The mission of the Government Performance Lab is to improve government's ability to address difficult social challenges. Because many of those challenges are rooted in historic and systemic wrongs, particularly systemic racism, we know that addressing them requires solutions that center diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are committed to increasing diversity, improving equity, and fostering inclusion (DEI) in our internal and external work – from the methods we use to hire and train our staff to the way we select and execute projects in the field.
How We Manage Ourselves
We are working to incorporate DEI into our core operations in three main ways. First, we are resourcing and supporting a fellow-led DEI Task Force to advise and support ongoing DEI work and identify new opportunities to advance our organization’s DEI goals. Second, we are applying DEI principles to our hiring and recruitment practices to ensure that candidates with diverse backgrounds join our team, advance, and thrive at the GPL. Finally, we aim to foster an organizational and management culture that supports staff in bringing their full selves and unique perspectives to our work. This includes training managers to bring cultural humility to our management practices.
How We Do Our Work
We incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion in our core work in the field. We are developing tools and solutions that help our staff and government partners integrate a DEI lens across all the stages of service delivery improvement, with a focus on supporting governments in identifying and addressing disparity and disproportionality in resource allocation, service delivery, and service outcomes. By collaborating with governments to develop and demonstrate solutions, we hope to contribute to efforts to re-engineer more just and equitable social service systems.
This might look like:
- supporting a state child welfare agency in identifying and addressing racial inequities in the engagement, retention, and outcomes of a parenting program;
- working with service providers to discover that the lived experience of families referred to a substance use service were not being reflected in solutions designed to improve program uptake;
- increasing the ability of a city to engage minority and women-owned businesses as vendors; or
- helping a county government improve its mental and behavioral health diversion practices and demonstrate the efficacy of alternatives to incarceration.
We strive to reflect considerations of equity by incorporating historically marginalized or vulnerable populations' views and lived experiences in our efforts to diagnose, analyze, and address problems. We believe that rigorous and effective solutions must reflect the perspectives and lived experiences of the individuals and communities being served, and work to elevate those perspectives and experiences in each stage of our work. In 2020, we have created and conducted new all-staff trainings on centering equity in our quantitative and qualitative approaches to problem diagnosis and solutions generation and have incorporated an equity focus into our regular executive reviews of all current projects.