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.

Abby Ross Headshot


Abigail (Abby) M. Ross, LICSW, MPH, PhD

Associate Professor; PhD, Boston University. Intervention research, implementation science, mental health, interprofessional practice, public health social work, youth suicide prevention, social care integration, evidence-based practice.

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.

Penn Sp2 Headshots March 2024


ChiaKo Hung, MA, MPA, PhD

Assistant Professor; PhD, Arizona State University. Nonprofit financial management, social entrepreneurship, philanthropy, fundraising management, collaborative governance, social equity, social impact.

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.

R. Jisung Park


R. Jisung Park, PhD

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

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

First-of-its-kind study analyzes digital mourning practices of gang-affiliated youth

A new paper co-written by SP2’s Dr. Desmond Patton explores the role of images in the online grieving practices of gang-affiliated Black youth. Due to his groundbreaking body of research, Dr. Patton was one of 13 participants invited to the White House last week.

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.