Two-Generation Approaches

Two-generation (2Gen) approaches focus on creating opportunities for and addressing needs of both vulnerable children and their parents, or the adults in their lives, together. Two-generation approaches can be applied to practice, policy, systems change, philanthropy, and research. To learn more about two-generation policies, visit our policy page.

What is 2Gen Practice?

2Gen practice encompasses direct-service organizations that apply a holistic lens to serving children and their parents and/or the adults in their lives together. Two-generation programs incorporate two or more components of the two-generation framework [hyperlink to PDF image of the cogs/components].

How do I apply a 2Gen lens to my program?

Check out the Ascend 2Gen Playbook:

Assess your readiness through the RU 2Gen survey.

How do I measure 2Gen program outcomes?

2Gen programs are currently in the “proof of concept” phase. To continue building evidence for the 2Gen approach, Ascend, in partnership with a working  group of researchers, practitioners, and parents, has developed a useful framework for developing and measuring 2Gen outcomes. Making Tomorrow Better Together is an outcomes guide for practitioners that includes a theory of change, links to relevant research, and a core set of indicators. Download it below. You can also visit the 2Gen Outcomes Bank for a crowd-sourced library of tools, indicators, and other resources.

What are 2Gen programs doing that I can learn from?

The Ascend Network [hyperlink to Network page here] is the leading national cohort of two-generation organizations in action. We focus on “platforms for scale” – organizations that have the potential to influence systems change through their practices. Here are some tools you can use:

For more tools, visit the Ascend 2Gen Toolbox

How does Ascend invest in / support / help grow the 2Gen field?

As the national hub for innovative practice and breakthrough ideas and collaborations, Ascend: 

  • Invests in convenings such as the Aspen ThinkXChange, the 2Gen Practice Institute, and other peer learning opportunities such as webinars and learning communities;
  • Develops and disseminates tools and products that equip the field to develop and implement two-generation ideas;
  • Manages the Ascend Network, the national 2Gen learning and action community; and
  • Lifts and amplifies the voices of families to inform 2Gen programming and implementation.