Penn’s Dennis Culhane to Address White House Conference on Use of Integrated Data

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Media Contact:Jill DiSanto | jdisanto@upenn.edu | 215-898-4820July 24, 2014

Dennis Culhane, a professor in the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice, will speak at a conference hosted by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy on Monday, July 28.

The conference, “Demonstrating How Low-Cost Randomized Control Trials Can Drive Effective Social Spending,” will explore emerging initiatives related to RCTs and will convene officials from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Domestic Policy Council, Office of Management and Budget, Congress and federal agencies.

Culhane will focus on how integrated administrative data might serve as a new way to build credible evidence that shows “what works” in funding social programs. His talk, “Harnessing Integrated Data for RCTs,” will address the effective use of integrated data systems, highlighting their advantage as being population-based, cost-effective, longitudinal, policy-relevant and linkable across multiple agencies and organizations.

“Integrated data systems are a key resource for enabling faster and lower-cost analysis of social policies and the social sciences more generally,” Culhane said. “These systems enable researchers to track individuals for many years across multiple agency data bases, like school achievement, workforce, public assistance, health care, etc.”

To illustrate, he will provide examples of previous research that used integrated data systems, including studies of homelessness and vulnerable young adults.

Along with Penn Graduate School of Education professor John Fantuzzo, Culhane directs the Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy, a MacArthur-funded network of 11 states and counties that have highly developed integrated data systems. Four of the five largest cities in the United States -- Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles — are included in the AISP network.

AISP works to improve the quality of education, health and human service agencies’ policies and practices through the use of integrated data systems.

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