Every April, OPRE celebrates Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month. Whether we are studying Head Start, home visiting, or economic self-sufficiency, mathematics and statistics can help us find answers to the questions we examine across our research portfolio.
This April, we are highlighting our work promoting new and innovative research methods. Our Methods Inquiries project helps us keep up with innovations in research design, analytic techniques, and data measurement. Through this project, OPRE convenes annual meetings Visit disclaimer page that bring together experts from varying disciplines and policy fields and from academia, government, and the private sector to explore innovative methods that could enhance the rigor of OPRE’s research. The meetings often explore and discuss a new method or one that has been used in a new way. Recent meetings have focused on:
- Core Components of Effective Interventions. Our 2020 methods meeting Visit disclaimer page focused on studying the core components, or essential elements, of effective interventions. Topics covered included identifying and evaluating core components, the potential value for doing so, and considerations of applications for future work. The summary brief is available here.
- Open Science. Our 2019 methods meeting Visit disclaimer page focused on open science, describing promising methodological approaches and methods for promoting and implementing open science in social policy research. Learn more in this meeting video Visit disclaimer page.
- Rapid Learning. At the 2018 methods meeting Visit disclaimer page we sought to increase the field’s understanding of how rapid learning methods can be helpful, and to share information about methods for rapid learning so that researchers and practitioners can use the most appropriate methods to evaluate programs. Our brief on rapid learning (PDF) shares more information on rapid learning methods and designing a rapid learning approach.
- Bayesian methods. At our 2017 methods meeting Visit disclaimer page, we encouraged attendees to question their assumptions around traditional frequentist approaches and explore the leading alternative, Bayesian methods. You can learn more about specific methodological approaches in our series of videos that highlight different methods. In this video on Bayesian methodology, our Kriti Jain explains how Bayesian methods address some of the issues associated with p values.
OPRE is proud to share the mathematical and statistical tools we use in our work to support our commitment to rigor, relevance, transparency, independence, and ethics.