For the last couple of years, Urban Spatial has been working with the Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy initiative (AISP) at the University of Pennsylvania. AISP is the innovator in the realm of Integrated Data Systems (IDS). IDS link administrative data across a host of government agencies to allow researchers and case managers alike to provide services in a more efficient and effective manner.
We recently announced a collaboration with AISP on a foundation-funded technology project.
Urban Spatial contributes research design and econometric analysis in order to evaluate the efficacy of various people and placed-based interventions.
Because many of the data systems and the departments that house them do not principally engage in research and evaluation, Urban Spatial has been promoting tools to help bridge the gap in capacity. Some of these technologies involve the planning of entire data systems, while others focus on more algorithmic solutions. One example is the Propensity Score.
The Propensity Score approach attempts to match treated study participants to control participants based on a set of pre-treatment variables. The idea is that if we can find robust control group matches for treated participants, then we can overcome confounding bias when estimating treatment effects.
Urban Spatial has three ongoing IDS projects and we will report back when results become public.