Race Forward https://www.raceforward.org
The Race Forward is a racial justice think tank and home for media and activism that is built on rigorous research and creative use of new technology. The mission of the Race Forward is to popularize the need for racial justice and prepare people to fight for it. They use the Media and Journalism to deliver stories that are not reported elsewhere; Strategic Research and Policy Analysis to expose structural inequities through quantitative and qualitative research and produce reliable reports that help researchers, activists and policymakers; and the Leadership Advocacy Program to train a new generation of journalists, community organizers and elected officials. The Racial Equity Impact Assessment (REIA) Toolkit is a systematic examination of how different racial and ethnic groups will likely be affected by a proposed action or decision.
Center for Economic and Policy Research (http://www.cepr.net)
The CEPR was established to promote democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people’s lives. It is committed to presenting issues in an accurate and understandable manner, so that the public is better prepared to choose among the various policy options. The CEPR conducts both professional research and public education. The professional research portion is oriented towards filling important gaps in the understanding of particular economic and social problems or the impact of specific policies. The public education portion presents the findings of professional research, both by CEPR and others, in a manner that allows broad segments of the public to know exactly what is at stake in major policy debates. Research tools include online calculators for items such as benefits and housing costs; data bytes that condense information on employment, inflation, GDP, and other topics; and ceprDATA.org, which provides consistent, user-friendly versions of the Survey of Income and Program Participation, Current Population Survey, and other datasets.
Center for Law and Social Policy (http://www.clasp.org)
The mission of CLASP is to develop and advocate for policies at the federal, state and local levels that improve the lives of low income people. In particular, they seek policies that work to strengthen families and create pathways to education and work. The CLASP DataFinder is of particular value. It is a custom, easy-to-use tool developed to provide select demographic information as well as administrative data on programs that affect low-income people and families. Users can create and download custom tables that present a national picture, a state picture or a comparative look at states and communities. The DataFinder currently includes state and national data on: child care assistance spending and participation; Head Start and Early Head Start participation; Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) expenditures; young child demographics; and poverty. The tool also provides community-level statistics on education, demographics and youth violence.
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (http://www.cbpp.org)
The CBPP is one of the nation’s premier policy organizations working at the federal and state levels on fiscal policy and public programs that affect low- and moderate-income families and individuals. The CBPP conducts research and analysis to help shape public debates over proposed budget and tax policies and to help ensure that policymakers consider the needs of low-income families and individuals in these debates. They also develop policy options to alleviate poverty. Reports are divided by area of research, such as food assistance, housing, and welfare reform, and can be searched by subtopic, year, and expert.
Economic Policy Institute http://www.epi.org/
The Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit Washington D.C. think tank, was created to broaden the discussion about economic policy to include the interests of low- and middle-income workers. Its encyclopedic State of Working America, issued every two years since 1988, is stocked in university libraries around the world. Resources include a family budget calculator; a datazone with information on labor, employment, and earnings; and a research section.
Institute for Women’s Policy Research (http://www.iwpr.org)
The mission of the IWPR is to conduct rigorous research and disseminate its findings to address the needs of women, promote public dialogue, and strengthen families, communities, and societies. The IWPR focuses on issues of poverty and welfare, employment and earnings, work and family issues, health and safety, and women’s civic and political participation. Their reports on welfare provide useful information, as does their “Women’s Economic Status in the States” report.
Kaiser State Health Facts (http://www.statehealthfacts.org/)
Statehealthfacts.org is designed to provide free, up-to-date, and easy-to-use health data on all 50 states. Statehealthfacts.org provides data on more than 500 health topics and is linked to both the Kaiser Family Foundation website (http://www.kff.org/) and KaiserNetwork.org (http://www.kaisernetwork.org/). Searches can be done by state or category, and state data can be compared.
The Children’s Defense Fund (http://www.childrensdefense.org)
Check the Fair Start section for publications and reports on jobs and income support/welfare, child poverty, child support, housing. CDF is a national organization advocating for children on health, education and economic issues, in partnership with the religious community.
Legal Momentum: The Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund (http://www.legalmomentum.org)
Legal Momentum is the nation’s oldest legal defense and education fund dedicated to advancing the rights of all women and girls. They have four strategic goals: to increase pathways into quality employment opportunities; to protect workplace rights of vulnerable populations; to strengthen the safety net by securing reauthorization of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF); and to expand rights, justice, and services for victims of violence. The website includes a publications database and a legal cases database.
IPUMS-International is a project dedicated to collecting and distributing census data from around the world. Its goals are to collect and preserve data and documentation, harmonize data, and disseminate the data absolutely free. IPUMS-International is the world’s largest collection of publicly available individual-level census data. Access to the documentation is freely available without restriction; however, users must apply for access to the data.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/)
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the principal fact-finding agency for the Federal Government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics. The website includes resources for public policymakers, consumers, and students and teachers.
U.S. Census (http://www.census.gov)
The census collects data on the characteristics of people and economic conditions in the United States. The mission of the census is to serve as the leading source of quality data about the nation’s people and economy and to provide the best mix of timeliness, relevancy, quality, and cost for the data collected and services provided. The American FactFinder can be used to obtain data in the form of maps, tables, and reports from a variety of Census Bureau sources. They also have fact sheets for quick access to basic demographic, social, and economic data on your city, town, county, state, or ZIP code. The website has links to a variety of other data tools as well.
Measure of America (www.measureofamerica.org)
Provides easy-to-use yet methodologically sound tools for understanding the distribution of well-being and opportunity in America and stimulating fact-based dialogue about issues we all care about: health, education, and living standards. The hallmark of this work is the American Human Development Index, an alternative to GDP and other money metrics that tells the story of how ordinary Americans are faring and empowers communities with a tool to track progress over time. The Index is comprised of health, education, and income indicators and allows for well-being rankings of the 50 states, 435 congressional districts, county groups within states, women and men, and racial and ethnic groups.
Administration for Children and Families: Office of Family Assistance (http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/)
The Office of Family Assistance administers the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) programs. The four major purposes of TANF are to assist needy families so that children can be cared for in their own homes; to reduce the dependency of needy parents by promoting job preparation, work and marriage; to prevent out-of-wedlock pregnancies; and to encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families. The CCDF program enables low-income families to access child care, which in turn makes it possible for more parents to achieve economic self-sufficiency. The website includes data and reports for TANF and program data and statistics for CCDF.
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (http://aspe.hhs.gov/_/index.cfm)
The ASPE advises the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services on policy development in health, disability, human services, data, and science, and provides advice and analysis on economic policy. The ASPE conducts research and evaluation studies, develops policy analyses, and estimates the cost and benefits of policy alternatives under consideration by the Department or Congress. There is a report on indicators of welfare dependence and on estimating the number of individuals without health insurance. An excellent search engine is also available.
U.S. Government Accountability Office (http://www.gao.gov)
The GAO is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. Often called the “congressional watchdog,” GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars. Reports and testimonies can be searched by date, topic, or agency.
California Department of Social Services: Research and Data Reports (http://www.cdss.ca.gov/research/default.htm)
This website includes reports, data tables, and evaluations on CalWORKS, children’s programs, community care licensing, disability and adult programs, food stamps, foster care, and fraud. Facts and figures on public assistance are also available.
Updated march 2012. Please send website corrections to datacenter[at]datacenter.org.