New catalog of administrative data sets for rigorous evaluations of social programs

February 20, 2017, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
J-PAL North America aims to make rigorous evaluation of key questions in social policy easier for researchers with a new catalog. Credit: Shutterstock

Hospitals, governments, school systems, and many other institutions gather a wealth of data on individuals for operational purposes. MIT-based J-PAL North America recently launched a catalog of administrative datasets to provide researchers with clear information on data access and content, including costs and indicators. Together with J-PAL North America's guide to using administrative data for randomized evaluations, this public catalog will support researchers in carrying out high-quality evaluations.

When equipped with safeguards for privacy, access to administrative data has the potential to reduce research costs, create opportunities for long-term follow-up on intervention impacts, and improve the accuracy of research. As J-PAL North America Executive Director Quentin Palfrey notes in a recent op-ed, access to administrative data can be transformational for researchers looking to conduct policy-relevant studies on key challenges in reducing poverty.

The catalog, which currently features 16 entries, includes datasets related to consumption, criminal justice, education, employment, and health care. This data has been collected at the national, state, and local level. The catalog will continue to grow as new datasets are added.

For those interested in having their organization's dataset featured, or to provide feedback and requests for new entries, contact

Explore further: A Big Data approach to cataloging galaxies

Related Stories

A Big Data approach to cataloging galaxies

February 9, 2017

Astronomers at Lomonosov Moscow State University and collaborators have released "The Reference Catalog of galaxy SEDs" (RCSED), which contains value-added information about 800,000 galaxies. The catalog is accessible online, ...

Knowledgebase decodes daunting alcohol datasets

August 15, 2014

Health practitioners, policy makers and the general public have a valuable new tool to help tackle alcohol related issues in their communities after Flinders University's National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction ...

Recommended for you

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...

Paleontologists report world's biggest Tyrannosaurus rex

March 22, 2019

University of Alberta paleontologists have just reported the world's biggest Tyrannosaurus rex and the largest dinosaur skeleton ever found in Canada. The 13-metre-long T. rex, nicknamed "Scotty," lived in prehistoric Saskatchewan ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.