Center for Social Policy

at the University of Massachusetts Boston

Achievements & Impacts

Watch our video which underscores the value we place on constituent input in our research and policy recommendations.

Also see our Recent Projects web page.

In 2012, the Center for Social Policy celebrated 20 years of meaningful impact and change through its applied research on poverty solutions.

Examples of notable accomplishments


  • Center for Social Policy team members represented four papers at the Allied Social Science Association/American Economic Association and Labor and Employment Relations Association annual meetings, January 3-5 in Boston: "The Changing Structure of White Collar Employment: A Review of Recent Trends", by Françoise Carré; "Economic Development in the Massachusetts Life Sciences Cluster: Shared Prosperity or a Big Tradeoff?", by Brandynn Holgate; "Exploring the Relationship of Employment Benefits to the Financial Burden and Health Outcomes of Certain Blood Cancer Patients", by Randy Albelda,Diana Salas Coronado, and Lyden Marcellot, along with co-author Dr. Greg Abel (Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School); and “The Effect of Paid Family Leave on Employment and Earnings Volatility: Evidence from California,” by Michael Carr. 

  • Françoise Carré also chaired the panel “Job Quality and Job Satisfaction” and served as a discussant on the panel “Micro and Macro Effects of Employer Provided Job Benefits.”



  • More than 250 housing advocates, government officials, academics, and others attend “Looking Forward to the Journey’s End: 30 Years of Family Homelessness in Massachusetts” conference hosted by the Center for Social Policy and Homes for Families. The event marks the 30th anniversary of the Massachusetts public shelter system and initiates action for ending homeless permanently in the Commonwealth.
  • In partnership with the ATD Fourth World Movement, CSP hosts a Merging Knowledge Forum on “Working Together for a World without Discrimination,” bringing together diverse voices and viewpoints to focus on discrimination faced by those in poverty and to propose pathways out of such exclusion. A delegation of CSP Constituent Advisors delivered the resulting grass-roots message to the United Nations on its International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
  • By invitation, Donna Haig Friedman speaks at the UN conference, “Knowledge from Experience: Building the Post-2015 Development Agenda with People Living in Extreme Poverty” about the value of including people living in deep poverty as research partners. Friedman and her ATD International Fourth World Movement colleagues presented findings from their research evaluating the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.
  • Helen Levine prepares report, Managing Up: Managing Diversity in Challenging Times, the third Benchmarks Diversity Survey report for Commonwealth Compact analyzing employment data more than 100 Massachusetts employers.
  • Senior Fellow Randy Albelda testifies in support of raising the minimum wage. Read her testimony.
  • CSP Research Director Françoise Carré and her co-authors win the British Sociological Association's SAGE Prize for Innovation and/or Excellence for their research on the key role of institutions in large food retailers in France and the USA.
  • Donna Haig Friedman speaks to policymakers on child homelessness at the 4th Massachusetts Family Impact Seminar at the Massachusetts State House.
  • The Center for Social Policy co-sponsors the conference, “Breaking the Silence of Extreme Poverty” hosting post-Katrina survivors reading excerpts from their book, Not Meant to Live Like This: Weathering the Storm of Our Lives in New Orleans.




  • CSP receives a five year grant award ($500,000 total) to serve as the strategic evaluator and analytical partner for the Boston Foundation's Fairmont Corridor Initiative
  • Department of Elementary and Secondary Education changes adult basic education assessment and screening practices/tools based on center recommendations on distance learning
  • The Massachusetts House and Senate pass foreclosure-protection legislation based on center-facilitated dialogues
  • Randy Albelda participates in the Equal Pay Research Summit hosted by the Women's Economic Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor and National Council for Research on Women conference, "Reinvesting in Women and Families: Developing an Economy for the Future"
  • Françoise Carré presents "Short hours, long hours, flexible hours: Hours levels and hours adjustments in the retail industry in the United States, Canada, and Mexico" at the W.E. Upjohn Institute conference, "Labor Markets in Recession and Recovery"




  • Bridging the Gaps: A Picture of How Work Supports in Ten States, a collaboration with the Center for Economic Policy Research, demonstrates the importance of both earnings and public work supports for low-income working families
  • Convenes conference at JFK Library, “Looking Back and Looking Forward: Policy Visions from the New Deal”, funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation


  • Provides technical assistance to homeless service planners in eight states which leads to data for HUD's Annual Homelessness Report to Congress


  • Groundbreaking study, Surviving Against the Odds, illustrates how welfare, housing, and homelessness policies intersect in the lives of homeless families


  • In Harm's Way, was the first study examining domestic violence among AFDC recipients in the context of the 1996 Massachusetts welfare reforms


  • Families at Risk Project offers recommendations on re-designing the state's family shelter system


  • CSP pioneers the use of advanced technology in collecting and generating data to inform homelessness planning and service delivery