Our nation needs to make more rapid progress addressing difficult social problems. Given our level of affluence and technological sophistication, there is no excuse for our inadequate responses to homelessness, the opioid crisis, child poverty, youth joblessness, criminal recidivism, and many other issues.
The mission of the Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab (GPL) is to speed up our nation’s progress on difficult social problems by improving how state and local government human service agencies function and how their dollars are spent. We hire and train full-time employees, embedding them in government agencies to lead 12-36 month intensive reform projects.
The GPL conducts research on how governments can improve the results they achieve for their citizens. An important part of our research model involves providing pro bono technical assistance to state and local governments. Through this hands-on involvement, we gain insights into the barriers that governments face and the solutions that can overcome these barriers. By engaging current students and recent graduates in this effort, we are able to provide experiential learning as well.