A in modern history. Cloudburst helped to identify the extent of the epidemic among the homeless population, then worked with the whole community to deploy a range of prevention strategies and contain the outbreak.
Community-driven System Change Processes – 5 Ways to Get It Right
Cloudburst has carried out consulting engagements across the United States in communities that are grappling with decision-making and leadership. These projects are related to homelessness, and the mandated public/private partnerships known as Continuums of Care which are required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Here are five important approaches we have used over the years to help communities chart their own productive course forward.
Helping Clients Make Evidence-based Decisions via Rigorous Evaluations
Cloudburst excels at conducting rigorous evaluations of interventions to help clients make more evidence-based decisions, and targeted and sustainable programming investments. One example was our work with USAID’s E3/Land and Urban Office to design and implement an impact evaluation of the Tenure and Global Climate Change project in Zambia. This project supported agroforestry extension services including establishing farmer groups trained in agroforestry and distributing seedlings, as well as land tenure interventions including boundary demarcation and land administration support.
Addressing the Challenge of Unsheltered Homelessness
Unsheltered homelessness has been on the rise in the U.S. for the past few decades with recent dramatic increases in several large metropolitan areas. There are many causes that have sparked the growth of street dwelling, encampments, and people living in places not meant for human habitation. We have been at the forefront of identifying the crisis of unsheltered homelessness as well as helping to identify solutions.
The Importance of Stakeholder Engagement Between the Public and Private Sectors
Engaging and collaborating with public and private sector stakeholders is a cornerstone of public health. Current public health and prevention topics and issues are complex and multi-faceted, and one agency, industry, or sector cannot solve these problems alone. Public health collaborations and partnerships leverage combined resources, expertise, and experience to achieve mutually desired goals that reach beyond the public sector.
How do Continuums of Care (CoC) know if they are systemically ending homelessness?
To know if shifting processes for system wide uniform assessment of client need is appropriately resulting in sustainable housing placements, it is essential for communities to evaluate their coordinated entry systems. Understanding effectiveness of practices will help refine the response to homelessness, provide opportunities to continuously enhance access to housing, and plan for future housing needs.
Improving Services and Partnerships in the Public Health Sector
Cloudburst’s Public Health team has been engaged in a range of partnerships with both the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), assisting them with training and technical assistance; data collection; and monitoring and evaluation.
Getting Data Back to Communities
International development evaluations, especially rigorous impact evaluations, rely on local communities and thousands of respondents to generously contribute time and knowledge for the collection of several rounds of survey data. Each survey also involves significant support from community members who assist in bringing the research team into the community and facilitating connections with respondents.
Addressing Homelessness through Shared Housing Strategies
Jamie Taylor, Cloudburst Subject Matter Expert in Public Policy, moderated a panel on Shared Housing at the National Alliance to End Homelessness Conference last month. Shared housing is a critical housing strategy for all communities to explore in the effort to secure permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness.
Uncovering Spatial Trends and Patterns
Maps are a universal tool that allow academics, scientists, researchers and policymakers to spatially analyze data, ask more meaningful questions and ultimately make well-informed decisions.
Cloudburst’s John Dwyer Takes the Bronze in USAID Photo Contest
Public-Private partnerships play an increasingly vital role in the world of international development and will be one of the primary means through which the 17 ambitious Sustainable Development Goals, ratified by the UN General Assembly, will be achieved by 2030. One such example is USAID’s Public Private Partnership for Responsible Land-Based Investment project, which is […]
It’s Time to Stem the Tide
Working on the Public Health team at The Cloudburst Group, I often see statistics on the insidious pervasiveness of addiction and the painful abuse of drugs. According to the CDC, overdose deaths from prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999, claiming the lives of more than 183,000 people from 1999–2015. It can be hard to comprehend […]
Out of the Storm: What Disasters Can Show Us
The storms of the last few months have led to large numbers of households seeking disaster shelter. In response to the recent Hurricanes—including Harvey, Irma, and Maria—and the wildfires in California, the American Red Cross provided more than 1.3 million overnight stays in emergency shelters. This staggering number of emergency sheltering is more than what […]
New Research on Community Land Conflicts from DFID and The Cloudburst Group
A recently released paper, “Community Land Conflicts: How Local Land Disputes Affect Private Sector Investments and Development Projects,” co-authored by The Cloudburst Group’s Land Tenure and Natural Resource Management Practice Lead, Karol Boudreaux, Darryl Vhugen, and Nicole Walter, identifies conflicts that often exist between local people, communities, and outside actors in relation to land. The […]
This company helps African farmers secure their land rights.
What if local people had secure rights to manage and benefit from the use of forests, or pastures, or farmland? What kind of entrepreneurial activities would we see?
