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Creating the conditions that enable policymakers to incorporate rigorous research into their decision making.

Policy leaders are increasingly recognizing the importance of using data and research to inform policy design, improve services, and efficiently allocate funds. The result is better, more effective deployment of policy.  There is vast, untapped opportunity to make progress on society’s enduring challenges by unleashing the performance-improving potential of data and evidence. University-based economists and other social scientists have much to offer in this moment, but their interests and distinct capacities are under-deployed. 

A driving motivation of the Tobin Center’s work in this area is an increase the demand in government to use data and to act on evidence – while connecting the supply of talented economists at Yale and beyond to problems they may uniquely help to solve.

At Tobin, we partner with governments, universities, non-profits, and funders to build the data infrastructure and research capacity needed for both breakthrough insights and continuous improvement of programs and policies. Our current work includes action-driven convenings of policymakers and researchers on topics such as rapid RCT design; bringing data and analytics talent into government; and piloting novel federal and state research-to-impact partnerships. Select highlights include:

Developing novel, secure data sharing methods to enable federal, state, and local partnerships

We are partnering with Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy and Massive Data Institute on an initiative to identify and scale new ways to securely unlock the potential of earnings data. Through this collaboration, the Tobin Center and partners will advance secure methods to drive new policy insights and to provide actionable data to achieve measurably better results for families and communities.

Partnering with Connecticut to build evidence-based policy infrastructure

We are working to advance and support Connecticut’s nationally recognized data strategy to develop effective partnerships with researchers and higher education. Together with CT’s Governor's Office, Chief Data Officer, and multiple state agencies, we pursue projects where data efforts can deliver near-term value for families, communities, and the state. We are also supporting Connecticut's efforts to engage with the state community of higher education institutions to identify ways that state agencies can leverage universities’ substantial research and analytic capacities.

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