Podcast: Gordon Berlin Interviewed About the Role of Research Evidence in Shaping Social Policy



In April, MDRC President Gordon Berlin (left) was interviewed by Denver Frederick, host of the “Business of Giving” radio show in New York City, about the role of rigorous research evidence in informing how government and philanthropy invest in education and social programs. The podcast was also featured on the Chronicle of Philanthropy website.

Berlin describes MDRC’s experience evaluating existing programs and developing demonstrations of new interventions. He highlights a number of current projects, including the Paycheck Plus demonstration of an enhanced Earned Income Tax Credit for single adults, the evaluation of the City University of New York’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs and a replication effort at three Ohio community colleges, our ongoing evaluation of small public high schools in New York City, the Jobs-Plus employment program in public housing, and the Family Rewards test of conditional cash transfers.

Berlin also discusses what Frederick terms “the quiet revolution” of increased federal investment in evidence-building under both the Bush and Obama administrations, how new technologies can help make research more effective and efficient, and how behavioral “nudge” interventions can improve social and education programs.