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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
MDRC is piloting a Council of Lived Experience Advisors to offer guidance to its Criminal Justice Research Center on goals, strategies, and project work. The council will be made up of lived experts who have firsthand experience interacting with the criminal justice system.
This report presents the findings from check-ins with families and children that took part in the Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation when those children were 2.5 and 3.5 years old. It provides a snapshot of families’ life circumstances and the effects of evidence-based home visiting at these time points.
Implementation, Impact, and Cost Findings from the New York City P-TECH 9-14 Schools Evaluation
The New York City P-TECH 9-14 schools involve a partnership among a high school, a community college, and employer partners that focuses on preparing students for college and careers within six years. This first rigorous evaluation of the model found it increases the percentage of students who earn college degrees.
This paper offers long-term findings from a study at seven State University of New York campuses. It suggests that using multiple measures assessment for placement into developmental classes, rather than standardized tests, improved access to and success in college-level courses.
Developmental math requirements can be a barrier to obtaining a college degree. This paper explores the effects of a robust developmental math reform model on longer-term outcomes of academic success. It helped more students complete college-level math but did not lead to broader impacts on college persistence and degree attainment.
Randomized controlled trials are an increasingly common research design for evaluating the effectiveness of community college interventions. This paper provides empirical benchmarks to help with the planning and interpretation of evaluations at these institutions.
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.
Short-term findings from implementation research that is part of a larger impact study can reveal insights that are valuable to both program operators and researchers. This blog post describes an example from a collaboration between MDRC and a high school reform organization.
The Scaling Up College Completion Efforts for Student Success (SUCCESS) program aims to improve college completion rates for traditionally underserved students at community and broad-access colleges. This report provides updated insight into the SUCCESS program after one year of participation and explores the implementation changes necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The benefits of using a trauma-informed (TI) approach in fatherhood programs have been well documented. The quality of fatherhood program research can also be improved by incorporating TI principles into the research design. This brief explores ways to apply a TI framework to research focused on fathers and fatherhood programs.
Findings from the Portland Site of the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies
This report explores whether the outcomes and effects of the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (Portland) vary when estimated using different data sources. The findings identify the strengths and limitations of the data sources used and provide information on which data sources to prioritize when evaluating targeted employment-related interventions.
Many of the men who participate in fatherhood programs may have experienced trauma from adverse childhood experiences, community violence, or incarceration. This brief provides practical information and easy-to-use tools designed to support trauma-informed practices in a fatherhood program context.
MDRC recently conducted an evaluation of training and technical assistance for elementary schools implementing a widely used approach called multi-tiered systems of support for student behavior (MTSS-B). This essay summarizes the findings and offers lessons for future applications of the approach.
A Mixed-Methods Evaluation of the Male Student Success Initiative for Men of Color
Research literature is rich with theories about the challenges faced by male students of color who strive to achieve college success and completion. This report provides the first causal estimates of the effects of a college program targeting male students of color on academic outcomes.