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.
Supporting Economic Mobility Through Coaching and Navigation | Episode 52
Nearly a year after COVID-19 took root in the United States, Americans are still dealing with the pandemic’s economic fallout. In January 2021, more than 10 million Americans were unemployed, up from roughly 5.8 million a year earlier. On this episode of On the Evidence, four guests discuss an increasingly popular approach for helping people find jobs and achieve other, related goals that provide economic security, such as getting a GED, buying a car, and improving a credit score. The approach combines two related services called coaching and navigation.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation partnered with Mathematica to better understand what coaching and navigation look like in practice, how the approaches are helping people through remote services during the pandemic, how they can be used to address racial and social inequities, and what evidence currently exists about their efficacy. In addition to hosting a virtual convening and producing a series of issue briefs on the topic, Mathematica invited the following experts involved with coaching and navigation to share their experiences on this episode of On the Evidence:
- Ty Wright, a community engagement coordinator at AppleTree Early Learning Public Charter School, who has benefited from coaching and navigation
- Lucy Smart, the program coordinator of parent engagement for LIFT-DC, who also provides coaching services
- Brian Marroquin, a senior program director for LIFT, a national nonprofit that provides coaching and navigation services in four cities
- Sheena McConnell, a senior fellow at Mathematica who studies employment programs that help vulnerable families
Read about current knowledge on the effectiveness of coaching and navigation in facilitating economic mobility: https://bit.ly/37IZgc9
Modeling the Spread of COVID-19 on College Campuses | Episode 51
On this episode of On the Evidence, guests Ravi Goyal and Natasha Martin share lessons from using an agent-based model to predict the spread of COVID-19 in a university setting. Goyal is a senior statistician at Mathematica who has an expertise in epidemic modeling. Martin is an infectious disease economic modeler and an associate professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health at the University of California San Diego. They recently collaborated on a project that estimated the potential impact of masking, social distancing, and regular testing on the spread of COVID-19 at UC San Diego.
Learn more about the COVID-19 agent-based modeling partnership between UC San Diego and Mathematica here: https://bit.ly/3sLL4bp
Explore the web tool Goyal and Martin discuss on the podcast here: https://bit.ly/39UMXtz
Read more about the agent-based model and results in a recent article published in the journal, Clinical Infectious Diseases here: https://bit.ly/3r9TqYX
Learn more about Mathematica's partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, which used agent-based modeling to inform K-12 school leaders about the relative risks of different operating and closure strategies here: https://bit.ly/3pct8EF
Learn more about Mathematica's work on using wastewater testing to detect early trends in COVID-19 infections here: https://bit.ly/3iM5zAa
For an up-to-date overview on Mathematica's involvement in the COVID-19 response, visit our landing page on COVID-19: https://bit.ly/3pmp8By
Reflecting on 2020, Previewing 2021 | Episode 50
Between a pandemic, an economic recession, and heightened awareness about social injustice, 2020 presented no shortage of urgent health and social challenges that required immediate responses based on emerging data and research. In this episode of On the Evidence, Mathematica’s Adam Coyne, Jill Constantine, and Chris Trenholm reflect on how Mathematica and its partners rose to meet those challenges.
Coyne, Constantine, and Trenholm are the general managers of Mathematica’s international, human services, and health business units, respectively. The episode features short interviews with each of them as they share some of Mathematica’s most memorable work from the past year. Each interview includes a preview of projects, initiatives, and likely themes in 2021.
We have a full list of resources mentioned on the episode on the Mathematica blog: https://bit.ly/3oIJxQV
A One-Stop Shop for Information about State Approaches to COVID-19 Contact Tracing | Episode 49
In early spring, states were scrambling to learn from one another how to scale up contact tracing for COVID-19. Staff at Mathematica and the National Academy of State Health Policy (NASHP) recognized that states needed a single place to find accurate, up-to-date publicly available information about the decisions that other states were making in response to the pandemic.
