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


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


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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Wisconsin and RIPL Announce Partnership to Connect Jobseekers to In-Demand Careers

Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

November 4, 2022

The WI Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and RIPL announced a partnership today to deliver an innovative online career service tool in 2023 that uses past wage data to recommend job opportunities and career transitions to users based on their work history, skillset, and goals.

“This technology promises to help job seekers elevate their career potential while making the hiring process timelier and more effective for employers,” said DWD Secretary Amy Pechacek. “[We will] go above and beyond our current career services by offering individual solutions in a way that’s accessible, equitable, and very user-friendly.”


RIPL Releases New Open-Source Tool for Workforce Analysis in Partnership with NASWA and the NLx Research Hub

RIPL Research

September 21, 2022

Job seekers and employers use many different variations in titles to describe a job. These real-world differences often make mapping job titles to SOC codes for research or analysis a challenging task.

In partnership with Natural Association of State Workforce Agencies and the NLx Research Hub, RIPL is thrilled to announce the release of Sockit, a new and open-source natural-language processing toolkit. Sockit determines the most likely SOC code for a free-text job title using National Language Processing and data science techniques, and is available to policymakers and researchers across the country. :

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RIPL and NGA Release Case Study on Improving Digital Service Delivery and Reducing Time Tax

National Governors Association

September 1, 2022

RIPL and the National Governors Association released a case study today of their joint partnership with Hawai’i on launching Hawai‘i Career Acceleration Navigator — an accessible, data-driven and full-service government platform for unemployed people and other jobseekers to search for jobs and access supportive service benefits. The case study highlights how key innovations around innovative cloud infrastructure and cutting-edge data science practices has delivered a seamless user experience that improves access to digital services and reduces time tax for users as they take the next step to a new, high-impact career.
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New HI CAN Digital Hub to Connect Jobseekers with Careers is Highlighted by KITV


June 16, 2022

KITV4 highlighted the new digital HI CAN hub, developed in partnership with RIPL, in coverage of how the platform will help connect Hawai’i jobseekers to careers, easily-managed UI work search requirement tracking, and efficient social services connections.

“We’re pioneering a first-of-its-kind data platform to connect job seekers to careers in our post-pandemic economy,” said Gov. David Ige in a press release issued by the HI Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. “Hawai?i is on the cutting edge, using widely available government data for a user-friendly program that creates highly customized job recommendations.”


Hawai'i Launches First-of-Its-Kind Digital Career Hub with RIPL

Hawai'i Department of Labor and Industrial Relations

June 15, 2022

Today, the Hawaii Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR) today announced the launch of the Hawai?i Career Acceleration Navigator (HI CAN), a digital hub connecting unemployment insurance (UI) claimants and jobseekers to high-impact career pathways.

The HI CAN platform, built and launched in partnership with RIPL, will help residents searching for a new job and those looking to transition careers, emphasizing supporting those receiving UI benefits for the next steps in their career journey.


RIPL Releases Research on Building Secure Data Infrastructures for the Public Good

Software Impacts

February 1, 2022

RIPL published new research today on its data integration pipeline, SIRAD, which empowers government to rapidly use administrative datasets for policy insights.

SIRAD allows metrics to be quickly developed, put into practice by policymakers, and delivered directly to the public through web and mobile apps. As a central component of RIPL’s Research Data Lake solution, this resource is automated, sustainable, and owned by government. It increases government’s capacity to implement data-driven policy, partner with researchers to measure what works, and continually iterate and improve.

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NGA Spotlights RIPL and Hawai'i's Partnership to Deliver Digital User-Centered Job Services

National Governors Association

January 13, 2022

RIPL’s partnership with the State of Hawai’i to seamlessly connect Hawai’i jobseekers with upskilling opportunities, in-demand career pathways, supportive services, and public benefits while they pursue new credentials and careers was highlighted today in a National Governors Association brief on high-impact efforts to deliver integrated job services across the country.

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.

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RIPL Highlighted as Part of Civic Tech Leadership Restoring Trust in Government Services

The Brookings Institution

January 12, 2022

The Brookings Institution highlighted RIPL in a Metropolitan Policy Program article today around how civic technology leaders across the country are delivering user-centered solutions to support opportunity for American families and communities.

RIPL is proud to work with states across the country to execute President Biden’s vision of improved customer experience of government services by making our programs easier to use, modernized, and transparent.

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RIPL's "Netflix for Jobs" featured by Politico as one of 17 pandemic tech innovations here to stay


December 10, 2021

“Using AI to help match workers to job opportunities has proven to be an effective way to help workers reenter the labor market, something increasingly critical as the existing worker shortage intensifies.”

RIPL’s ‘Netflix for Jobs’ was highlighted by Politico staff this December as one of the 17 pandemic tech innovations that are here to stay for the better. The RIPL team is excited to continue partnering with innovative state leaders across the country to connect Americans with in-demand careers in 2022 using data, science, and cloud technology.

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RIPL welcomes Ambassador Suzan LeVine to its Board of Directors

RIPL Press Release

November 30, 2021

RIPL announced this afternoon that Ambassador Suzan ‘Suzi’ LeVine is joining its Board of Directors. LeVine most recently served as Acting Assistant Secretary for the Employment and Training Administration at the US Department of Labor. She was formerly the US Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein and the Commissioner for the Washington State Employment Security Department.

“Suzi’s deep cross-sector experience and career-long devotion to public service will help RIPL successfully achieve its mission to help government use data, science, and technoloy to improve lives,” said Dr. Justine Hastings, RIPL’s Board Chair.


Hawai'i and RIPL announce innovative partnership to develop digital hub for jobseekers

RIPL Press Release

November 29, 2021

Gov. David Ige today announced a partnership with national tech-for-social impact non-profit RIPLto develop HI CAN, a digital hub for seamlessly connecting UI claimants and jobseekers to high impact career pathways.

The National Governors Association-Workforce Innovation Network (NGA-WIN) brought together this forward-thinking team to create an accessible, data-driven, and full-service government platform for job seekers and individuals eligible for supportive service benefits. This first-of-its-kind platform, called the Hawai’i Career Acceleration Navigator (HI CAN), will launch in early 2022.


Politico highlights RIPL work around the 'Netflix of Careers' to connect Americans to in-demand careers


November 8, 2021

RIPL headlined this week’s Politico Weekly Shift newsletter in an exploration of how ‘Netflix for jobs’ could aid in the Great Resignation.”

“A new program, DOORS, that uses artificial intelligence and unemployment insurance data to match workers with training programs and new jobs, based on their past experience and which industries are expanding in their state, could help get more Americans back to work as they reconsider what they do to pay the bills, its creators say.”


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.

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!

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.

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


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


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.

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.

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


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


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


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



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.
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RIPL Helps Rhode Island with Response to Covid Crisis

Governing Magazine


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.

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!

Rhode2College Program Highlighted in Video by Governor Raimondo


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.

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

Rhode Island Department of Education


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.