urban institute nonprofit social and economic policy research

Washington D.C. Region

The District of Columbia and the surrounding suburbs face complex, interconnected problems within a rapidly evolving region. The Urban Institute conducts research on a variety of policy challenges facing the Washington region, including work on child well-being, education reform, affordable housing, homelessness, poverty, crime, and health care. Through these projects, the Institute helps policymakers understand Washington's unique needs and develop practical strategies to meet those needs.

Washington D.C. metro areaResearch areas include:

  • Crime and Justice
  • Housing
  • Health
  • Neighborhoods
  • Nonprofit Organizations 

Featured Links

  • District of Columbia Crime Policy Institute
    Focused on crime and justice policy in Washington, D.C., DCPI’s mission is to support improvements in the administration of justice and public safety policies through evidence-based research.
  • NeighborhoodInfo DC
    Focused on supporting community organizations, neighborhood leadership, residents, and government through providing a wide-range of data indicators about D.C. neighborhoods.
 
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Making Sense of Childhood Asthma: Lessons for Building a Better System of Care (Research Report)
Marla McDaniel, Susan J. Popkin, Judy Berman, Paola Barahona, Priya Saxena, Deborah Quint, Stephen J. Teach

This report highlights findings from a qualitative study about asthma care for low-income African American and Latino children ages 4-14 in Washington, DC, where nearly one in five children under age 18 has the condition. We interviewed medical providers, health administrators, policy makers and caregivers whose children had visited the IMPACT DC clinic (located in the emergency department of Children’s National Health System) about the primary barriers, challenges, and opportunities for improving asthma treatment in DC. The stakeholders each felt their school, clinic, agency, or department had a role to play in improving asthma care, and that many challenges were system-related. Three major areas where caregivers and stakeholders described system breakdowns were poor communication among caregivers, providers, and other stakeholders; inadequate access to both the quality and quantity of care needed to manage a child's asthma; and scarce long-term support to address both the social-emotional and financial burdens created by managing a chronic childhood illness.

Posted to Web: April 16, 2014Publication Date: April 16, 2014

Ten Years of Language Access in Washington, DC (Research Report)
Hamutal Bernstein, Julia Gelatt, Devlin Hanson, William Monson

This report provides an overview of the implementation of the Language Access Act within the context of the unique demographic and economic characteristics of the District's immigrant community. We describe DC's Language Access Program, its creation, and evolution, profile the city's LEP/NEP population, and identify accomplishments and challenges for each of the three major domains required for ensuring full language access: identifying language needs, serving language needs, and monitoring the provision of those services. We conclude with recommendations for next steps for city government officials and other stakeholders as they continue to strengthen the Language Access Program in the District.

Posted to Web: April 15, 2014Publication Date: April 15, 2014

Estimating the Size and Structure of the Underground Commercial Sex Economy in Eight Major US Cities (Research Report)
Meredith Dank, Bilal Khan, P. Mitchell Downey, Cybele Kotonias, Debbie Mayer, Colleen Owens, Laura Pacifici, Lilly Yu

The underground commercial sex economy (UCSE) generates millions of dollars annually, yet investigation and data collection remain under resourced. Our study aimed to unveil the scale of the UCSE in eight major US cities-Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Seattle, San Diego, and Washington, DC. Across cities, the UCSE's worth was estimated between $39.9 and $290 million in 2007, but decreased since 2003 in all but two cities. Interviews with pimps, traffickers, sex workers, child pornographers, and law enforcement revealed the dynamics central to the underground commercial sex trade-and shaped the policy suggestions to combat it.

Posted to Web: March 12, 2014Publication Date: March 12, 2014

Offenders, Former Sex Workers, Law Enforcement Detail Inner Workings of US Underground Commercial Sex Trade in New Urban Institute Study (Press Release)
Urban Institute

The underground commercial sex economy (UCSE) generates millions of dollars annually, yet investigation and data collection remain under resourced. Our study aimed to unveil the scale of the UCSE in eight major US cities-Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Seattle, San Diego, and Washington, DC. Across cities, the UCSE's worth was estimated between $39.9 and $290 million in 2007, but decreased since 2003 in all but two cities. Interviews with pimps, traffickers, sex workers, child pornographers, and law enforcement revealed the dynamics central to the underground commercial sex trade-and shaped the policy suggestions to combat it.

Posted to Web: March 12, 2014Publication Date: March 12, 2014

Washington, DC Metropolitan Area Housing Monitor - First Quarter 2012 (Research Report)
Rebecca Grace, Leah Hendey, Peter A. Tatian, Simone Zhang

The Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area Housing Monitor – First Quarter 2012 and its accompanying County Profiles are co-published quarterly by NeighborhoodInfo DC and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. The Monitor gives a snapshot of sales market trends. Sales volumes continue at levels lower than when the foreclosure crisis began. About 5,000 homes were sold in the first quarter of 2012, a decrease from the year before. The median sales price rose 4.3% in one year to $321,000. The average home stayed on the market 12 weeks, a small decrease from one year earlier.

Posted to Web: November 21, 2013Publication Date: September 16, 2013

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