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Project on Devolution and Urban Change


  • Program Education
  • Program Area Expanding Economic Opportunity
  • Grant Amount $200,000
  • Grant Period September 1, 2003–December 31, 2006
  • Location New York, NY, United States
  • Geographic Focus United States

About this grant

The Project on Devolution and Urban Change is a major research and dissemination effort focused on understanding the implementation and effects of the 1996 welfare reform law on poor families and neighborhoods in four big cities: Cleveland, Ohio; Los Angeles, California; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Miami-Dade, Florida. It includes an impact study, an implementation study, an ethnographic study, an institutional study and a neighborhood indicators study.Multiyear funding will support the completion of the project, including producing comprehensive reports for Miami-Dade and Los Angeles and extending research in Cleveland to appreciate the full effects of time limits and the recent economic downturn on low-income families. To ensure that reports inform critical policy debates, MDRC will undertake an active dissemination campaign to share findings with a wide audience.Since the project’s inception, accomplishments have included completing multiple rounds of field research in each of the four cities; analyzing administrative records of state and county welfare, food stamp and employer-reported employment and earnings on people receiving benefits; locating and interviewing a random sample of individuals at risk of receiving welfare and following them for five years; following 120 families over four years to gain in-depth knowledge about their experiences; and producing 14 major reports and papers and publishing articles in numerous books and journals.