Educational Resource List

Resource List for State Anti-Poverty Strategies

Free Technical Assistance Providers

The Brookings Institution ‐ the Metropolitan Policy Program (
The Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution provides policymakers with research and ideas for advancing the prosperity and health of cities and metropolitan areas. The program focuses on three main areas, one of which is how to help metropolitan areas grow in inclusive ways by advancing a strong middle class and reducing disparities in education, income and wealth. Contact Matt Fellowes, Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program at 202/797‐6105 or for more information.

Center for American Progress ( )
The Center for American Progress is a progressive think tank conducting research and analysis on a variety of public policy issues including poverty, education, national security, energy and climate change. CAP’s Task Force on Poverty has set a goal of cutting poverty in half in 10 years. The Task Force has issued a report, From Poverty to Prosperity, outlining strategies to reduce poverty. CAP also provides technical assistance to states in the area of poverty reduction. Contact Mark Greenberg, Senior Fellow and Director of the Poverty and Prosperity Program at or 202/481‐8160 for more information.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities ( CBPP conducts research and analysis on a wide variety of public policy issues that affect low income families including income inequality, poverty, wages, food stamps, TANF, employment and taxes. The Center also provides technical assistance to states in various subject areas. Please see the following contacts for more specific information or assistance:

  • TANF ‐ contact Sharon Parrott, Director of Welfare Reform and Income Support Division at or 202/408‐1080 or Liz Schott, Senior Fellow at or 206/324‐9627
  • Food Stamps ‐ contact Stacy Dean, Director of Food Assistance Policy at or 202/408‐1080
  • State fiscal issues (including Earned Income tax Credits)– Nick Johnson, Director of the State Fiscal Project at or 202/408‐1080
  • For areas not listed, see‐dept.htm or call 202/408‐1080

Center for Law and Social Policy (
The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is a nonprofit advocacy and public policy organization. The organization conducts research, technical assistance, policy analysis and advocacy services on a variety of issues pertaining to economic security for low‐income parents, children and youth. The following are useful contact and information on particular topic areas:

Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (
The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) is a non‐profit, non‐partisan research and education organization that works on federal and state taxation and spending policy issues. ITEP offers assistance to states in understanding the implications of state tax policy options, including Earned Income tax Credits (EITCs). Contact Matthew Gardner, State Tax Director at or 202/299‐1066 for more information.

National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (
The NGA Center for Best Practices provides technical assistance to states as they design and implement policies and initiatives to support low‐income families in securing and maintaining employment, advancing in their careers, and achieving self‐sufficiency. The Center writes issue briefs, holds workshops, and organizes conference calls on a variety of human service issues including poverty, asset development, EITC outreach, and work supports. The Center also monitors and disseminates information about state initiatives related to welfare reform, workforce development, health, early childhood, housing and education that help support working families. Please contact Susan Golonka at or 202/624‐5967 or Linda Hoffman at or 202/624‐5374 for assistance.

National Conference of State Legislatures (
NCSL is a bipartisan organization serving state legislators and their staff in the nation’s 50 states, territories and commonwealths. NCSL provides technical assistance, research, and programs for legislatures to learn and exchange information and ideas. NCSL staff provides a wide range of services and support on human service issues including poverty, welfare, child care and early education, youth, and child welfare. Staff also monitor and analyze federal legislation pertaining to poverty and other human service issues. Please contact Jack Tweedie at or 303/856‐1546 or Christine Nelson at or 303/856‐1651 for assistance.

The State Fiscal Analysis Initiative (
The State Fiscal Analysis Initiative (SFAI) operates through nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations in 29 states. These organizations provide research and policy analysis on state tax and budget policies with a focus on low and moderate‐income families. The SFAI network is supported through the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. See website for a list of state contacts.

Poverty Research Centers and Institutes

The following organizations offer detailed reports on poverty, low‐wage work, and the effectiveness of various policy options to reduce poverty.

Issue Specific Resources, Research Centers, and Institutes

Benefit Cliff

  • The Family Resource Simulator, National Center for Children in Poverty, Columbia University. (
    The simulator shows the impact of federal and state “work support” benefits on the budgets of low‐ to moderate‐income families. Results illustrate how a hypothetical family’s resources change as earnings increase, taking public benefits into account. For information on the “Benefit Cliff,” contact Nancy Cauthen, Deputy Director at 646/284‐9600.


  • State EITC Online Resource Center (
    The online resource center provides a variety of information on state EITCs including state materials, EITC basics, resources and research, and an online resource map.

Food Stamps

  • Food Research and Action Center (
    The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) works with national, state and local nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and corporations to address hunger and poverty issues. The organization offers information and expertise on Food Stamp program rules and information on school wellness policies.

Child Care and Early Education

  • Birth to Five Policy Alliance (
    The Birth to Five Policy Alliance provides research and information on policies that can help support parents and ensure learning opportunities for at‐risk toddlers, preschoolers and infants. The Alliance is focused on three strategies to support state policies: outreach and support for policymakers, research and policy analysis, and building champions among stakeholders. The website has a large amount of state level data, resources, and links to other organizations. Contact Stephanie Clothier, National Conference of State Legislatures at or 303/856‐1416
  • National Center for Children in Poverty (
    NCCP provides state profiles on state early childhood programs and policies. They also offer a wide range of publications on infant and toddler issues including reports on quality and availability of child care in states.

Anti‐Predatory Lending

  • Center for Responsible Lending (
    The Center for Responsible Lending is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization dedicated to eliminating abusive financial practices. The Center works in areas including mortgage and payday lending, overdraft loans, car title loads, credit cards, refund anticipation loans, and mandatory arbitration.
  • National Consumer Law Center (
    The National Consumer Law Center offers consulting, training, and research services on behalf of low‐income and vulnerable persons seeking economic justice. In particular, the organization provides information and assistance in the areas of refund anticipation loans, predatory mortgage lending, and credit discrimination issues.

