Residential Youth Programs

An Evaluation of SEED DC

June, 2016

The nation’s first public, urban, college-prep boarding school emphasizes academic excellence and personal development. A six-year evaluation using SEED’s admission lotteries found that SEED DC raised lottery winners’ test scores but did not increase the on-time graduation rate or reduce teen pregnancy or involvement in the criminal justice system.

A Guide to Social Impact Bond Investing

March, 2016

MDRC President Gordon Berlin draws lessons from MDRC’s implementation of the first social impact bond (SIB) project in the United States, providing valuable insights into the inner workings of SIB deals and explaining the challenges and the potential of this impact investing model.

Evidence on Improving Employment Outcomes for Disadvantaged Youth in the United States

February, 2015

The Great Recession took a toll on the already dim economic prospects of low-income 16- to 24-year-olds who face structural barriers to employment. Evidence indicates that involvement of employers in devising education, training, and work experiences that meet labor market demands should be a key component of any policy response.

The Importance of Evidence

July, 2014

In this essay, adapted from remarks made to the Growth Philanthropy Network/Social Impact Exchange 2014 Conference on Scaling Impact, MDRC President Gordon Berlin explains why developing reliable evidence of effectiveness is critical when expanding programs to a large scale.

Evidence from Promising Programs

June, 2014
Christopher Wimer, Dan Bloom

A review of high-quality studies, this paper highlights interventions — in education, employment and training, and second-chance programs — that have demonstrated positive results for young men of color. It comes as policymakers and philanthropies focus new attention on investing more to build opportunities for these young men. 

Educational Challenges and MDRC’s Research

May, 2014

MDRC hosted a recent colloquium to celebrate our 40th anniversary and the contributions of former Board Chair Robert Solow. This issue focus summarizes a panel presentation, featuring Frank Levy, Richard J. Murnane, Cecilia E. Rouse, and Ronald F. Ferguson, about current challenges in education and how MDRC’s research can help address them.

Early Lessons from the New York City Social Impact Bond

December, 2013
Timothy Rudd, Elisa Nicoletti, Kristin Misner, Janae Bonsu

A social impact bond (SIB) is an innovative way to fund promising new programs at no cost to taxpayers. This report describes the first operational SIB in the U.S., explaining how an intervention for youth incarcerated at Rikers Island was developed, how the unique financing mechanism was arranged, and how the program was adapted and implemented at full scale.

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