PROJECTElevate the Debate

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    Elevate the Debate book cover

    Many researchers, scholars, and analysts fail to develop communication strategies that work in today’s crowded landscape of content, research, and data. To be successful, modern researchers need to share their insights with the wider audience beyond academia. This real-world guide helps you present your data-driven research with greater clarity, coherence, and impact.

    Downloadable worksheets
    Research-to-Policy Bootcamp


    The Urban Institute team has written a concise, practical, must-read primer for all researchers and experts who seek to improve public policy.

    —Anthony Williams, CEO of Federal City Council and former mayor of Washington, DC


    Facts still matter. Now more than ever, we need experts—analysts, researchers and scholars—to bring evidence to bear in our critical public policy decisions. This book is an outstanding guide to the best, most effective practices to make that happen in ways that matter and will have impact on improving outcomes across society and the economy.

    —Don Baer, former White House communications director


    Elevate the Debate is the scholar’s handbook to bridging the divide with policy makers and making a real impact with one’s research. The research report is yesterday’s tool for dissemination; today it is the infographic. The Urban Institute team clearly and artfully guides academics in identifying their audiences and visualizing results in new, more media-friendly ways that hold great promise for improving evidence-based policy and practice.

    —Carolyn Heinrich, Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Public Policy, Education and Economics at Vanderbilt University


    Scholars spend years learning how to conduct research but rarely are taught to convey insights effectively. This book offers a thoughtful and accessible way to fill that gap by helping researchers to identify an audience, to use more than one medium, and to tailor content, visuals, and tone to broaden their reach.

    —Ellen Meara, the Peggy Y. Thomson Professor of Evaluative Clinical Sciences, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth


    The Urban Institute was a 20th-century leader in data-rich, timely analysis. It has now assumed the leadership mantle for 21st-century techniques to communicate the results of those efforts.

    —Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of American Action Forum and former director of the Congressional Budget Office


    Being an expert is both a privilege and a responsibility. So often researchers struggle to clearly frame their work in a way a larger audience can appreciate. Elevate the Debate lays out easy-to-follow steps that will help the wonkiest of wonks break down their research and clearly explain why their work matters. If you wish more people could appreciate why your work is important, check this book out.

    —Dan Gorenstein, host and executive producer of Tradeoffs, a health policy podcast