California Policy Lab Awarded $1.2M UC Multicampus Research Grant

Berkeley–The California Policy Lab (CPL) was awarded a $1.2 million grant from the University of California’s Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives to leverage experts across the
UC system to tackle complex problems that include homelessness and designing education and training to meet workforce needs.

“With this grant, new scholars will provide expertise needed for projects that agency partners value,” said California Policy Lab Berkeley Faculty Director Jesse Rothstein. “These efforts are
all about helping the state strengthen its policy development, policy analysis, and research capacity.”

“We are thrilled to receive this award,” said CPL UCLA Faculty Director Till von Wachter. “The grant enables us to form a statewide network of scholars that will combine forces to increase the
Lab’s impact on the state’s most pressing social issues. It also provides students with experience in applied research.” Though this new grant, the Lab will expand beyond its original sites at UCLA and UC Berkeley to bring in new faculty at UC Davis, UC Irvine, and UC San Francisco. Over time, the Lab intends to work with faculty at all nine UC campuses.

The project pairs interdisciplinary research expertise of UC faculty with California state and county agency expertise and administrative data. The collaboration will support a range of projects in the areas of homelessness, workforce training, and beyond, including:

● A study aimed at identifying events and characteristics that may predict near-term homelessness, based on linked data from county health, criminal justice, housing, and welfare systems. This will support agency efforts to prevent homelessness, which will then be evaluated for effectiveness.

● Examining the impact of several adult vocational education and workforce training programs on subsequent employment and earnings. This will lead to success metrics for each program and identify gaps in access to effective services.

In the two years since its inception at UCLA and Berkeley, the Lab has seen incredible success conducting policy-relevant research across California government agencies, thanks to partnerships with public agencies that overcome data silos.

CPL has established itself as a trusted research partner for Los Angeles, Sonoma, and San Francisco counties, working with agencies on the front line of addressing the homelessness crisis. It established data sharing agreements covering over a dozen county agencies in these three locations, including medical, mental health, criminal justice, social service, and homeless management information systems. CPL has developed similar partnerships with a range of state agencies with responsibility for social services, higher education, and anti-poverty programs.

About the California Policy Lab
The California Policy Lab is a new University of California initiative, begun in 2017 at UC Berkeley and UCLA, designed to create data-driven insights for the public good. CPL’s mission is to partner with California’s state and local governments to generate scientific evidence that solves California’s most urgent problems, including homelessness, poverty, crime, and education inequality. The Lab facilitates close working partnerships between policymakers and researchers to help evaluate and improve public programs through empirical research and technical assistance.

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