We invest in reliable research related to the populations and issues critical to our mission, particularly in the areas of family permanence, poverty and opportunity, and community change.

Working with outside experts, our staff oversees evaluations of Casey’s signature programs and strategies, ensuring credible results and that the lessons we learn inform future efforts and the field of philanthropy. 

When government or other organizations develop promising strategies to make large-scale improvements for kids and families, we support evaluation of that work. Casey investments strengthen several major publicly funded evaluations, including the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative.

We provide grants to expand and maintain data resources and build others’ skills in using data effectively through support for projects such as the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership

We support the advancement of integrated data systems by funding developmental work in several states and counties, and by working with national field builders such as the Data Quality Campaign and the National League of Cities

We train and encourage grantees to effectively measure what they’ve achieved to further strengthen their efforts.

The lessons and findings in Casey-funded studies have been used by government, philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. For example, the evaluation of the Centers for Working Families has contributed to the adaptation and expansion of that approach across the country.

Making Connections, a multiyear, multisite initiative, offered the Foundation many opportunities to assess its strategies involving two-generation approaches, community-change efforts and resident and parent engagement. In addition, a large-scale longitudinal survey has been transformed into a database for scholars.

Through investments such as the Census Project, we have helped improve and sustain the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, protecting one of the most important sources of state and local data on kids, families and communities.

For many years, the Foundation maintained a foster care agency that worked with children and families. Evaluations have shown its innovative approaches connected children in care with lifelong families. 

Casey supported the evaluation of the Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing Demonstration Program, a government-funded study in which a few thousand low-income families were offered a chance to relocate from a high-poverty neighborhood to one with lower poverty. Findings are helping identify how the well-being of children and adults changes when living in stronger communities.

Other research and evaluation investments include our work in collaboration with other funders such as the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study and the Research Network for How Housing Matters for Children and Families.

If you're interested in learning more about quality research and evaluation, visit the following Casey-sponsored resources: 

From the Blog

Program Recruits Second Class to Build Pipeline of Diverse Leaders in Evaluation Field

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is recruiting the next cohort of Leaders in Equitable Evaluation and Diversity. Applications are being accepted through April 14.

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With funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, NORC at the University of Chicago has selected three researchers of color to receive $10,000 each. The winning scholars, who are all in the early stages of their career, will utilize Making Connections data sets to advance knowledge related to low-income families, their children and communities.

Making Connections' Lessons and Site Data

Residential Mobility and Neighborhood change

Americans change residences frequently and mobility rates are highest among low-income households. How does mobility change a neighborhood?

Measuring Change While Making Changes

Our evaluations of Making Connections were challenged by shifts in the initiative during the course of its 10 years. What are the lessons for evaluation?

Child Care and Low-Income Families

Understand how low-income working families make child-care choices and find ways to improve parental access to affordable quality care.