Research Improving People's Lives

We use data, science, and technology to impact policy and improve lives.

What We Do

Solutions for next generation government.

RIPL is a tech-for-social-impact nonprofit that works with governments to help them use data, science, and technology to improve policy and lives. We equip our policy leaders to create policy that works; delivering measurable improvement per dollar spent for Americans in need

Our scientists and policy experts partner with government leaders to frame their challenges, and develop and deliver the best science approach to solve them. Our technologists design databases, applications, and user experiences that make policy delivery effective and engaging. We partner with policymakers so that they can use data, science, and technology to positively impact lives, solve pressing social challenges, and build their own capacity to innovate and measure success going forward.

Data-Driven Improvement

Harness the Power of Administrative Data

We work with our partners to identify their biggest policy challenges and deliver immediate solutions while building capacity for lasting change.

First, we deploy a RIPL-developed Research Data Lake of joined administrative data, which accelerates the delivery and reliability of insights, and supports broad-based partnerships to improve policy.

Turn Research Into Impact

Mobilize your findings to create impact

We design and launch scalable, data-driven applications that deliver effective policy to improve lives. Our solutions are driving measurable impact in unemployment insurance support, workforce development, education opportunity, and more. RIPL solutions are science-designed by leading researchers to meet beneficiaries where they are with effective, inspiring solutions that work for them.

We help government build their own data resources to drive impact.

We use data and technology to upskill America.

We use technology to develop equal opportunity.

We dive deep with data and research to develop effective policies

Ready-to-use or Customized solutions

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Building a Community of Practice

RIPL actively shares what we learn with the broader community, through scientific journal publications, white papers, policy briefs, conference proceedings, and webinars. Key RIPL publications include:

Fact-Based Policy: How Do State and Local Governments Accomplish It?

Brookings Institution: Hamilton Project

POLICY BRIEF 2019-01

Unlocking Data to Improve Public Policy

Communications of the ACM

CACM, October 2019, Vol. 62 No. 10

Fact-Based Policy: How Do State and Local Governments Accomplish It?

Brookings Institution: Hamilton Project

POLICY BRIEF 2019-01

The Brookings Hamilton project published a 2019 proposal by RIPL Founder Dr. Justine Hastings on how states and government can achieve fact– and evidence-based policy using data, science and technology.

Unlocking Data to Improve Public Policy

Communications of the ACM

CACM, October 2019, Vol. 62 No. 10

RIPL published research and an open-source tool to demonstrate how state and local government can unlock data and technology to drive fact-based policy.

Scalable Cloud Solutions Can Keep Essential Government Programs Running

Digital Government Research & Practice

Volume 2, Issue 1, January 2021

Predicting High-Risk Opioid Prescriptions Before They are Given

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Scalable Cloud Solutions Can Keep Essential Government Programs Running

Digital Government Research & Practice

Volume 2, Issue 1, January 2021

RIPL published research describing how RIPL scientists and the State of Rhode Island developed a scalable cloud solution to bring emergency Unemployment Insurance benefits to Rhode Island during the COVID-19 pandemic, making Rhode Island the first state in the country to do so. 

Predicting High-Risk Opioid Prescriptions Before They are Given

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

RIPL published research in the National Academy of Sciences using administrative data and machine learning to demonstrate how government can support care providers and communities in reducing opioid misuse.

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“Investing in data-driven and fact-based policy is vital to helping people in need. We need to be innovative and proactive in government to support our communities and families to the best of our ability. Our partnership with RIPL helps us use objective research and data at high speed so we can do just that. RIPL’s approach to data and science for social good could benefit local and state government throughout the country.”

