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Youth Policy Lab

The University of Michigan Youth Policy Lab is a partnership between Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and the Survey Research Center at the Institute for Social Research. The Youth Policy Lab helps community and government agencies make better decisions by measuring what really works. We are data experts who believe that the government can and must do better for the people of Michigan. We’re also parents and community members who dream of a brighter future for all of our children. At the Youth Policy Lab, we’re working to make that dream a reality by strengthening programs that address some of our most pressing social challenges.

We recognize that the wellbeing of youth is intricately linked to the wellbeing of families and communities, so we engage in work that impacts all age ranges. Using rigorous evaluation design and data analysis, we’re working closely with our partners to build a future where public investments are based on strong evidence, so all Michiganders have a pathway to prosperity.

Five core values provide the foundation for YPL’s work:

  • Quality: We are dedicated to the highest quality data analysis and evaluation.
  • Partnership: We put our partners’ priorities at the center of our work.
  • Empowerment: We help partners get comfortable using data to improve their work.
  • Equity: We believe that everyone deserves a fair chance at a good life.
  • Outcomes: We measure outcomes so that programs and policies are based on evidence of what really works.

Samples of YPL projects: