What we do

Research and data science for the public good

The California Policy Lab is a non-partisan research institute based at the University of California. Our mission is to improve the lives of Californians by generating evidence that transforms public policy. We do this by forming lasting partnerships between government and California’s flagship public universities to harness the power of research and administrative data.

We focus our work in six policy areas: education, criminal justice reform, poverty and the social safety net, labor and employment, health, and homelessness and high needs populations.

Local and state governments are often at the cutting edge of innovative policymaking. Though they 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 to 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 renowned experts.
  • Relevant and timely analysis.
  • Objective program evaluations.
  • Safe and secure data infrastructure.

Our funding partners

The California Policy Lab is proud to have generous support from the following partners.


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