The California Policy Lab (CPL) generates research insights for government impact. Through hands-on partnerships with government agencies, CPL performs rigorous research across issue silos and builds the data infrastructure necessary to improve programs and policies that millions of Californians rely on every day. CPL focuses on six policy areas: education, criminal justice reform, poverty and the social safety net, labor and employment, health, and homelessness and high needs populations. 

CPL facilitates close working partnerships between policymakers and researchers at UCLA and UC Berkeley to help evaluate and improve public programs through empirical research and technical assistance. Local and state governments are often at the cutting edge of innovative policymaking. Though they typically collect substantial administrative data about their programs and the people they serve, they frequently lack the resources, data infrastructure, and rigorous research expertise they need to evaluate success and inform future policy decisions.  CPL helps to fill these gaps by bringing experts from the country’s top public universities and a secure platform for data and policy analysis. The projects are guided by the problems that government partners wish to solve. CPL believes that relevant empirical analysis needs to move at the speed of policymaking. Generous support from their funders allows CPL to choose projects based on impact rather than cost. The range of services offered through CPL to government partners include access to expertise from renowned faculty in relevant policy areas; data analytics and technical assistance to solve issues relevant to policymakers on a short turn-around; scientific evaluations of existing and potential new programs to find out what works and help bring solutions to scale; safe and secure data infrastructure for processing and linking administrative datasets within and across agencies while maintaining confidentiality; capacity-building for government agency employees through trainings; and resource development.

Through a series of contractual agreements and data sharing protocols, CPL has established databases that include local data from California and Los Angeles County entities that support research and policy analyses. An interactive platform allows researchers and policy makers to query the databases for timely analyses of priority questions.

For more information, please visit the California Policy Lab website.

Last updated
November 20, 2023