What we do

Research and data science in service of government

The California Policy Lab creates data-driven insights for the public good. Our 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. We facilitate close working partnerships between policymakers and researchers at UCLA and UC Berkeley to help evaluate and improve public programs through empirical research and technical assistance. Local and state governments are often at the cutting edge of innovative policymaking. Though they often collect substantial administrative data about their programs and the people they serve, they often lack the resources, data infrastructure, and rigorous research expertise they need to evaluate success and inform future policy decisions.  We help fill these gaps by bringing experts from the country’s top public universities and a secure platform for data and policy analysis. Our projects are guided by the problems that our government partners wish to solve. And we believe that relevant empirical analysis needs to move at the speed of policymaking. Generous support from our funders allows us to choose projects based on impact rather than cost.

People are at the center of what we do.  We want to unlock the ability for governments to understand and better address the individuals and families they serve.

We offer a range of services to our government partners:

  • Access to expertise from renowned faculty in relevant policy areas.
  • Data analytics and technical assistance to solve issues relevant to policymakers on a short turn-around.
  • Scientific evaluations of existing and potential new programs to find out what works and help bring solutions to scale.
  • Safe and secure data infrastructure for processing and linking administrative datasets within and across agencies while maintaining confidentiality
  • Capacity-building for government agency employees through trainings, convenings, and resource development.