Design, Sites, and Data Sources
The Next Generation project draws data and perspectives from 10 rigorous studies conducted by MDRC, including the Project on Devolution and Urban Change and random assignment evaluations of the following programs:
- Canada’s Self-Sufficiency Project
- Connecticut’s Jobs First
- Florida’s Family Transition Program
- Indiana’s Welfare Reform Evaluation, conducted by Abt Associates
- Iowa’s Family Investment Program, conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
- Los Angeles Jobs-First Greater Avenues for Independence
- New Hope Project
- Minnesota Family Investment Program
- National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies
- New Chance
- Vermont’s Welfare Restructuring Project
Because of the variety of policy approaches, data sources, and methodologies represented, Next Generation can delve deeper into the programs’ effects on children and families than could any single study. The project derives statistical reliability from the large size of its aggregate database. Together, the underlying evaluations encompass tens of thousands of parents and children across North America.
Owing to the richness of the underpinning research, the Next Generation team can make new discoveries without collecting new information. All the findings rest on secondary analysis of primary data, which include administrative records of employment and public assistance receipt, surveys of parents and teachers, and ethnographic interviews. The project’s synthesis approach is facilitated by the use of comparable measures of children’s and families’ well-being in many of the studies.