Ask the Expert: An Interview with Heather Huntington, Cloudburst
Originally appeared on USAID’s LandLinks. LandLinks caught up with Dr. Heather Huntington, Land Tenure and Natural Resource Management Impact Evaluation Specialist with The Cloudburst Group to discuss a key research paper on tenure security that she has been developing under USAID’s Evaluation, Research and Communication (ERC) Project. The research compares datasets across seven impact evaluations in customary systems across […]
Cloudburst’s Sandra Coburn Featured in USAID Photo Contest
What does it look like when international development works? Cloudburst Public Information Specialist, Sandra Coburn, provides a glimpse in her photograph, which received an honorable mention in USAID’s Feed the Future photo contest. Over 100 images were submitted on the theme “Photos of Progress: What It Looks Like When Development Works” and we are proud […]
Increasing the Reach and Effectiveness of HUD Grant Funds in the City of St. Louis, Missouri
In St. Louis, The Cloudburst Group worked with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Field Office staff to create data-driven tools and strategies that provided improved funding and investment. The City of St. Louis, according to the HUD Field Office, had historically distributed HUD grant funds evenly across the wards of the […]
Cloudburst’s Judy Perlman in Shelterforce, the National Housing Institute’s Blog
“FACT: Rates of homelessness in the U.S. remained essentially unchanged between 2008-2012. This is surprising indeed, especially against the backdrop of a recession that had its origins in the housing market, and in which tens of thousands of homeowners lost their homes. Evan Horowitz made an important contribution to the conversation, ‘Does poverty drive homeless […]
Promoting Workforce Development Programs Through Interview-Style Marketing Videos
How do vulnerable youth from high-crime areas in El Salvador find jobs in the formal labor market? Through innovative workforce and positive youth development programs that target the harsh realities of these youth. In El Salvador, at-risk youth from high-crime municipalities often face barriers to entering the formal economy. Some of these barriers include […]
How Does HUD’s Environmental Review Process Ensure Projects Will Not Have a Negative Impact on the Environment?
HUD’s environmental review process (24 CFR Part 58) is a major cross-cutting requirement for providing federal grants and future projects. It conforms to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which requires federal agencies to comply with federal and state environmental laws and consider in the planning process how their projects may impact social, cultural, economic, and natural resources.
Research and Solutions from Cloudburst at the World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty
At the 2016 World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty last week—the most important event of the year for influencing policy and programming in the land sector—The Cloudburst Group presented our research and solutions for addressing one of the pressing global development challenges: strengthening land and resource rights. The theme of the 17th annual conference was Scaling […]
Cloudburst Works with HUD and New Orleans on Lessons Learned Ending Veteran Homelessness
In June 2014, First Lady Michelle Obama launched the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness by the end of 2015. In New Orleans, Mayor Mitch Landrieu assembled a broad public-private partnership in a committed and very public effort to achieve this ambitious goal. The Cloudburst Group, working with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Mayor Mitch Landrieu and community leaders, has documented how the City of New Orleans met the Mayors Challenge – a full year early.
Small Business Insights: Working with USAID
By J. Patrick Moynahan, President Managing international development programs – which often requires deep understanding of local contexts and cultures, and can involve working in remote areas or supporting institutions with limited capacity – can be a challenge for any firm, particularly a smaller one. Building the right mix of skills, expertise, and oversight within […]
Cloudburst Supports National Public Health Week
The Cloudburst Group is committed to the mission of our federal, state, and local partners in developing, disseminating and supporting comprehensive, integrated, science-based public health policies and programs. Whether supporting programs for immunizations, chronic disease prevention, supportive housing, environmental health or behavioral health, we are proud to serve the dedicated professionals who work to improve public […]
Why Land Rights Matter: An Animated Video & Infographic
The Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty is the most important event of the year to influence ideas and policies in the land tenure and property rights sector. For the 2015 conference, The Cloudburst Group embarked upon an ambitious mission …
Cloudburst Examines Land Rights Assessments, Coca-Cola Takes Note
At the 2015 World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty, The Cloudburst Group’s Land Tenure and Natural Resource Management Practice Lead, Karol Boudreaux examined the Coca-Cola Company’s recent efforts to make its sugar supply chain more responsible with respect to land rights. Coca-Cola, which is the world’s largest purchaser of sugar, has received criticism for illegal takings […]
Why Natural Resources Matter for Improving Governance in Namibia
By Karol Boudreaux, Practice Lead, Land Tenure and Natural Resource Management If you want to see why natural resources matter for local-level democracy, look no further than Namibia. Across this breathtakingly beautiful country, a remarkable social and economic experiment has been going on for nearly two decades: devolving rights to manage and benefit from the […]
Food Security and the Need for Responsible Investment Guidelines
By Gregory Myers, Ph.D., Director of Private Sector Engagement Over eight hundred million people in the world do not have enough to eat. In fact, hunger kills more people every year than malaria, AIDS, and tuberculosis combined. But feeding the world’s growing population cannot be achieved through government action and public resources alone. Instead, governments […]
Innovative ways to reduce risks in farming by advancing land ownership
Originally appeared on Devex, written by Karol Boudreaux. Farming is an inherently risky business: bad weather, pests, credit constraints, and unexpected policy changes threaten farmers of all sizes. Helping farmers, particularly smallholder farmers, find better ways to manage risk is an important part of what food security programming is all about. But what if a […]