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Maxwell School
Maxwell

Maxwell X Lab

What We Do

  1. Identification: We start by using data analytics and field research to narrowly isolate on the key program obstacles and associated outcomes we want to improve. We investigate any administrative data or program information that is currently available to discover trends and opportunities to intervene. Our focus is on the key obstacles – what step, interaction, or behavior is leading to worse outcomes.

  2. Intervention: Next, we design scalable interventions by combining what we know from public administration and applied research with our partner’s unique insight. This involves leveraging the latest behavioral and social science research to tailor an intervention that directly tackles the problem we identified. A critical element to the intervention design is close collaboration with our partner on what is feasible and promising.

  3. Implementation: Finally, we determine how to implement and measure the intervention. This often involves randomized field experiments to measure our impact. When we randomly assign some people to get business-as-usual and others to get our new intervention, we can attribute any differences in outcomes to what we did, and not some unknown external factor or random fluke. This lets us carefully measure the cost-effectiveness of what we do, and most importantly enables practitioners to make evidence-based decisions.