Since the 1980s, the Office of Refugee Resettlement[ORR) has conducted the Annual Survey of Refugees (ASR), which collects information on refugees during their first five years after arrival in the U.S. The ASR is the only scientifically-collected source of national data on refugees’ progress toward self-sufficiency and integration. ORR uses the ASR results alongside other information sources to fulfill its Congressionally-mandated reporting requirement following the Refugee Act of 1980. Since 2016, the Statistical Methods Group has been responsible for the sampling and research design of the ASR.
The Urban Institute conducts an array of research projects, including observational studies, model-based analyses, simulation analyses, program evaluations, and qualitative studies. These policy research studies can explore patterns across subpopulations or geographic areas, forecast future patterns, or evaluate the impact of a policy. The Statistical Methods Group identifies best practices for quantitative and qualitative research, ensuring that Urban’s data and methods are objective and evidence-based inferences.
Through the Statistical Methods Group, the Urban Institute is a proud member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Transparency Initiative, demonstrating Urban Institute’s commitment to high-quality research. By joining the Transparency Initiative, the Urban Institute has taken a voluntary pledge to abide by AAPOR’s highest standards for the disclosure of research methodology.
The Statistical Methods Group's goal is threefold:
- Enabling. We offer statistical consulting to Urban researchers at all staff levels, conduct informative seminars on methodology, and mentor staff. Our consultation services include
- reviewing proposals to ensure proposed methodologies are feasible (i.e., quality check) and
- assisting researchers by brainstorming and helping to identify or execute appropriate statistical analyses for their projects.
- Partnering. We serve as principal and coprincipal investigators, senior advisors, and task leaders on projects.
- Leading. We provide leadership on research methods, give media interviews and release statements on pressing statistical matters, and serve on national scientific research efforts, such as the Census Scientific Advisory Committee.
Our dedication to studying and developing methodologies enables and empowers Urban researchers to pursue a broader range of research topics, experiment with new studies for complex issues, and show leadership among other researchers and institutions.