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Funded Research

Youth Policy Lab Michigan Data & Policy Fellowship

The Youth Policy Lab Michigan Data & Policy Fellowship bridges government and research to make evidence-based decisions about where to invest scarce resources. Facing the twin crises of a global pandemic and unparalleled economic and social distress, our state government is being called upon to respond to ever-growing challenges. When budgets are strained and needs are increasing, making evidence-based decisions about where to invest scarce resources is critical. The YPL Data & Policy Fellowship places early-career professionals in state agencies to make specific, measurable improvements in policies & programs. In its first iteration, over the last two years, the fellowship program has proven to be an efficient, cost-effective approach to assist the state in achieving strategic, cross-departmental goals that cannot be accomplished by existing state staff. The Youth Policy Lab placed its first Fellow with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) from 2019 -2021, and the fellow developed a quality assessment system for the Maternal Infant Health Program for Medicaid eligible pregnant parents and infants. The assessment system has improved home visiting services for program participants with a long-term aim of improving maternal and infant outcomes and reducing disparities for people and communities of color. The next fellow will build upon this work – and the YPL team would love to open a conversation with the Fisher Foundation about whether you would consider a grant in support of this program. While there is a close working relationship with the maternal and infant health unit at MDHHS, and more work to be done there, the Fellowship model is nimble and can translate to other agencies and focus areas. YPL would welcome the opportunity to work with the Fisher Foundation, should there be an interest in supporting a fellowship in some other particular area of state government ? for example, a successful early childhood fellowship program within the Michigan Department of Education, or within efforts to improve the foster care system administered by MDHHS, or other systems-level work that cuts across multiple state departments and funding streams. As state resources are being redeployed to help address the most immediate needs of Michigan, YPL Fellows are positioned to address longer-term strategic work involving systemic inequities to help inform our state government investments with effective social policies and programs to improve outcomes for Michigan?s children and families.


Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, Inc.

Funding Period:

01/01/2022 to 06/30/2024