Highlighted Selections from:

Susan Urahn and Brian Hill on Pew Charitable Trust's project design


Urahn, Susan and Hill, Brian. Interview with Tuna, Cari; Karnofsky, Holden; and, Rosenberg, Josh. “A Conversation with Susan Urahn and Brian Hill on September 25, 2013.” Givewell (2013): 1–6. Web. http://files.givewell.org/files/conversations/Pew-Urahn%209-25-13%20(public).pdf

p.4: Project design and implementation

A good project design requires knowledge of the following:

  • Where policymakers stand on the issue
  • The nature of the opposition and the extent to which they may be swayed
  • The relevant constituencies and the extent of their influence
  • Whether stakeholders might be willing to make compromises on the issue, in exchange for progress on other issues they care about
  • How the public, press, and relevant constituencies will respond to the project

When implementing a project, Pew will use a combination of tools, including:

  • Research — Pew conducts research when there is a gap in its knowledge of the field, when there is a need for locale-specific information, or when data is missing or insufficient. Research on an issue might include answering questions such as best practices around the globe, and hidden costs and unintended consequences of proposed policies.
  • Building coalitions.
  • Mobilizing critical messengers — Critical messengers are those people uniquely positioned to influence public opinion on a particular issue, e.g. pediatricians on issues of childcare. Pew works with critical messengers to develop talking points and to write and place op-eds. It also brings critical messengers (e.g. victims) to relevant hearings.
  • Technical assistance to state governments — Pew provides customized research and scopes out policy options tailored to each state (not one-size-fits-all).
  • Informing Policymakers — Pew conducts and/or funds lobbying efforts, polling, advertising, and media campaigns to inform policy makers about our research, the public interest, and public opinion on key issues.

-- Highlighted apr 2, 2014