Market leaders in the field of public policy research unite to advance diversity, equity and inclusion
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — In the fall of 2020, the chief executive officers of nine leading policy research organizations including RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, met to discuss the critical importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in the field of public policy research and in their individual workplaces. The result is the Evidence and Equity Collaborative.
The first collaboration of its kind within the policy research field, the Evidence and Equity Collaborative brings together market leaders Abt Associates, AIR, Mathematica, MDRC, NORC at the University of Chicago, the RAND Corporation, RTI International, the Urban Institute, and Westat for an initiative outside their usual roles as business competitors. As members of the Evidence and Equity Collaborative, these nine organizations representing more than 20,000 employees are joining forces to support diversity in their workplaces, strengthen inclusive practices in policy research and build a foundation for equitable analysis ready to inform policymaking across the nation.
The Evidence and Equity Collaborative’s agenda will include a range of opportunities for members to learn from each other and from broader communities. Plans include facilitating DEI dialogue within member organizations and among those who fund, develop and implement policies and programs; meeting with communities affected by those policies and programs; contributing to the development of research best practices informed by DEI principles; and creating opportunities for aspiring researchers from underrepresented groups.
“Collaboration and shared learning are essential in equity research to inform policy, practice, and change efforts. The Evidence and Equity Collaborative is designed to support meaningful societal change through collective commitment,” said RTI International president and CEO Tim J. Gabel. “RTI furthered its own commitment to evidence and equity by forming our Transformative Research Unit for Equity (TRUE). We are clear that in order to dismantle oppressive systems, like structural racism, it requires structural change. TRUE interdisciplinary experts focus on the design and implementation of equity-centered and culturally-responsive research to turn practice into impact, transforming systems to bring about equitable societies. TRUE collaborates with experts throughout our institute to address the world's most critical problems with science-based solutions in pursuit of a better future."
As a unique effort with a deeply held purpose, the Evidence and Equity Collaborative is set to accelerate progress within the field of program and policy research, while putting the power of its deep bench of expertise into advancing transformational change.