Deepening A Commitment to Equitable, Data-Driven Policy and Practice

Deepening A Commitment to Equitable, Data-Driven Policy and Practice

Dec 13, 2021
Data overlaying city scape

Mathematica is committed to shaping an equitable and just world where data and evidence drive decisions for global impact. In support of this vision, we’ve deepened partnerships across sectors, emphasized reliance on data collection and evidence generation, and used an equity lens to guide all aspects of our work. In 2022, our new work will reinforce our commitment to evidence-based policymaking, particularly in the areas of equity, digital transformation, pandemic response, and climate action. Examples of our efforts include the following:

Diversity, equity, and inclusion. As long as health, education, and economic inequities persist based on race, sex, ethnicity, gender identity, or physical ability, there is more work to do to achieve our vision for a more just and equitable world. That’s why our team is working closely with clients who are putting evidence to work to address racism and inequality.

  • Mathematica is collaborating with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) Equity Learning Lab partners, Learning for Action, and the Public Health Equity Group to generate evidence that supports organizations in their mission to build capacity for advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion in their organizations and work. None of us can do the external equity work without doing it internally ourselves.
  • To tackle long-standing equity challenges in child welfare systems, Mathematica will work with the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), Administration for Children and Families, to explore current and promising practices that child welfare agencies use to advance equity and support underserved populations. We will also assess ways data can be used to identify barriers or problematic practices across child welfare services.
  • To better understand the relationship between poverty, well-being, and food security in counties that have seen persistently high levels of poverty Mathematica is partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service to examine how family-specific circumstances interact with the broader social, institutional, and cultural factors to shape past and present food security.
  • Mathematica will support the RWJF’s ongoing commitment to transforming public health data systems to advance health equity. We will partner with foundation leaders, evaluators, and subject matter experts from under-resourced communities, like those most affected by the COVID-19 crisis, to help RWJF understand how data are collected, how programs operate, and how modifications could modernize public health to meet this and the next moments.
  • In 2022, Mathematica will partner with the Council of State Governments on a new project, the Registered Apprenticeship Technical Assistance (TA) Centers of Excellence, with a focus on data and performance in support of the Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor. The Data and Performance and Best Practices Center will provide TA resources, group and individual TA activities, and analysis of data to help states support administrative and systems improvements, including technological advancements, that promote registered apprenticeship within state systems.

Digital transformation. Digital technology enables Mathematica and its partners to develop innovative solutions to meet the most urgent health and social challenges of the day. Through the following projects, Mathematica will partner with our clients to leverage data to make decisions for social good:

  • Through the Commercial Insurance, Medicaid and Electronic Health Record (EHR) Data Purchase project, we’re creating comprehensive data linkages to Medicaid and commercial claims data from all 50 states. We’re also using EHR data to help the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, increase its understanding of the health issues of commercially insured individuals and those covered by Medicaid. This work will address high-priority issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth, and mental health.
  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Performance Analysis Reporting System (SPARS) will leverage our expertise in behavioral health services, data, and technology to support the operation and enhancement of this central data repository that SAMHSA uses to monitor progress toward combatting the opioid crisis, advance the prevention of substance use and mental health disorders, and improve the delivery of care. We also provide training and technical assistance to helps stakeholders submit and use data.
  • Mathematica continues its work on the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) Business Information Solution initiative, which is building an infrastructure for robust data analytics and integrating and aligning federal and state data sources to support data-driven policy decisions about Medicaid and CHIP policy and programs.
  • We are also pleased to collaborate with Amazon Web Services (AWS) on its Data Exchange for Amazon Redshift offering and Google Cloud on its new Healthcare Data Engine. Our experts will use Google Cloud’s groundbreaking data tools to provide measures, data analytics, and data science capabilities to health care teams and leaders across the country. The AWS Data Exchange is an accelerator for Mathematica’s data offerings, helping us to extend our mission to an unparalleled network of global health care and life sciences organizations.

Pandemic response. The COVID-19 pandemic and the coordinated policy responses playing out in real time around the globe are unprecedented. A selection of new work kicking off in 2022 underscores the importance of creating practical, action-oriented solutions that can be implemented in states, cities, and counties across the country.

  • Mathematica and our partners at MEF Associates will work with OPRE to study lessons learned by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and other child support programs during the pandemic, including discussions with participants about their experiences. The project will develop and test a customer input guide designed for TANF and child support programs.
  • Two new engagements from Mathematica highlight our commitment to public health and health equity.
  • One engagement will be a collaborative effort with the CDC Foundation to solicit, collect, and curate content for a resource hub on COVID-19 and flu vaccine acceptance and uptake. The overall aim is to support effective community outreach centered on communities of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) in order to share accurate, culturally appropriate information about COVID-19 and influenza vaccines and to link adults to vaccine services. One hundred percent of the funding for this effort is made possible through a subaward of $1,166,877 from the CDC Foundation with a cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) totaling $25,660,048 for the Partnering for Vaccine Equity program.
  • A new Mathematica engagement with the CDC focuses on case investigation and contact tracing (CI/CT). Mathematica will conduct evidence-based research, collect new data, and use existing data sets to address critical public health intervention questions. The questions relate to state and local CI/CT implementation efforts, participant action following notification, and the ability to reach vulnerable populations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The project will include a national survey, qualitative interviews and focus groups, a review of CI/CT interview protocols, documentation of state-level approaches to CI/CT, and an analysis of existing datasets to understand select localities’ vulnerability to COVID-19 and implementation of CI/CT services.

Climate action. Drawing on our expertise in health, human services, data science and analytics, and international research, including energy, agriculture, and water, we support the design of solutions that help our clients use data to address climate action.

  • The World Bank has invested in a range of clean energy investments that focus on access, generation, efficiency, and policy reforms. Mathematica is assessing the direct, indirect, and induced jobs that result from such work, developing case studies that profile seven projects (India, Kosovo, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Pakistan and Peru). This work will help the World Bank assess the relationship between clean energy and energy efficiency investments and employment.
  • The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) developed the Climate Judiciary Project to provide objective, nonpolitical climate science education to judges, law clerks, and law students in the United States. Mathematica will work with ELI to elaborate the theory of change and define priority research activities to evaluate the project over the next three years.
  • The Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) Transparent and Accountable Governance Project invests in improving the public availability and use of judicial, environmental, and labor force data by civil society, business, and the government to promote data-driven decision making in Kosovo. Mathematica will work with MCC on mixed-method performance evaluations of a new judicial case management information system, monitoring and reporting on select environmental indicators, and grants to support innovation in data use and analysis to develop a culture of information sharing and evidence-based decision-making.

Discover more about Mathematica’s work across the health, human services, and international sectors by visiting our website or follow @MathematicaNow on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.