57 episodes

A podcast hosted by Mathematica’s J.B. Wogan that examines what we know about today’s most urgent challenges and how we can make progress in addressing them. Reimagining the way the world gathers and uses data, Mathematica uncovers the evidence that offers our partners the confidence and clarity they need to find out what can be done, how to make it happen, and where to go next.

On the Evidence MATHEMATICA

    • Government
    • 4.9, 18 Ratings

A podcast hosted by Mathematica’s J.B. Wogan that examines what we know about today’s most urgent challenges and how we can make progress in addressing them. Reimagining the way the world gathers and uses data, Mathematica uncovers the evidence that offers our partners the confidence and clarity they need to find out what can be done, how to make it happen, and where to go next.

    Early Lessons from COVID-19 Contact Tracing in Massachusetts

    Early Lessons from COVID-19 Contact Tracing in Massachusetts

    As Americans continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear that one key ingredient in managing the spread of the novel coronavirus is contact tracing, a longstanding disease control measure employed by state and local health department personnel.

    In response to COVID-19, states and localities are rapidly deploying contact-tracing programs. But the scale and complexity of these efforts make launching an effective contact-tracing program a complicated undertaking.

    This episode of On the Evidence features Candace Miller, a senior international researcher at Mathematica who is working with the COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative in Massachusetts. Miller shares early lessons from her experience with COVID-19 contact-tracing.

    A Q&A blog based on the conversation is available here: http://ow.ly/cXON50zLvOJ

    Miller penned recommendations on contact tracing for COVID-19 here: http://ow.ly/jq3B50zLvVf

    • 25 min
    Oakland’s Life Coaching Strategy to Address Youth Violence

    Oakland’s Life Coaching Strategy to Address Youth Violence

    On this episode of On the Evidence, we discuss life coaching, a violence reduction strategy being used by the city of Oakland, California, to help young people who have been involved with the juvenile justice system. Mathematica studied youth life coaching as part of a larger evaluation of Oakland Unite, a city initiative that supports community-based violence prevention programs.

    We interviewed the following guests:
    Peter Kim, manager of Oakland Unite
    Naihobe Gonzalez, senior researcher at Mathematica
    Kentrell Killens, a former life coach with Oakland Unite
    Anayeli Vega Gonzalez, a participant in the life coaching program
    Another life coach participant who preferred not to share his name

    Learn more about Mathematica's evaluation of Oakland Unite here: http://ow.ly/vfdn50zFmQ7

    Read a blog based on this episode here: http://ow.ly/6nm150zEW9b

    • 27 min
    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Era of COVID-19

    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Era of COVID-19

    It’s increasingly clear that although the novel 2019 coronavirus does not discriminate in who it infects, it does harm some groups of people more than others. The emerging evidence suggests that people who are Black, are 65 and older, or have certain conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension, are more likely to become severely ill from COVID-19. But income and occupation also play a role. The current pandemic has exposed inequities in society where, for example, segments of the workforce do not have health insurance, paid sick leave, the ability to work from home, or the ability to apply for unemployment benefits. For some, sheltering in place means a stressful, long-term inconvenience; for others, it means putting yourself at greater risk of domestic violence, or maybe choosing between losing paychecks or showing up in-person for jobs that put you and our loved ones at greater risk of being infected.

    The guest for this episode of On the Evidence is Ralanda Nelson, who leads diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at Mathematica. Nelson started her job in March, two weeks into Mathematica’s company-wide shift to working from home.

    In the interview, we discuss what it’s like to start a new job while sheltering in place; Nelson’s career path to her current role; and how the pandemic is spotlighting problems related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

    • 25 min
    Culturally Responsive Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Culturally Responsive Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    As schools close in order to contain the spread of COVID-19, some students are in a better position to continue learning from home than others. Even when students aren’t grappling with the fallout of a pandemic, they face disparities in their educational experiences and opportunities due to their differences in family income, differences in racial, ethnic, or other important demographic characteristics, and differences in access to technology. Some state and local education leaders are proactively adopting culturally responsive practices to dismantle social and institutional barriers that inhibit student success.

