Chair of Urban Institute Institutional Review Board
In No Good Applied Social Research Goes Unpunished, eminent sociologist Peter Rossi observed, ‘I have continued to do applied social research even though my work has often been controversial and greeted with little applause and sometimes even strong criticism.’ Applied researchers learn over time there may be little tolerance among peers, funders, or advocates for research producing controversial or contrary findings. They also learn that in the policy arena, evidence often does not matter. Therefore, it is refreshing to be associated with an organization like Urban, which can boast a long and distinguished tradition of valuing rigorous, independent, and objective research and program evaluation and of standing behind the findings that follow thereon.
Martin Abravanel is a senior research associate in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center at the Urban Institute, where he has designed and directed various research and evaluation projects covering low-income housing programs; community development and revitalization programs; the fair housing law; and performance measurement—the latter including studies of customer satisfaction as well as national service. Abravanel chairs Urban’s Institutional Review Board, charged with reviewing all of Urban’s research projects for human subjects’ protections.
Abravanel has conducted research supported by federal government agencies as well as private foundations. Included are the US Department of the Treasury’s New Markets Tax Credit program; the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) housing choice voucher, HOPE VI public housing, and Moving to Work programs; and the Corporation for National and Community Service’s performance measurement system. He directed a series of innovative surveys of the general public’s knowledge, support, and use of federal fair housing law; and of HUD’s key implementation partners, assessing their satisfaction with the department’s performance. He prepared a guide for nonprofit organizations on how to survey their clients about outcomes.
Before joining Urban in 1997, Abravanel directed the Division of Policy Studies at HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research. In that capacity, he supervised an in-house team of senior social science research analysts, studying a range of individual and cross cutting program and policy issues.
He received his PhD in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Research Report Poverty, Vulnerability, and the Safety NetRolf Pendall, Martin D. Abravanel, Audra Brecher, Alex Curley, Elizabeth Davies, Megan Gallagher, Monica Getahun, David Greenberg, Taryn Gress, Chantal Hailey, Leah Hendey, Reed Jordan, Mark Joseph, Amy Khare, G. Thomas Kingsley, Nancy Latham, Diane K. Levy, Brianna Losoya, Jen McGraw, Hannah Melnicoe, Jamie Pfluecke, Kathryn L.S. Pettit, Susan J. Popkin, Aesha Rasheed, Hortencia Rodriguez, Rachel ScheuJune 16, 2015
Martin D. Abravanel, Nancy M. Pindus, Brett Theodos, Kassie Dumlao Bertumen, Rachel Brash, Zachary J. McDadeNovember 21, 2013
Priscila Prunella, Alex Thackeray, Ryan Sullivan, Martin D. Abravanel, Kassie Dumlao Bertumen, Brett Theodos, Nancy M. Pindus, Chris Walker, Roger FrankoffSeptember 1, 2012
Journal Article Housing and Housing FinanceFebruary 7, 2012
August 4, 2011
December 13, 2010
Research Report Taxes and BudgetFebruary 23, 2010
August 11, 2009
Research Report Housing and Housing FinanceThe Experiences of Public Housing Agencies That Established Time Limits Policies Under the MTW DemonstrationRobert Miller, Martin D. Abravanel, Helene Berlin, Elizabeth Cove, Maria-Alicia Newsome, Carlos A. Manjarrez, Lipi Saikia, Robin E. Smith, Maxine V. MitchellJune 24, 2008