Demos of Cutting-Edge Research Methods
Demos on Research

Videos to shed light on research methods generating the most rigorous and useful information.

Generating the Strongest Evidence for Serving the Public Good

Meet the Expert:
Ann Person
Director, Center for Improving Research Evidence

Researchers consider randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to be the gold standard of rigorous research design. For decades, Mathematica researchers have designed, executed, and replicated large-scale RCTs in many different policy and program areas. Today, greater availability of high quality administrative data—along with an abundance of emerging technologies—has increased demand for faster program evaluation with equally robust results. This demand, coupled with shrinking resources, has motivated researchers to consider new methods that are more efficient and less expensive than RCTs, but just as rigorous.

How Can These Methods Generate Evidence?

Our summaries of these cutting-edge research methods are designed to help policymakers who need access to strong evidence.

Non-Profit or For-Profit Program Operators

Bayesian Methods: A Faster, Probabilistic Approach to Research Design

Bayesian methods, which produce precise probabilities, help policymakers target programs and policies to meet the needs of specific audiences. See the Bayesian methods demo.

Foundations or Grant Providers

Adaptive Randomization: A Fresh Perspective on Traditional Research Design

This new research method, when combined with access to rich data sets such as electronic health records, contributes to our understanding of how best to refine specific program elements to better meet the needs of particular subgroups. See the adaptive randomization demo.

Government Agencies

Rapid-Cycle Evaluation: Determining What Works in Less Time

Because rapid-cycle evaluations proceed relatively quickly, the results give decision makers the timely and reliable evidence needed for continual program improvement. See the rapid-cycle evaluation demo.

Research Organizations

Predictive Analytics: Transforming Decision Making

When applied to policy-relevant research questions, predictive analytics can be a valuable tool for identifying what works for whom and under what conditions. See the predictive analytics demo.


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