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Policy Labs Driving Impact

City Alive Connecting People and Places, Data

Policy Labs Driving Impact

Five Albuquerque Living Cities Integration Initiative members traveled to Boston to learn about policy labs, a smart, cross-sector data collection model that is working across the country

“The Policy Labs program in Boston was a great opportunity to learn about how other cities have used data to successfully impact policy and improve their communities. The work we’ve put in through the Integration Initiative has strengthened our cross-sector partnerships and has put the right pieces into place. Policy Labs provided a great framework to think about how we take our next step forward.” Kevin Stevenson, Director of Strategic Projects, UNM

Economic growth is taking hold in Albuquerque—thanks to diverse efforts from community members, stakeholders, and new initiatives—and this year, that progress  will become much more measurable. Among other strategies, Albuquerque is exploring an opportunity recently offered  through Living Cities and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation on Policy Labs, a clever new evidence-based model that creates workable partnerships between governments, universities, and community organizations to drive measurable progress in addressing social challenges.

On June 16th and 17th, several Albuquerque Living Cities Integration Initiative members participated in an invitation-only program in Boston to learn more about Policy Labs. Representatives from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Rhode Island Innovative Policy Lab at Brown University shared details about how they’re using the Policy Lab model to drive measurable progress. The trip was an invaluable chance to grow the approach around data collection and opens a door for Albuquerque’s Integration Initiative to access funding  for a more robust data dashboard.

Other policy labs have created strategic partnerships in locales like Houston and Dallas, making long-term sustainability and data-sharing a priority. Kevin Stevenson Director of Strategic Projects at the University of New Mexico and an attendee at the Policy Labs program in Boston said, “The existing partnerships UNM has with both the Albuquerque Living Cities Integration Initiative and Mission: Graduate provide a strong foundation upon which we could build a Policy Lab. We are excited about working with our partners to explore that opportunity.” While the Albuquerque Living Cities Integration Initiative is already doing laudable data collection work, a Policy Lab might just be the tool Albuquerque needs to reach a tipping point.


OPPORTUNITY: Working with Policy Labs is a potential three million dollar investment to build a data dashboard for Albuquerque’s Living Cities work, specifically around job creation and and economic development and mobility.


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