Since its founding, MDRC has been a leading developer and evaluator of programs focused on improving the economic mobility and opportunities for recipients of public assistance and their families.

The Latest

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Data Collaborative Pilot Initiative, a component of the TANF Data Innovation project, offered technical assistance and training to eight state and county TANF programs, profiled here, in the routine use of TANF and other administrative data to inform policy and practice.


Millions of Americans have had their driver’s licenses suspended at some point because they have not paid legal fines and fees. This brief examines the causes, consequences, and scope of this practice, and highlights a program based in Florida that works to address the challenges of people affected by it.

Key Documents

Implications for Income Support Policy

On the eve of the 15th anniversary of federal welfare reform, MDRC President Gordon Berlin describes the implications of the Great Recession and its effects on the labor market for welfare policy and other safety net programs. The speech was given at the 2011 Welfare Research and Evaluation Conference, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


A Synthesis of Research

Most welfare programs seek to ensure that poor families have adequate income while at the same time encouraging self-sufficiency. Based on studies of 28 programs involving more than 100,000 sample members, this synthesis compares the costs, benefits, and returns on investment of six welfare program strategies – from the perspectives of participants, government budgets, and society as a whole.


Presented Before the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means, Human Resources Subcommittee

On July 30, 2014, MDRC’s Dan Bloom testified before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources on what research says about the effectiveness of subsidized employment programs in promoting work, reducing poverty, and improving other important outcomes.