Institute for Research on Poverty

blue heart icon with two hands in it

The Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is a nonprofit and nonpartisan center for interdisciplinary research into the causes and consequences of poverty and social inequality. Established in 1966 by the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity, IRP has more than 250 faculty affiliates from institutions across the country. They attribute their ongoing success to their ability to:

  • Build, support, and develop a large and collaborative core of poverty scholars from multiple disciplines
  • Produce and promote rigorous, diverse, and interdisciplinary poverty research
  • Facilitate wide-ranging linkages to the policy and practice world
  • Distill, translate, and widely disseminate applied poverty and policy research.

IRP will provide research and evaluation advice and services to DCF and act as the fiscal agent for other University of Wisconsin efforts in support of PDG initiatives. Over the course of the PDG year one planning grant, IRP has been instrumental in supporting the needs assessment activities. IRP has collaborated with the Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies to conduct focused interviews with Wisconsin’s vulnerable populations. IRP in collaboration with UW Applied Population Lab provided vital research on family’s access to regulated child care across Wisconsin. To learn more visit the Geographic Access to Child Care page. IRP has also been instrumental in analyzing data on trends in capacity to regulated child care and the use of the Wisconsin Shares Child Care subsidy program. This work provides insight into Wisconsin’s child care landscape and allows policy makers and stakeholders data to inform decision making.

IRP Director Katherine Magnuson stated, “We are thrilled to continue our long-standing partnership with the Department of Children and Families and to work with stakeholders throughout the state to use data, research, and evaluation to help improve early childhood systems and services for families.”

PDG funds help:

  • Evaluate Wisconsin’s early childhood system-building efforts, including the effectiveness of pilots
  • Support further PDG Needs Assessment Activities such as
    • Collaborating with the UW Applied Population Lab to complete a risk and reach analysis
    • Collaborating with the UW Survey Center to field surveys of the early care and education workforce and families interacting with the Birth to 5 Early Childhood State System
  • Develop a continuous quality improvement plan and performance evaluation

<< Back to PDG Partners page