    For this episode of On the Evidence, a principal and an education researcher share insights from research and the field on implementing culturally responsive practices. Our guests are:

    • George Guy, Jr., who has spent more than 20 years in education and currently serves as the principal of Rosa International Middle School in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Guy has also helped lead efforts to identify and employ culturally responsive practices in his district and beyond, and;

    • Steven Malick, an education researcher at Mathematica who spent nearly a decade as a middle school math teacher and a coach of new teachers;

    For more information on improving educational equity through culturally responsive practices in schools, check out this free four-part webinar series conducted by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Educational Laboratory at Mathematica: https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/2055500/23F4AF51F3BEF736E0DE4C689CBFD066/606716

    Want a quick primer on using culturally responsive practices in education? The Mid-Atlantic Regional Educational Laboratory at Mathematica has a four-page fact sheet: https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/midatlantic/app/pdf/RELMA_Culturally_responsive_pedagogy_fact_sheet.pdf

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Can Algorithms Be Fair, Transparent, and Protect Children?

    Can Algorithms Be Fair, Transparent, and Protect Children?

    As technology improves organizations’ ability to collect, manage, and analyze data, it’s becoming easier to inform public policy decisions today in a range of areas, from health care to criminal justice, based on estimated risks in the future. On this episode of On the Evidence, I talk with three researchers who work with child welfare agencies in the United States to use algorithms—or, what they call predictive risk models—to inform decisions by case managers and their supervisors.

    My guests are Rhema Vaithianathan, Emily Putnam-Hornstein, and Beth Weigensberg.

    Vaithianathan is a professor of economics and director of the Centre for Social Data Analytics in the School of Social Sciences and Public Policy at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand, and a professor of social data and analytics at the Institute for Social Science Research at the University of Queensland, Australia.

    Putnam-Hornstein is an associate professor of social work at the University of Southern California and the director of the Children’s Data Network.

    Weigensberg is a senior researcher at Mathematica.

    Vaithianathan and Putnam-Hornstein have already worked with Allegheny County in Pennsylvania to implement a predictive risk model that uses hundreds of data elements to help the people screening calls about child abuse and neglect better assess the risk associated with each case of potential maltreatment. Now they are working with two more counties in Colorado to pilot a similar predictive risk model. Last year, they initiated a partnership with Mathematica to replicate and scale-up their work by offering the same kind of assistance to states and counties around the country.

    Find more information about Mathematica’s partnership with the Centre for Social Data Analytics and the Children’s Data Network here: https://www.mathematica.org/our-publications-and-findings/publications/predictive-risk-modeling-for-child-protection

    Find The New York Times Magazine article about Allegheny County's use of algorithms in child welfare here: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/02/magazine/can-an-algorithm-tell-when-kids-are-in-danger.html

    Find the publications page for the the Centre for Social Data Analytics here: https://csda.aut.ac.nz/research/recent-publications

    Find the results of an independent evaluation of the Allegheny County predictive risk model here: https://www.alleghenycountyanalytics.us/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Impact-Evaluation-from-16-ACDHS-26_PredictiveRisk_Package_050119_FINAL-6.pdf

    • 43 min
    Building the Pipeline of Black Women in Economics

    Building the Pipeline of Black Women in Economics

    On this episode of On the Evidence, we check in with Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman and Fanta Traore a year after the group they co-founded, the Sadie Collective, held its inaugural conference about, for, and by black women in economics and related fields.

    Find more information about the Sadie Collective here: https://www.sadiecollective.org/

    • 21 min

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Good at economics, not fantasy

If only Kristin was as good at fantasy football as she was at economic and policy.

-Her son who is better at fantasy football

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The most cogent discussion of CMS transition to APM model

Best explanation of Medicare and Medicaid’s transition from FFS to APM... History, current research and challenges, and vision for the future I have ever had the privilege to hear. Great job to the moderator and each of the panel members!

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Innovative Practice

On the Evidence provides the listener with important and practical approaches to solving entrenched problems. By challenging traditional approaches, and offering evidence to support innovation, each episode provides a nugget of wisdom that can be replicated in other locations.

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