Our Initiatives

Research & Evaluation

What we do

To do our work well, we have to understand the needs of the communities where we invest, and gauge the on-the-ground impact of those investments in people’s lives. The LISC research and assessment department supports all of our revitalization efforts by conducting or commissioning studies of our policies, strategy and programs. With the information from that research we can, in turn, tailor strategy and projects that respond to the real experience of residents.

We evaluate the work of our 31 local offices, as well as of our national and rural programs. And we undertake studies that investigate broad national concerns, such as building financial stability among a neighborhood’s most impoverished residents, or foreclosure trends across the country. Our strength lies in the fact that we have ready access to so much data generated by hundreds of community development efforts that form the LISC footprint.

How we do it

  • Research: We use impact analysis and new data on the social and economic profile of neighborhoods to measure how the prospects of low-income families are shaped by the communities where they live. And we weigh the effectiveness of public and private efforts to strengthen those communities.
  • Program support: We help our national and local programs work with researchers and community development practitioners to design studies, collect and analyze data and communicate results and policy recommendations to the field and the public at large.
  • Resources: We’ve amassed and analyzed data on the economic and social conditions of our target neighborhoods, which we make available to other community development practitioners and to policy makers at all levels of government. Our publications, maps and data sets are available either online or through our office, to help inform intelligent, effective revitalization work.
A report on how cultural institutions can help communities

LISC and the Institute of Museum and Libraries Service review the many ways museums and libraries address the needs of economically-distressed areas.

Read the Report


David Greenberg, Director of Research & Evaluation