Eric Beane

Former Secretary, Rhode Island Executive Office of Health & Human Services

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SECURE

RIPL releases technical paper on protecting sensitive data with Secure Data Enclaves

OSF Preprints

October 14, 2021

RIPL released a paper today describing the RIPL-developed Secure Data Enclave system, which allows data owners — such as state and local governments — to control data access and ensure data security while facilitating approved uses of data by other parties. The paper describes the technical requirements for implementing a Secure Data Enclave, and key use cases where the architecture has helped government solve a variety of policy challenges in the public sector, including rapidly delivering unemployment assistance and securely exchanging data between state agencies to reduce benefit processing time.
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RIPL Board Member co-author is awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences

New York Times

October 11, 2021

The RIPL team extends its congratulations to Drs. David Card, Joshua G. Angrist, and Guido W. Imbens on being awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences on October 11, 2021. Dr. Imbens’ work on research methods has “reshaped the way researchers think about and analyze natural experiments,” reported the New York Times. RIPL Board Member Dr. Susan Athey frequently coauthors with Dr. Imbens on causal science methods, machine learning, and applied econometrics to help researchers answer pressing societal questions using natural experiments. Congratulations to all for their outstanding contributions to science!
SYNTHESIZE

RIPL releases paper on estimating value-added returns to labor training programs with causal machine learning

OSF Preprints

September 24, 2021

While the U.S. spends billions of dollars annually on reskilling programs and unemployment insurance, there are few measures of program effectiveness that workers and government can use to guide training investment decisions and ensure delivery of valuable reskilling and improved outcomes. RIPL released a scientific working paper today describing how RIPL scientists developed causal machine learning methods using Rhode Island administrative data to estimate the causal ROI of workforce training programs. This approach can put facts on program effectiveness at the fingertips of workers and policymakers across the country.
tinderforjobs

RIPL CEO speaks on partnering with government to close the skills gap at AWS Summit: "'States need 'Tinder for jobs.'"

StateScoop

September 28, 2021

During a panel at the September AWS Summit in Washington D.C., RIPL CEO Scott Jensen spoke about the need for government to help workers displaced by the pandemic restart their careers. StateScoop featured Jensen’s remarks around building digital platforms where people can apply for unemployment benefits, find other assistance programs and seek out retraining and new job opportunities without having to repeatedly re-enter their information. ‘“We’re helping states use the data they have to help people find jobs,” Jensen said. “If we don’t find talent for these employers, [America is] just not going to be competitive in the world.”’
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RIPL partners with the Florida Department of Education to boost employment

GCN

July 28, 2021

The Florida Department of Education is partnering with PAIRIN, Credential Engine, RIPL, and other leaders in workforce innovation to build a cloud-hosted data and analytics platform to help policymakers and educational institutions determine the best use of funding and resources for education and workforce planning.
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Brookings highlights RIPL in report on digital transformation of labor and education systems during COVID-19

Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings

July 26, 2021

In the July 2021 essay, “Digital transformation in labor and education systems: Improving the government response to the next unemployment crisis,” the Metropolitcan Policy Program at Brookings highlighted RIPL’s work with the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training during the COVID-19 pandemic to stand up a new interface to apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance quickly through a cloud-based call center platform, with features such as automated messages to end users that allow them to self-correct application errors and avoid long delays in their application.
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RIPL Assists Israel in Efforts to Build Integrated Administrative Database for Policymakers

Nova Project

January 2021

In April 2019, NOVA, with the assistance of the United States Department of State, led a study trip to the United States with representatives of the Prime Minister’s Office and several other ministries. During the trip, participants met with Professor Justine Hastings, Founder and Director of RIPL, (Research Improving People’s Lives) to learn about the innovative collaboration between RIPL and the Rhode Island state government to establish an integrated database that would serve the government of Rhode Island policymakers and provide inspiration to the Israeli government to undertake a similar project.
Scalable Cloud Solution

RIPL & Rhode Island Create Scalable Cloud Solution for Covid Crisis Response

Digital Government Research and Practice

November 2020. Vol. 2, No. 1, Article 5

A new article in the journal Digital Government: Research and Practice describes how RIPL and the State of Rhode Island developed a scalable cloud solution to collect Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims as part of a new program created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act to extend unemployment benefits to independent contractors and gig-economy workers not covered by traditional Unemployment Insurance.
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RIPL partners with Rhode Island to connect Rhode Islanders to opportunity with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

