Areas of research

Data-Driven Policy Analysis & Evidence-Based Practice

SP2’s Initiatives and Faculty use administrative data, systematic reviews, and meta-analysis to inform the future of social innovation and social policy.

Featured Centers

Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy

Headshot of Dr. Jacqueline Corcoran


Jacqueline Corcoran, PhD

Professor; PhD, University of Texas at Austin, 1996. Mental health; clinical social work; evidence-based practice in social work; systematic reviews, meta-analysis, and meta-synthesis; strengths-based models.

Dennis Culhane


Dennis P. Culhane, PhD

Professor; PhD, Boston College, 1990. Homelessness; housing policy; policy analysis research methods.

Milan Abinader


Millan AbiNader, LMSW, PhD

Assistant Professor; PhD, Boston University. Gender-based violence; intimate partner violence; intimate partner homicide; rural communities; community-level risk; vicarious trauma.

R. Jisung Park


R. Jisung Park, PhD

Assistant Professor; PhD, Harvard University. Environmental economics; labor economics; climate change; economic inequality; policy evaluation.

Demarcus A. Jenkins


DeMarcus A. Jenkins, PhD

Assistant Professor; PhD, University of California, Los Angeles. Education policy, housing policy, criminal/juvenile justice, school safety & discipline, gentrification, anti-Black racism, Critical Race Theory, social movements.

Alice Xu


Alice Xu, PhD

Assistant Professor; PhD, Harvard University. Inequality and social policy, urban and distributive politics, environmental politics, quantitative and spatial methods, Latin America, Global South.

Related News

members of SAFElab meet around a table

Two SAFELab researchers named to faculty of SP2

Dr. Aviv Landau and Dr. Siva Mathiyazhagan are being appointed research assistant professors at SP2. The two researchers have been affiliated with Penn since 2022, when they relocated to the University as members of SAFELab.

Dr. Patton stands with arms folded behind a window with the word

SP2’s Dr. Desmond Patton elected to National Academy of Medicine

SP2’s Dr. Desmond Upton Patton of is one of five Penn experts among the 100 new Academy members elected this year to one of the highest honors in health and medicine.

Dennis Culhane

New Yorker highlights SP2’s Dr. Dennis Culhane in homelessness feature

The research of Professor Dennis Culhane, Dana and Andrew Stone Chair in Social Policy at SP2, is featured prominently in a New Yorker feature about modern homelessness written by Pulitzer Prize – winning author Jennifer Egan.