Founded in 1974, MDRC is committed to improving the lives of people with low incomes. We design promising new interventions, evaluate existing programs, and provide technical assistance to build better programs.
MDRC develops evidence about solutions to some of the nation’s most difficult problems. Explore our projects and variety of products, including publications, videos, podcast episodes, and resources for researchers and practitioners.
The Houston Housing Authority (HHA) joined an MDRC-led research project called MyGoals for Employment Success, an innovative employment coaching intervention informed by behavioral psychology. This blog post describes the experiences of HHA staff members and the MDRC team and how they used participatory research methods to inform decision-making.
There is limited evidence on how best to implement high quality early care and education curricula and professional development that is aligned with the diverse backgrounds of children in pre-K settings. An MDRC research team led a project to learn more about how that might be accomplished.
Create Wellness Communities and Schedule Staff Celebrations to Boost Morale and Well-Being
Many program managers are integrating self-care into their management strategies to address work-related stress. This post offers two group activities that managers can use to boost staff morale and promote well-being: wellness communities and monthly staff celebrations.
An increased focus on staff well-being has been an unexpected benefit of the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. MDRC has helped program managers use a variety of tools to support their workers, including self-care plans that individuals can use to assess and address the stress of their jobs.
This blog post looks at how community colleges participating in MDRC’s Scaling Up College Completion Efforts for Student Success (SUCCESS) project use data-driven program management to keep tabs on key performance measures in real time and then act when those measures aren’t moving in the right direction.
Homeboy Industries Managed Its Organization-Wide Transition to a New Data System by Following Five Key Principles
Homeboy Industries’ (HBI) experience implementing a new data system was described in an earlier InPractice post. This post examines the complexities and challenges that must be addressed before successful implementation can take place, and how HBI managed that change process.
Three Steps for Assessing Benchmarks in All-Hands Meetings
How does your organization keep track of its progress toward meeting key performance benchmarks? In this edition of InPractice, we share a few tips on how to use staff meetings to make sure your team is staying on-target.
Homeboy Industries (HBI), one of the largest gang rehabilitation and reentry organizations in the world, is transforming its data infrastructure and the way it uses technology to better support its client-centered program services. MDRC recently collaborated with HBI on a project to establish program logic models and to assess the organization’s data collection needs and practices. This post draws on what was learned from that collaboration.
In this commentary, originally published in District Administration, MDRC’s Michelle Maier and Shira Mattera offer evidenced-backed advice for policymakers and practitioners about how to invest new federal funds to enhance the quality of preschool programs.
Many programs and agencies collect data about their clients and service use but they may not have the time and resources to use those data to inform their decision making. This post shares some simple approaches for how to use data to improve programs.
MDRC is known for its groundbreaking evaluations and demonstrations of social policies and programs. Our success depends to a great extent on the work of MDRC’s operations staff, field liaisons who partner with service providers to solve everyday problems and create valuable learning exchanges. The InPractice blog series highlights lessons from MDRC’s work with programs, featuring posts on recruiting participants and keeping them engaged, supporting provider teams, using data for program improvement, and providing services remotely.
Our operations staff members, who write most InPractice posts, have firsthand professional experience — including as state and local government administrators, program managers, case workers, teachers, school administrators, and community organizers. They are relationship builders and creative trainers who help programs develop and adopt new ways of working, translate complex research agendas into clear and practical guidance, provide tailored technical assistance, facilitate opportunities to hear multiple perspectives and experiences, and refine fundraising efforts. They strive to understand programs and their participants inside and out. These core aspects of MDRC’s work are bolstered by our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.