Research at CFED
Research at CFED
CFED’s work – identifying and testing strategies that build and protect assets for low-income families – places us in a unique position between the worlds of research and practice. We operate on the premise that high quality research can and should be structured to inform and improve programs and policy. Likewise, feedback from practitioners is a source of important insight that should inform research and policy.
In our 30 years in the field, CFED has developed extensive relationships with the research community, as well as community-based organizations, policymakers and advocates. We leverage these connections to:
- Inform practice and policy. We translate discoveries arising from academic and theoretical studies into accessible and actionable strategies for practitioners and policymakers.
- Inform further research. We transmit practitioner knowledge of populations, behavioral barriers, risks and incentives to researchers to improve research focus and design.
Here’s how. We play three main roles: convener, facilitator and applied researcher.
- Convener: CFED forums promote dialogue and disseminate information among researchers, program operators, policy advocates and funders in the assets field. Our signature event is the Assets Learning Conference, the largest gathering of the assets field held every two years, and we hold various events and webinars throughout the year. To learn more about our convenings, visit our Events page.
- Facilitator: CFED brokers collaboration between practitioners, academic and think-tank based researchers, and funders. For example, CFED works with Innovator-in-Residence Mindy Hernandez and her organization, ideas42 to connect research in the behavioral sciences to real-world challenges in the asset-building field. For more information, visit our Behavioral Economics site. As another example, CFED administers the Bank On website, a collaboration between national partners such as the National League of Cities, the San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. JoinBankOn.org is a space for state and local Bank On practitioners to find resources to help them connect the unbanked in their communities with first-time or second-chance transaction accounts.
- Applied Researcher: CFED engages in research to further our strategic goals in the areas of financial security, enterprise and economic development, manufactured housing and innovation. Current and past projects include: Assets & Opportunity Scorecard: CFED’s assessment of the 50 states and the District of Columbia on how well residents are faring in terms of wealth, poverty and financial security and what states can do to help residents build and protect assets. Weathering the Storm: Have IDAs helped Low-Income Homeowners Avoid Foreclosures?: A joint study between CFED and the Urban Institute about how IDA programs can improve homeownership outcomes for low-income households. Upside Down: The $400 Billion Federal Asset Budget: CFED’s analysis of federal spending and tax policy to determine how much American asset-building initiatives cost, where the money went and who benefited. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Poverty Reduction – Case Studies and Summary Papers: CFED’s research into the ability of the SME sector to reduce poverty in both developing and mature economies.
If you are a researcher or practitioner interested in or currently engaged in evaluation of asset-related projects, please let us know about your work by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a full list of CFED’s research, visit our Resource Directory.