19 Mar 2024

Press Release

Revolutionizing State Policy: MDRC and Coleridge Initiative Forge New Partnership to Drive Sustainable Change

ARLINGTON, VA. – In an unprecedented collaboration, MDRC and the Coleridge Initiative announced the launch of the State IMPACT (Innovative Models for Policy Acceleration & Collaborative Testing) Collaborative on Tuesday, March 19th. This groundbreaking initiative aims to provide funding and research support to transform state policymaking by leveraging advanced data analytics and collaborative research to foster evidence-based decision-making and sustainable development.

At the Heart of State IMPACT:

Innovative Data Integration: Utilizing Coleridge Initiative’s renowned Administrative Data Research Facility (ADRF), which enables secure cross-agency and cross-state collaboration, the collaboration provides an unparalleled platform for data use, applied analytics training, and research for effective policymaking and program administration.

Expertise and Experience: Drawing on MDRC’s track record of conducting high-impact evaluations and the strong relationships both organizations have developed with state agencies, the Collaborative will bring about meaningful policy improvements.

Collaborative Excellence: The Collaborative will foster synergy between data providers, state employees, expert researchers, and data scientists working together to test new strategies in critical areas such as education, criminal justice, and employment.

"Through the State IMPACT Collaborative, we're setting a new standard for how states can use data to inform policy and drive progress," said Dr. Ahu Yildirmaz, President and CEO of the Coleridge Initiative. "By harnessing our combined expertise with the innovative use of data, we're poised to make significant strides in evidence-based policymaking."

Virginia Knox, President of MDRC, highlighted the collaborative spirit of the initiative. "We are excited to launch this new partnership with our longstanding colleagues at the Coleridge Initiative and with states interested in using their data to build stronger and more effective policies and programs,” said MDRC President Virginia Knox. “Each of us brings unique skills and capacities that will advance this important work.”

The State IMPACT Collaborative will vastly streamline data acquisition for use by evaluators and enhance the skills of state staff to conduct analyses of their own. Inspired by the success of an earlier initiative, the TANF Data Collaborative, the State IMPACT Collaborative will bring together data providers, state employees, MDRC researchers, and Coleridge data scientists to collaborate on high-quality tests of the effectiveness of new state strategies in education, criminal justice, income support, and employment, using linked sources of government data.

Ultimately, this initiative has the potential to foster a culture of experimentation in state agencies, to bridge gaps in the fragmented data infrastructure in these state systems, and to build states’ analytic capacity, culminating in a public report that demonstrates the benefits to states of moving in this direction.   

For more information on the Collaborative, visit the Coleridge Initiative website.

About MDRC

MDRC, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 1974, conducts rigorous studies of programs and policies that affect people with low incomes, actively disseminates lessons to policymakers and practitioners, and works directly with programs and agencies to help improve their effectiveness.

About The Coleridge Initiative, Inc.

The Coleridge Initiative is a nonprofit organization working with governments to ensure that data are more effectively used for public decision-making. Coleridge provides agencies with the opportunity to enhance their workforce data literacy and collaborate within and across states to develop new technologies through the secure access and sharing of confidential microdata. Coleridge’s secure data hosting platform, the Administrative Data Research Facility (ADRF), is a FedRAMP-certified environment that enables government agencies to link their longitudinal data with other states and agencies. Learn more: www.coleridgeinitiative.org