The Digest Issue 7

The seventh issue of the Digest includes fresh insights from program staff and grantees on how researchers can successfully confront the challenges of studying causal mechanisms for reducing inequality, as well as how the global community of researchers and funders focused on improving the use of research evidence can continue to break new ground in the years ahead.

Opening the Black Box: Overcoming Obstacles to Studying Causal Mechanisms in Research on Reducing Inequality

By Margarita Alegría, Isabel Shaheen O'Malley

Although many of today’s disparities have their roots in policies or actions initiated generations ago, there is much we can do today. And new research on causal mechanisms can point the way forward, illuminate how and why larger efforts succeed or fail, and identify more effective means of bringing about improved outcomes for our nation’s youth.

Contending with Complexity: How Two Grantees are Approaching Studies of Mechanisms

By Lenore Neier

Former William T. Grant Scholar Mesmin Destin is an associate professor at Northwestern University in the Department of Psychology and the School of Education & Social Policy. Rob Smith is a research grantee and professor of sociology, immigration studies, and public affairs at the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College and the CUNY Graduate Center. Our conversation not only shows how researchers are confronting the challenges of studying mechanisms on the ground, it also reflects the Foundation’s openness to a variety of methodological approaches to understanding mechanisms.

Research on Research Use: Building Theory, Empirical Evidence, and a Global Field

Research can play a vital role in pointing policymakers, civil society, and communities toward a stronger, more sustainable, and just world. But getting there means building on what we know about what it takes for research to be useful, used, and impactful.

Strengthening Methods and Improving Collaboration: The Use of Research Evidence Methods Repository

By Drew Gitomer, Kevin Crouse, Lauren Kim, Meged Eisenberg, Nikki Dreste

Introducing an open, centralized resource to help strengthen methods and enable greater collaboration among researchers studying the use of research evidence in policy and practice.