The PPC offers a number of services to our partners. Click the ‘+’ next to each item to learn more and to see examples of our work.

Applied Social Science Research

The Public Policy Center (PPC)  applies the tools of the social scientist and the policy analyst to answer strategic questions,  inform policy development,  and provide analytical support to the initiatives of our partners and clients.

Recently, PPC staff supported the Dartmouth, MA based Friends Academy in their efforts to develop better connections with the New Bedford Public Schools.  The report that resulted can be found here.

Survey Research

The staff of the Public Policy Center (PPC) are highly experienced survey researchers and the PPC frequently designs, conducts, and analyzes surveys for its partners and clients.  The PPC is a member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), the leading association of public opinion and survey research professionals in the nation.

Telephone surveys and polls are conducted using the PPC’s 11-station Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) system.  PPC conducts online surveys using SOGOSurvey, a leading online survey tool and regularly deploys students and staff in the field to conduct community based intercept surveys.

For a  recent example of our survey work, click here to read the report we prepared for the Southcoast Healthy Housing and Workplace Initiative (SCHHWI).

Program Evaluation

The Public Policy Center actively works with a diverse array of public, private, and non-profit organizations to design and implement independent evaluations of their programs. These projects help our partners answer questions like, “Is this program or intervention working?” (formative evaluation) and “Did this program achieve its goals?” (summative evaluation).  Recent clients include the United Way of Greater New Bedford, the Women’s Fund of Southeastern Massachusetts, and the Taunton Housing Authority.

Recent evaluation reports include that prepared for the Friends Academy Center for Education Innovation and the year two evaluation report on the Taunton Housing Authority’s HOPE VI project.

Economic and Workforce Analysis

The staff of the Public Policy Center (PPC) have extensive experience analyzing the state, local, and regional economy and supporting economic and workforce development initiatives. Recently, the PPC led an interdisciplinary team of University experts and consultants to support the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ efforts to better meet the needs of the state’s Advanced Manufacturers.

For more information on the Advanced Manufacturing Regional Partnership Academy (AMRPA), please visit http://www.umassd.edu/amrpa.

Demographic and Socioeconomic Analysis

The Public Policy Center (PPC) regularly produces demographic and socioeconomic profiles and projections of neighborhoods, municipalities, regions, and school districts by drawing upon a variety of secondary data sources including those of the US Census Bureau.

While these analyses are often undertaken to meet the needs of our partners,  we also monitor conditions in the Gateway Cities of Fall River and New Bedford as a public service aimed at improving access to data and information through our SouthCoast Urban Indicators Project.

Technical Assistance

The Public Policy Center (PPC) provides public, private, and non-profit leaders with expertise and analytic support to help their organizations build capacity and improve performance. Examples of technical assistance provided by PPC include:

  • Strategic planning
  • Community outreach and engagement
  • Report writing
  • Grant writing
  • Public speaking engagements
  • Meeting facilitation

Recently, the PPC provided extensive technical assistance to support the New Bedford Regeneration Committee, a cross-sector group of leaders charged with developing a short-term, assets-based economic development strategy for the city. The PPC’s role included identifying issue area experts to serve as speakers, facilitating conversations among committee members, documenting the committee’s proceedings, and reporting on its findings. Read the committee’s report here.

Needs Assessment

The PPC frequently assists its partners and clients in assessing the needs of a population, community, or organization by conducting quantitative and qualitative research that supports evidence-based decision making and strategy development.

For a recent example of our work in this area, please see the report we produced in partnership with the Veteran’s Transition House that assessed the needs of the Veteran population in Bristol County.