I am an advocate at heart and passionate about informing more responsible and effective public policy. We do that best when we have data that provide a clear understanding of the problem and proof of the kinds of programs and policies that have a real impact on people’s lives.
Elsa Falkenburger is a principal research associate in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center at the Urban Institute and chair of the Community Engaged Methods group. Her portfolio includes codirecting the Promoting Adolescent Sexual Health and Safety (PASS) project, a sustained partnership with the Benning Terrace public housing community and a quasi-experimental evaluation working with six other DC Housing Authority communities.
Falkenburger was formerly the program manager for the Housing Opportunity and Services Together demonstration, has worked with several Promise Neighborhoods, and was part of a team that evaluated the Resident Opportunity and Self Sufficiency program at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. She regularly provides technical assistance and trainings and develops practical guides to implementing community engaged methods and applied research that prioritizes racial equity and inclusion.
Before joining Urban, Falkenburger advocated for best practices in youth gang prevention, intervention, and rehabilitation in the United States and Latin America. During graduate school, she worked at the KDK-Harman Foundation helping grantees develop logic models and performance indicators for evaluating and improving educational programs for marginalized communities.
Falkenburger has an MPA from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin.
Research AreasNeighborhoods, Cities, and Metros Adolescents and Youth Children Families Poverty, Vulnerability, and the Safety Net Housing and Housing Finance Race and Ethnicity Community Engaged Methods
Public Comment Community Engaged MethodsComment Letter on OMB's Request for Information on Methods and Leading Practices for Advancing Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through GovernmentJuly 9, 2021
Research Report FamiliesCorianne Payton Scally, Eric Burnstein, Nicole DuBois, Marcus Gaddy, Christopher R. Hayes, Clare Salerno, Patrick Spauster, Yipeng Su, Elsa Falkenburger, Susan J. Popkin, Kathy Carton, Nina Liou, Rhae ParkesMay 13, 2021
Research Report Community Engaged MethodsApril 29, 2021
Research Report Adolescents and YouthSeptember 14, 2020
Research Report Adolescents and YouthDecember 6, 2018
Research Report Health and Health PolicyApril 26, 2018
Research Report Neighborhoods, Cities, and MetrosNovember 10, 2015
Brief FamiliesMay 28, 2013
February 28, 2012