urban institute nonprofit social and economic policy research

Data Methods

toolkitMost of the research at the Urban Institute, as in social science more generally, describes patterns across geographic regions or individuals, projects future patterns, or evaluates the impact or implementation of a policy. Most research is typically based on qualitative methods and quantitative methods, though Impact Evaluations will often rely more heavily on quantitative methods and Implementation Research on qualitative methods.

Qualitative methods include open-ended interviews, focus groups, and site visits. Quantitative methods rely on data, and Urban both uses existing data and produces new data, using survey methods. Among the methods useful for evaluating policy impacts are regression techniques, microsimulation, and experimental or quasi-experimental methods.

Qualitative Methods: often used in Implementation Research

Quantitative Methods: often used in Impact Evaluation