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Title:How university-based poverty research centers aim to inform antipoverty policy and practice
Author(s):Mustafaa, Rafiqah
Director of Research:McNair-Barnett, Bernice
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Trent, William
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Greene, Jennifer; Anderson, James
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Educational Policy Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Research-policy relationship
Poverty research
Antipoverty policy
University-based research center
Abstract:This dissertation describes the activities of two university-based poverty research centers in the United States—the Center for Research on Poverty in Society (CRPS), and the Regional Poverty Research Center (RPRC). Using a multiple case study approach, at each center, the study included document analysis; interviews with 5 individuals including the center director; and observations of relevant center activities. The primary question the study answered is: “how do university-based poverty research centers in the United States aim to inform antipoverty policy and practice”? While prior research has examined the relationship between social research and social policy, and though poverty research centers greatly shape our understanding of poverty causes, consequences, and solutions, my searches have not yielded a body of literature that examines such centers as important producers of policy-relevant research. This dissertation presents important findings on six aspects of the two centers’ policy-relevant activities: 1) guiding rationale, 2) research characteristics, 3) research dissemination, 4) activities to train and support scholars, 5) activities to facilitate research-policy-practice partnerships, and 6) contextual factors shaping the centers’ work. The study found that each center took a different approach to inform antipoverty policy and practice—CRPS is primarily concerned with developing an infrastructure for measuring poverty and inequality and RPRC is primarily concerned with bringing together people who have an interest in addressing social issues related to poverty and inequality. A range of contextual factors seemed to shape each center’s work including institutional setting, sources of funding, societal conversations about poverty, and the background of individuals who play a role in shaping the center’s work. This dissertation contributes to literature on the research-policy relationship by describing the work of two producers of poverty research. It also contributes to literature on university-based research centers by exploring centers in the social sciences. Finally, the study provides an up-to-date profile of poverty research conducted and supported by two important poverty research producers in the U.S..
Issue Date:2017-04-12
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Rafiqah Mustafaa
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-08-10
Date Deposited:2017-05

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