Methods Inquiries, 2013-2017

Project Overview

OPRE plays a central role in advancing understanding and disseminating knowledge about research and evaluation methods and tools that are, or could be, used to enhance knowledge about program and policy effectiveness. The purpose of the Methods Inquiries project, awarded to RTI International, is to organize meetings that bring together expertise from varying disciplines and policy fields to explore innovations in research design, analytic techniques and data measurement that could be employed to advance the government’s use of rigorous and innovative research methods. In addition, the contractor will disseminate information gathered during the contract period and presented at the meetings.

Visit the OPRE Innovative Methods Meetings website ( to access the resources and materials from the meetings.

The points of contact are Anna Solmeyer and Nicole Constance.

  • Using Administrative Data in Social Policy Research

    Published: August 29, 2016

    Administrative data have the potential to help us answer pressing social policy questions. Government stakeholders and researchers are exploring the promises of using administrative data for research purposes.

    This brief summarizes an Innovative Methods Meeting that was organized by OPRE in the fall of 2015 that considered the potential benefits and pitfalls of using administrative data for research purposes...

  • The Promises and Challenges of Administrative Data in Social Policy Research: Roundtable Discussion

    Published: June 30, 2016

    In this video roundtable, government experts and experienced researchers discuss the opportunities and challenges presented when using administrative data for social policy research. Topics include: tips for planning administrative data research; working with (federal and state) data custodians; negotiating data...

  • What Works, Under What Circumstances, and How?

    Published: June 28, 2016

    In the fall of 2014, OPRE organized an Innovative Methods meeting to explore cutting-edge applications of methods and analytic techniques that can inform social program practice and policy. This brief summarizes the meeting and includes..

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