Government leaders gather at MIT to advance evidence-based policymaking



9 February 2017

Full story at MIT News

State and local government leaders, leading scholars, and social service providers gathered in Cambridge on Jan. 12 and 13 to share their first-hand experiences creating and using rigorous evidence to address key challenges related to poverty. Participants focused on highlighting examples of how governments and researchers have partnered to use evidence from randomized evaluations to reduce crime and violence, improve maternal and child health, and promote housing mobility.

J-PAL North America, which hosted the conference, is a regional office of MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). J-PAL seeks to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. Through the State and Local Innovation Initiative, J-PAL North America supports state and local governments in embedding randomized evaluations into social programs and using the results to inform their priority policy questions. The conference brought together the five governments selected to participate in the first year of the initiative — Philadelphia, Rochester, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and South Carolina — along with other state and local government leaders and their research partners.