UMass Boston

Research and Evaluation

MOPC’s research and evaluation on community, housing, youth, reentry and child access & visitation mediation, and collaborative governance and violence prevention initiatives helps generate knowledge on critical social issues. This knowledge is shared through publications, conference presentations, policy reports, research collaborations, communities of practice networks, service-learning opportunities, and graduate teaching and training workshops for university students and public managers.  

Continuous Learning 

MOPC uses evaluation to assess implementation and impact and demonstrate accountability for publicly funded dispute resolution programs in ways that enable continuous learning and improvement. Evaluators and key stakeholders are partners in a collaborative process of learning and inquiry, and continuous improvement of public programs where evaluation is utilized as a means for influencing change, improving organizational practices, and undermining institutional racism. 

Participatory Approach 

MOPC evaluators collaborate with parties to mediation like youth, landlords and incarcerated persons as well as mediators, case coordinators and staff at MA Community Mediation Centers, MOPC program staff, sponsors, funders, other researchers, and legislators. Similarly, MOPC strives to incorporate a culturally responsive and equitable evaluation (CREE) lens into its evaluation to ensure that all community stakeholders, including those who operate and participate in programs, have the chance to contribute to and benefit from the evaluation. 

Guiding Principles 

  1. Rigorous research and evaluation of complex public programs to address wicked social problems. 
  2. Alignment with the public service mission and values of the University of Massachusetts Boston as an urban public research university with a global focus. 
  3. Linking MOPC’s public programs and research with teaching to improve the overall academic experience of students and public managers. 
  4. Addressing systemic racism through more inclusive research and evaluation practices.  

Research and Evaluation Reports 

For a comprehensive list of research and evaluation studies (e.g., evaluation reports, legislative studies and testimony, white papers, etc.) that MOPC has published, please visit 

Major Research Studies 

Hate Crimes Report (2023) 

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Study (2023) 

Housing Mediation Study (2021) 

Court ADR Study (2019) 

Municipal Conflict Legislative Study (2016)  

Community Mediation Legislative Study (2011) 


MOPC Contacts 

Madhawa “Mads” Palihapitiya, Associate Director, 

Karina Zeferino, Research Associate,