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.
A Three-Pronged Approach to Fostering Strong Collaborations
This post describes how MDRC and Blue Engine, which works with school systems to ensure that all students thrive, collaborated to codesign and launch an implementation research study of Blue Engine’s school-based support model, learn from each other throughout the process, and share responsibility for their partnership’s success.
An Approach to Achieving Equitable Labor-Market Outcomes and Upward Mobility
Research shows that sector-based training programs—which train people for high-quality jobs that meet the needs of employers in targeted industry sectors—can raise employment rates and earnings. This brief presents findings from interviews about the challenges training providers face, along with lessons from earlier studies.
This brief describes efforts to transform federal employment data and Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF) program data into an integrated resource for program management and evidence building by the TANF Data Innovation project.
Opportunities and Challenges for an Emerging Labor Market
This brief examines the complex factors that have both facilitated and hampered efforts to train workers for the burgeoning green labor market. It is based on an MDRC qualitative case study of stakeholders involved in green policy, education, training, and employment sectors in the New York metropolitan region.
Preliminary Findings from the Career Impact Bond Study
Many individuals face financial and other barriers to accessing training that could lead to higher-paying jobs. Income share agreements enable learners to receive occupational training without paying up-front tuition costs. Participants commit to repaying a portion of their income over time, up to a capped amount, contingent on a minimum income threshold.
Positive Outcomes from the ASAP Ohio Demonstration
Graduation rates at community colleges are low, especially for students from low-income backgrounds. In response, three Ohio community colleges implemented programs based on the City University of New York’s successful Accelerated Study in Associate Programs. At six years, the Ohio programs have increased graduation rates and earnings.
For almost 15 years, the Green Energy Pathway at Skyline High School in Oakland, California has been educating students with a project-based curriculum that explores science-based solutions to global warming. That longevity means the Green Energy Pathway may offer lessons on how to make environmentally focused education successful and sustainable.
In 2023, MDRC posted more than 100 reports, briefs, practitioner guides, and other publications—offering evaluation results, profiles of innovative programs, and evidence-backed advice for policymakers and practitioners. Here are 10 of the most popular.
To reach policymakers, practitioners, and other important decisionmakers, MDRC experts authored or coauthored commentaries on evidence-based solutions for a variety of venues last year, including Route Fifty, GovTech, The Hechinger Report, and Inside Higher Ed. Here’s a selection from across the organization.
This brief presents background information on two supportive housing programs operated by Central City Concern, which aims to assist individuals with substance use disorder by providing integrated services designed to support sustained recovery. The programs are being evaluated by MDRC as part of the Building Evidence on Employment Strategies project.
The job of “tutor” is now the fastest-growing position in the K-12 sector. But as tutoring has grown rapidly, a tight labor market for tutors has districts scrambling to find enough of them. This post discusses four approaches states and districts are taking to find tutors on a large scale.
In this commentary originally published in The Hechinger Report, Alyssa Ratledge discusses the need for comprehensive student support programs in rural communities to help students stay in college and graduate.
How Community Health Workers Support RICMS Clients with Reentry
Los Angeles County’s Reentry Intensive Case Management Services program connects clients with criminal legal system involvement to community health workers (CHWs) who help them navigate supportive services. This brief presents findings from interviews with CHWs and clients and provides insight into their relationship and the effects of the program.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, home visiting programs like Child First adapted their service delivery approach, offering services virtually and in person. This brief explores the pandemic’s impact on the Child First model and finds that, overall, implementation of the model remains the same as it was before the pandemic began.
DCMP aims to help first-year college students meet their developmental math requirements. This study assesses the costs of the program on longer-term college progress and finds that DCMP saves students money and may be cost-effective when used as part of a larger strategy to improve student success.
College students who need developmental math instruction face difficulties in completing such courses, which can prevent them from enrolling in college-level math courses and obtaining a credential. This robust developmental math reform model helped students complete their college-level math courses but did not lead to discernible effects on credential completion.
Head Start supports the well-being of children and families with low incomes by identifying and coordinating comprehensive family support services to address education, employment, housing, and other needs. This brief introduces a theory of change that explains how those services are expected to result in improved outcomes for the whole family.
A Public-Private Workforce Training Initiative in Los Angeles
California has become an incubator for climate innovation—setting ambitious targets for reducing emissions and creating jobs in the clean economy. Nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and employers have come together to create the Los Angeles Regional Cleantech Career Academy. MDRC sat down with Academy leaders to learn more.
The Acelero Learning and MDRC Research-Practice Partnership
This issue focus examines a research-practice partnership aimed at understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Head Start students. It describes the partners’ shared objectives, how they collaborated to identify those objectives, and how their example may be useful to other organizations interested in undertaking similar efforts.
Many college students who are assessed as needing remedial education never graduate. Evidence shows that multiple measures assessment and corequisite remediation can improve outcomes for these students. This brief explains both practices, discusses surveys showing they are increasing nationally, and introduces a study on how they can work together.