Asset Development

  • Center for Social Development, Washington University in St. Louis ‐ State Assets Policy Project
    CSD’s State Assets Policy Project provides a variety of resources to policymakers including information on IDAs, assets policy reports, the SEED Initiative, and technical assistance to states.
  • CFED – Assets and Opportunity Scorecard (
    The CFED Scorecard offers a comprehensive look at poverty, wealth and the financial well‐being of families in the U.S. The annual report ranks states on different performance measures in the areas of education, health care, homeownership, business development and financial security. The Scorecard also details state‐by‐state information on key policies in areas that can help or hinder citizens’ abilities to succeed financially.
  • Institute on Assets and Social Policy (
    The Institute on Assets and Social Policy is dedicated to the economic and social mobility of individuals and families, particularly those traditionally left out of the economic mainstream, and to the expansion of the middle class. The Institute offers policy analysis, constituency building, and research services pertaining to asset development.
  • New America Foundation – Asset Building Program (
    The Asset Building Program offers several research studies on both federal and state policies/programs to increase wealth for low‐income families. The website also typically provides current information on federal legislative actions pertaining to asset development.

Housing & Homelessness

  • The National Alliance to End Homelessness
    The National Alliance to End Homelessness works collaboratively with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to build state and local capacity, leading to stronger programs and policies that help communities end homelessness. NAEH provides data and research to policymakers and elected officials in order to inform policy discussion. Contact Sharon McDonald, Senior Policy Analyst, Families, TANF, Housing First for Families at 202/638‐1526
  • The Urban Institute – Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center (
    The Metro Center’s work concentrates on communities—housing developments, neighborhoods, cities, and suburbs—that make up America’s urban regions. The research investigates factors that shape the quality of life in these communities, the opportunities they offer residents, and the effectiveness of federal, state, and local public policies that govern urban housing and neighborhoods.

Workforce Issues for Low‐Wage Workers

  • Workforce Strategy Center (
    Workforce Strategy Center is an applied think tank which works with workforce development, economic development, and educational entities to develop strategies to help workers and local economies. The organization has worked with over 20 states in helping to create career pathways models.

Public/Private Ventures (
Public/Private Ventures has written a variety of research reports on effective strategies to promote employment for low‐wage workers.

  • MDRC (
    Much of MDRC’s work focuses on determining effective ways to improve labor market outcomes for individuals facing barriers to employment and understanding how policies can promote work for vulnerable individuals and families. Some of their recent publications pertain to transitional jobs and information on hard‐to‐employ individuals.
  • TANF
    • Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (http://www.mathematica‐
      Mathematica conducts a wide variety of research and policy analysis on state TANF programs. Using modeling techniques, the organization can also assist in analyzing TANF costs and caseloads for states.
    • The Urban Institute (
      Urban has a wide variety of reports and analysis on welfare reform. The organization also maintains several databases pertaining to TANF including the National Survey of America’s Families and the Welfare Rules Database.

National Anti‐Poverty Reports, Task Forces, and Projects

Center for American Progress ‐ Task Force on Poverty (
The Center for American Progress convened a group of national experts last year to examine the causes and consequences of poverty in America and make recommendations for national, state and local action. The organization issued a report, From Poverty to Prosperity, calling for a national goal of cutting poverty in half in the next 10 years with specific policies at all levels of government that could achieve that goal. See ( for a copy of the report.

Center for the Study of Social Policy – Policy Matters (
The Policy Matters initiative at the Center for the Study of Social Policy provides data on 20 different state policies that are critical to family stability and opportunity in the areas of income and asset growth, employment, health, education, and family relationships and support. Policy Matters reports offer information on the effectiveness of the different policies, highlight key measures in these areas, and provide information on policies in each state and the District of Columbia.

The Hamilton Project (
The Hamilton Project offers research and policy proposals related to individual economic security and public investments. The goal of the project is to help create a growing economy that benefits more Americans. The project has authored several reports pertaining to poverty and low‐wage workers including:

  • A Hands Up: A Strategy to Reward Work, Expand Opportunities and Reduce Poverty
  • Better Workers for Better Jobs: Improving Worker Advancement in the Low‐Wage Labor Market
  • Employment‐Based Tax Credits for Low‐Skilled Workers

Inclusion (
Inclusion is a new “progressive” think tank focusing on identifying and promoting new ideas for better jobs, while stimulating and shaping the dialogue about improving low‐wage work to benefit the economy, workers, and communities. A variety of publications and statistics can be found on their webpage.

KIDS COUNT is a national and state‐by‐state project supported through the Annie E. Casey Foundation measuring the status of children in the U.S. KIDS COUNT publishes an annual Data Book, which provides data on the education, economic, social and physical well‐being of children on a state by state basis. The Foundation also funds a national network of state‐level KIDS COUNT projects which provide more detailed, county‐by‐county data on the well‐being of children.

Pew Economic Mobility Project (
The Economic Mobility Project is an initiative of the Pew Charitable Trusts. The project is evaluating economic mobility in the U.S. and investigating questions such as what helps people realize the American Dream and how do public policies play a role. Several reports have been issued by the project. (

Spotlight on Poverty (
This project was built to create momentum for national action to address poverty in 2009. Spotlight has invited the presidential candidates to answer questions concerning poverty and economic opportunity. The website also highlights comprehensive state and local efforts to address poverty and offers current press coverage, commentary and debate, and policy discussions on poverty. Recent reports, analyses, and data on poverty and opportunity will be profiled on the site as well.

Updated 6/17/08

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