MDRC was founded in 1974 on the notion that high-quality research and evidence can play a vital role in reducing poverty and inequity in the United States. We hold true to that vision today.
A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, MDRC conducts rigorous studies of programs and policies that affect people with low incomes, actively disseminates the lessons to policymakers and practitioners, and works directly with programs and agencies to help improve their effectiveness.
What We Do
Our diverse, interdisciplinary staff of researchers and former educators and program operators—supported by experts in finance, law, technology, human resources, and communications—work in communities across the country, in a wide range of domains, including pre-K to postsecondary education, criminal justice, housing, and job training.
Underlying all our work is a deep respect for the knowledge of on-the-ground program staff and individuals directly affected by the programs and policies we study.
What We Believe
Rigorous, nonpartisan research, active dissemination of what we learn, and hands-on technical assistance can promote more effective public policies and programs, improve the lives of families with low incomes, and address stubborn inequities in our society.
Our research independence is essential to our ability to achieve our mission. We value input from funders and other key stakeholders, but, ultimately, we must be able to release and disseminate what we learn, free from political considerations.
Research, dissemination, and technical assistance are most effective when they are shaped by the wisdom of the staff who administer public systems and programs and of the individuals who experience them.
Our work is stronger when our staff represent diverse backgrounds and perspectives, our management practices are inclusive, and our organizational culture promotes growth, learning, and innovation.