RIPL Press Release

April 24, 2020

RIPL scientists are partnering with Rhode Island to develop the CareerCompass™ RI bot, a first-of-its-kind job discovery bot that uses Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to successfully connect Rhode Islanders to new jobs and careers with personalized, data-driven recommendations. Read more about the initiative here!
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Raimondo administration announces new effort to help job seekers

Providence Business Journal

10/21/2020

The State of Rhode Island has partnered with Google Cloud and the nonprofit Research Improving People’s Lives to create the virtual career center and job-matching program, Back to Work Rhode Island.
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Milken Institute 2020 Global Conference: Reimagining the American Dream

Milken Institute

11/20/2020

RIPL Founder and Director, Justine Hastings takes part in a panel, moderated by Nicholas Kristof to discuss what it would take to reimagine the American Dream. The panelists attempt to identify the essential elements all individuals must possess to thrive and attain their personal American Dreams.
summer of open data

Summer of Open Data

GOVLAB and Open Data Policy Lab

07/29/2020

Data innovation differs greatly across sectors, from national and subnational government, to the corporate sector, to research and policymaking. As we enter the Third Wave of Open Data, there is more work to do when it comes to data collaboration and governance.
smart-cities-week

Smart Cities Week

@smartccouncil

10/21/2020

Data innovation differs greatly across sectors, from national and subnational government, to the corporate sector, to research and policymaking. As we enter the Third Wave of Open Data, there is more work to do when it comes to data collaboration and governance.
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How Bill Timing Affects Low-Income and Aged Households

NBER Bulletin

Publication Date

Nearly half of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck, with little savings to respond to an unexpected shock like a car repair or hospital bill. Many low-income and elderly households are reliant on government programs to make ends meet.
unemployment office

RIPL Helps Rhode Island with Response to Covid Crisis

Governing Magazine

04/24/2021

RIPL helped the Stated Rhode Island design and launch the first claims system in the country to deliver CARES Act benefits to Rhode Island workers and families, and produced open-source software that can be used by other states. Innovative technology enables state Department of Labor and Training to rapidly scale services for residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Machine Learning and Administrative Data Predict Opiod Addiction

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

January 2020

In January 2020, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published research by RIPL researchers Justine Hastings, Mark Howison, and Sarah Inman on using anonymized administrative data and machine learning algorithms to predict high-risk opioid prescriptions before they are given.
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RIPL Research Featured In the CACM

Association for Computing Machinery

October 2019 VOL. 62 NO. 10

RIPL researchers Justine Hastings, Mark Howison, Ted Lawless, John Ucles, and Preston White release new research on unlocking the power of data to improve public policy and help government programs better serve those in need. See our featured article in Communications of the ACM here!
R2C

Rhode2College Program Highlighted in Video by Governor Raimondo

@GovRaimondo

August 20, 2019

“Getting that text or that email reminding you ‘get this done’ was really good, because I actually saw a change in my scores.” Hear directly from the incredible students in the Rhode2College program, our statewide initiative to help low- and moderate-income students step-by-step to successfully prepare for and enroll in college! RIPL is proud to partner with Rhode Island to help students achieve their potential.
early low cost investment

New research with impact! Early low-cost investments in infant health cause large educational gains and social services savings.

New Source

Publication Date

RIPL researchers Eric Chyn, Samantha Gold, and Justine Hastings release new research using administrative data from Rhode Island to measure the causal impact of health investments at birth for Very Low Birth Weight infants on educational outcomes and social services usage.
R2C

We are getting low-income students on the road to college!

Rhode Island Department of Education

09/24/2017

On Monday, September 24th, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo announced the Rhode2College Program, a new statewide initiative to help low-to-middle-income high school students successfully continue on to college. RIPL is proud to partner with Rhode Island on this important initiative.

RIPL is a Technical Assistance Partner to the National Governors Association Workforce Innovation Network, a collaborative effort to help governors and states facilitate innovative, state-level policy solutions that improve employment and workforce outcomes.  Learn more about more about NGA WIN Here.