To help states as they develop and refine their approaches to contact tracing, NASHP and Mathematica partnered to create and maintain a central repository that reflects publicly available information about how states approach this work. NASHP hosts an interactive map and table with detailed information about states’ approaches to COVID-19 contact tracing. It is the single most comprehensive resource for documenting the variation in states’ approaches to contact tracing for COVID-19 and updated on a regular basis. Mathematica hosts a supplementary web tool that provides contextual information about each state’s population based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which can inform contact tracing strategies.
For this episode of On the Evidence, Mathematica's Holly Matulewicz and Sule Gerovich as well as NASHP's Jill Rosenthal and Elinor Higgins discuss the origin story of the data visualizations, what they're learning from the tools, and how the tools might be updated or improved going forward.
Watch the original video chat, where the guests demonstrate how to use the web tools, here: https://bit.ly/37PzhPv
See the interactive map and table hosted by NASHP here: https://bit.ly/2JS7czh
See the companion page with an interactive map and charts showing data from the U.S. Census Bureau hosted by Mathematica here: https://bit.ly/3m60Uc9
Maternal Health Care in India during and after the Pandemic | Episode 48
For more than two decades, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supported evidence-based programs in India that promote reproductive health and rights. As the foundation phased out its grantmaking related to population and reproductive health, it partnered with Mathematica to conduct a cumulative review of its efforts to improve maternal health in India.
The foundation’s maternal health quality of care strategy in India sought to improve the trajectory of health for women, children, and their families. Although the country had already made considerable progress in expanding access to maternal health services and, in the process, driving down the national maternal mortality ratio, the foundation and its grantees sought to improve the quality of these services, which is seen as a contributing factor in the pregnancy-related deaths that still occur today.
Because the Mathematica report was published in late February, it summarizes the state of maternal health in India up to, but not including, the COVID-19 pandemic. On this episode of On the Evidence, six guests discuss insights from the report and provide perspectives on how the pandemic has changed the supply and demand for maternal health services. The following guests appear in the episode:
- Dipa Nag Chowdhury, who served as the deputy director of the MacArthur Foundation’s India office
- So O’Neil, a Mathematica senior researcher and the lead author of the cumulative review of the MacArthur Foundation’s efforts to improve the quality of maternal health care in India
- Sharad Iyengar, a pediatrician and the chief executive of Action Research & Training for Health
- Renu Khanna, a co-founder of the SAHAJ-Society for Health Alternatives
- Vinoj Manning, chief executive officer at the Ipas Development Foundation
- Aparajita Gogoi, executive director of the Centre for Catalyzing Change
Find the report discussed in this episode here: https://bit.ly/3nUoolT
Find bonus interviews below:
Vinoj Manning: https://bit.ly/3l6GDmg
Renu Khanna: https://bit.ly/39ffJ9z
Sharad Iyengar: https://bit.ly/2UZfnvF
Aparajita Gogoi: https://bit.ly/2V2kbAw
Investing in Education for Success in the Long Run | Episode 47
In his research, Kirabo Jackson, an economist at Northwestern University, has explored the causal relationship between school spending and student outcomes. His work has also shed light on the role that teachers and schools play in helping students acquire skills and succeed in the long run.
Jackson is the 20th winner of the David N. Kershaw Award and Prize, established to recognize young professionals under the age of 40 who have made distinguished contributions to the field of public policy. David Kershaw, for whom the award is named, was a founder and the first president of Mathematica. In the spring of 1979, he helped guide the establishment of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) and Mathematica’s principal role within it, before his death from cancer later that year at the age of 37. The award in his memory was created in 1983 and has since been jointly administered by Mathematica and APPAM. The award is presented every other year at the APPAM Fall Research Conference in November.
In this episode of On the Evidence, Jackson discusses his research on education spending and on measuring the effects of teachers and schools on students’ long-term success.
Customer ReviewsSee All
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
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!
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.