Panel: Stronger Evidence for a Stronger DC: Results from Applied Science within Government
(Politics, Media, and the Policy Process)

Friday, November 9, 2018: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Madison A - Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Chairs:  David Yokum, The Lab @ DC
Discussants:  Clarence Wardell, What Works Cities | Results for America

Anchor Management: A Field Experiment Encouraging TANF Participants to Meet Program Deadlines
Katherine N. Gan1, Karissa Minnich1, Ryan T. Moore1,2 and David Yokum1, (1)The Lab @ DC, (2)American University

Can Artificial Intelligence Smell a Rat? Developing and Testing a Model for Rodent Detection
Peter Casey1,2, Kevin Wilson2 and David Yokum2, (1)Office of the Chief Technology Officer, (2)The Lab @ DC

From the Ground up: Using Administrative Records, Nudges, and Regulation to Field a RCT
Dena Hassan, D.C. Department of Human Services and Sam Quinney, The Lab @ DC

A Pre-Analysis Plan for Dc's 911 Nurse Triage Line
Chrysanthi Hatzimasoura, The Lab @ DC; D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services

The Lab @ DC is a new team of data and social scientists based out of the Executive Office of the Mayor of the District of Columbia. The team works with various District agencies to integrate scientific methods and insights directly into the daily work of governing, with the goal of improving programs and policies in the District. The Lab conducts research (primarily randomized control trials and predictive modeling) across a range of policy areas including criminal justice, education, housing, public health and government operations. Moreover, the existence of The Lab--using and creating evidence within government--is in and of itself innovative and unique.

This panel will bring together scientists from The Lab @ DC and practitioners from DC government agencies to present our approach to designing, implementing, and evaluating policy and programmatic interventions in the District, as well as results from a broad range of existing projects. We also touch on our commitment to open science and community engagement as key components of our work in the city.   

Papers for discussion include:

  1. A randomized experiment, testing the effect of a supplementary reminder letter to Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) families due to recertify their eligibility. This project aims to increase recertification rates so there is no lapse in cash assistance for eligible families.
  2. A randomized experiment of a flexible rental subsidy testing the impact of the program on homelessness, employment, and housing stability. The program also embedded three nudge experiments within the application process.
  3. The development of a predictive model to estimate the probability that a location will experience a rodent infestation as well as the results of a field validation of the model’s performance.
  4. A randomized experiment testing the impact of a 911 Nurse Triage Line (NTL) program. The program is aimed at helping residents navigate the District’s primary health care system, while relieving some of the strain on emergency medical services.