In the fall of 2020, the chief executive officers of nine leading policy research organizations met to discuss the critical importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the field of public policy research and in their individual workplaces. The result is the Evidence and Equity Collaborative.
The first collaboration of its kind within the policy research field, the Evidence and Equity Collaborative brings together Abt Associates, AIR, Mathematica, MDRC, NORC, the RAND Corporation, RTI International, the Urban Institute, and Westat for an initiative outside their usual roles as business competitors. As members of the Evidence and Equity Collaborative, these nine organizations representing more than 20,000 employees, are joining forces to support diversity in their workplaces, strengthen inclusive practices in policy research, and build a foundation for equitable analysis ready to inform policymaking across the nation.
The Evidence and Equity Collaborative’s agenda will include a range of opportunities for members to learn from each other and from broader communities. Plans include facilitating DEI dialogue within member organizations and among those who fund, develop, and implement policies and programs; meeting with communities affected by those policies and programs; contributing to the development of research best practices informed by DEI principles for the benefit of the broader research community; and creating opportunities for aspiring researchers from underrepresented groups.
“MDRC is pleased to join our peers in this important initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion for our field,” said MDRC President Virginia Knox. “Our staff members, our field, our policy and program partners, and, most importantly, participants in the systems and programs we study all stand to benefit from this commitment to culturally responsive, equity-based, and inclusive practices in our organizations and in our work.”
As a unique effort with a deeply held purpose, the Evidence and Equity Collaborative is set to accelerate progress within the field of program and policy research, applying its deep bench of expertise in the service of advancing transformational change.