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Evidence-Based Policy


We seek to increase the effectiveness of social spending through the use of rigorous evidence about what works. 

We know from the history of rigorous program evaluations that surprisingly few social programs succeed in producing meaningful progress in education, poverty reduction, crime prevention, and other areas. However, exceptional social programs that produce important improvements in people’s lives do exist. We work to identify, evaluate, and scale them. 

In order to build the body of proven-effective programs, Arnold Ventures’ Evidence-Based Policy team funds randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of programs across the spectrum of social policy whose prior evidence shows potential for sizable effects on education, earnings, crime, and other important outcomes. (See our requests for proposals and awarded RCTs.) We disseminate important findings from the evaluation literature on Social Programs That Work and Straight Talk on Evidence. We work with policymakers to reform government policies and programs to advance the use of evidence. We don’t accept unsolicited proposals, but contact us for general inquiries.

Requests for Proposals

RCT Findings


We fund Randomized Controlled Trials across the spectrum of social policy. Read a one-page summary of each completed study, including the program evaluated, the key study findings, and a link to the full study report.

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RCT Summaries


Find summaries of grants that have been funded by our Evidence-Based Policy team. Each summary includes a description of the program to be evaluated; the grant recipient, term, and funding; and a link to the study’s pre-specified analysis plan.

See the summaries
Straight Talk on Evidence

No spin, just evidence

We seek to distinguish credible findings of program effectiveness from the many others that claim to be but aren’t, through an easy-to-read, no-spin digest of recent program evaluation findings.

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Social Programs That Work

What Works in Social Policy?

We seek to identify those social programs shown in rigorous studies to produce sizable, sustained benefits to participants and/​or society, so that they can be deployed to help solve social problems.

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Arnold Ventures funds projects to understand problems and identify policy solutions.