Charting the Next Decade of Evidence Generation in State and Local Government: A Virtual Webinar Series

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J-PAL North America’s State and Local Innovation Initiative virtual webinar series “Charting the Next Decade of Evidence Generation in State and Local Government” will explore pressing policy and research priorities facing state and local governments. Speakers in the series will discuss how state and local governments and researchers can develop and implement evaluations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, racial equity, and climate change and environmental justice. State and local governments are attuned to how these issues manifest for their communities and can provide an immediate, context-relevant response to the specific needs of their residents.

Current events have highlighted long-existing inequalities, the need for policy changes, and the importance of examining the role of economics and evaluations in addressing critical policy issues. The series will share actionable insights for how state and local governments can use data and evidence to advance their policy priorities and how researchers can partner with state and local governments to develop and implement randomized evaluations.

  1. Incorporating qualitative research and interdisciplinary perspectives in randomized evaluations
  2. State and Local Policy Responses to Climate Change
  3. Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Improving Health Equity with Lessons from Research
  4. Evaluations and Racial Equity: Considerations for State and Local Policymakers and Researchers 

All events are free, open to the public, and will take place from 11am–12:30pm Eastern Time (EST). Please contact Jessica Troe if you have any questions.

REGISTER FOR ANY OF THE WEBINARS HERE.

Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Improving Health Equity with Lessons from Research

November 20, 2020 | 2:15–3:15pm Eastern Time | Live via Zoom

Co-hosted with the US Health Care Delivery Initiative 

Lessons on how to increase the effectiveness of policy responses to COVID-19 within communities of color have emerged through rigorous research conducted in partnership with state and local governments and health care delivery organizations. In this webinar, our panelists will discuss key takeaways from existing efforts to address medical mistrust and increase uptake of COVID-19 testing and preventive health behaviors. Additionally, the panelists will explore future research questions that can help inform state and local governments’ efforts to mitigate long-standing health inequities and the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on communities of color.

Marcella Alsan, MD, PhD
Harvard Kennedy School

Owen Garrick, MD, MBA
Bridge Clinical Research

Mona Shah, MPH, PhD
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Register for any of the webinars here.

Past Webinars

Incorporating qualitative research and interdisciplinary perspectives in randomized evaluations

September 30, 2020 | 11am–12:30pm Eastern Time | Live via Zoom

This webinar will explore how interdisciplinary thinking—and building inclusive and collaborative relationships—can be incorporated into developing and implementing evaluations. We will highlight the use of qualitative research to enhance and better inform randomized evaluation results and to inform the context of evaluations. We will also discuss the importance and value of understanding the specific needs of state and local communities through needs assessments and pilot programs. Speakers will share examples of how they have incorporated community perspectives in real-world evaluations of education and economic mobility programs.

Stefanie DeLuca
Johns Hopkins University 

Bruce Sacerdote
Dartmouth College
Co-chair
, J-PAL North America State and Local Innovation Initiative

Sarah Oppenheimer
Opportunity Insights 

State and Local Policy Responses to Climate Change 

October 7, 2020 | 11am–12:30pm Eastern Time | Live via Zoom

Co-hosted with J-PAL's Environment, Energy, & Climate Change Sector

This webinar will highlight the momentum of efforts around climate change and pollution mitigation, what interventions state and local governments are currently implementing, and opportunities for collaboration between researchers and state and local agencies. 
 
With the United States as the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, reducing emissions within North America is essential to addressing the dual challenges of poverty and climate change around the world. In the United States, structural disparities and discrimination have led to low-income populations and people of color disproportionately experiencing a range of climate change-related hazards such as air and water pollution and elevated risk of harm from extreme heat and weather events. 
 
On this webinar, researchers and government leaders will discuss innovative approaches to combat climate change, including pricing and conservation policies in the water and electricity sectors, and regulation compliance strategies to decrease pollutants. They will also discuss the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration, and how such partnerships can advance rigorous research to identify effective approaches to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, decrease carbon co-pollutants, and lower the burden that climate change poses for vulnerable populations.

Fiona Burlig
University of Chicago

Zoe Davis
Climate Ready Boston, City of Boston

James Goldstene
California Air Resources Board

Katrina Jessoe
University of California, Davis

Evaluations and Racial Equity: Considerations for State and Local Policymakers and Researchers 

October 27, 2020 | 11am–12:30pm Eastern Time | Live via Zoom

In 2020, the ongoing social justice uprising against anti-Black racism in policing and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color have refocused attention on the impact of structural racism on all facets of US policymaking. This webinar is focused on how state and local governments are confronting the legacy and present-day reality of inequitable policies, and how research and evidence can play a role in dismantling structural racism as a barrier to economic mobility.

Structural racism both produces and is reinforced by inequitable policies, and as such, evidence-based policy that meaningfully contributes to poverty alleviation needs to center the pursuit of racial equity. To date, many relevant evaluations at the state and local level have focused on interventions such as implicit bias training that are designed to interrupt incidences of individual-level bias. While this is a crucial area of work, there is broad potential to expand the body of evidence on which policies effectively foster racial equity on a wider institutional level.  

The field of economics, like many disciplines, has its own legacy of structural racism to reckon with. In response, J-PAL North America is working to develop an anti-racist research agenda to guide future randomized evaluations. This webinar will provide an opportunity to jointly explore with attendees what innovative approaches to evidence-building for racial equity are already being applied by researchers, policymakers, and funders. Our panelists will discuss what we can learn from existing efforts to disrupt structural racism, key considerations for designing and implementing evaluations whose results can inform how we build racial equity, and potential opportunities for future collaboration between researchers and policymakers in this area.  

Conrad Miller
Berkeley Haas

Chekemma Townsend
Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN)

Kantahyanee Murray
Annie E. Casey Foundation