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Excerpt from Introduction to Report: As part of their joint annual conference in September 2012, the National Association of Welfare Research and Statistics (NAWRS), together with the National Association of State Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Administrators (NASTA), hosted a Research Academy focused on building state research capacity. With financial support from the Innovative Strategies for Increasing Self-Sufficiency (ISIS) project, the academy brought state and local administrators and researchers together with other research and evaluation experts to discuss how to incorporate rigorous research methods, particularly random assignment experiments, into ongoing state efforts to improve and document program effectiveness.
The Research Academy was envisioned by NAWRS and NASTA as a first step in a long-term agenda to build state research and evaluation capacity. The purpose of this summary report is to share highlights from the Research Academy in order to continue to build momentum for this important agenda.