About SPR

Founded in 1991, Social Policy Research Associates (SPR) is a nationally recognized research, evaluation, and technical assistance firm located in Oakland, California. We specialize in providing rigorous and responsive services related to employment assistance, job training, education, youth, diversity & equity, effective philanthropy, health, and comprehensive social services. Clients range from the federal government to community-based foundations and local nonprofits.

  • Children & Youth We have a wealth of experience conducting evaluations of programs that promote youth development among vulnerable and ethnically diverse populations.
  • Diversity & Equity We have provided technical assistance to foundations and community-based organizations that seek to measure community, organizational, and individual change. We emphasize approaches that recognize the assets and challenges of diversity and culture differences, and prioritize the goal of self-determination for diverse individuals and communities.
  • Education We have conducted evaluations all along the education pipeline, from early childhood education to postsecondary access and job training, for clients ranging from the U.S. Department of Education to nonprofit organizations and foundations.
  • Effective Philanthropy Major foundations have sought our expertise to design initiatives, create theories of change and logic models, develop indicators and measurements, design grantee database and reporting systems, encourage diversity and organizational change, and perform programmatic evaluations. We have a deep understanding of the unique context in which philanthropic planning and evaluation unfold.
  • Human Services We have broad knowledge of healthcare systems and policy and specialized expertise in connecting culturally diverse populations with quality health care.
  • Workforce Development We have spent two decades studying federal, state, and local initiatives aimed at improving the efficiency of the labor market and ensuring that workers gain the skills they need to be productive.

SPR is a small business with the capacity, experience, and expertise to handle large sophisticated analyses, which means expert advice and personal service. SPR provides you with the research, evaluation, and training assistance you require to make informed decisions, measure the effectiveness of programs, and plan strategies. You will be confident in our rigorous approach and feel comfortable working with a team that shares a deep passion for creating solutions that benefits people and communities. We are proud to base our work on the following guidelines:

  • Blend rigor with responsiveness. We are committed to using technically rigorous research methods and standards. At the same time, we are responsive to clients’ unique contexts and views, and are willing to tailor our approach accordingly.
  • Translate theory into practice. SPR’s practically-oriented findings and recommendations consistently draw upon proven policies and the best knowledge available in the field. Our work draws from the expertise of practitioners and academics alike. While our findings and recommendations are aimed directly at supporting our clients, we also work to disseminate knowledge and build capacity in the broader field.
  • Use an assets-oriented approach to understand vulnerable and diverse communities. We feel that interventions should build upon the strengths of vulnerable and diverse communities, acknowledge and incorporate cultural factors, and focus on equipping communities with the tools they need to successfully improve their socioeconomic conditions.
  • Employ multi-level and multi-method research strategies. At SPR, we use varied data collection and analysis strategies. This approach allows us to provide our clients with a multi-dimensional view of findings and implications at the program, organizational, field, and policy levels.