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Event Details

Coffee and Conversation: Illusions and Realities in the Search for Credible Evidence with Lisbeth Schorr

  • Thu, May 11, 2017
  • 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
  • National Democratic Institute, 455 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC


Registration is closed


Please join us for a discussion on the Illusions and Realities in the Search for Credible Evidence with Lisbeth (Lee) Schorr, Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Social Policy. 

This afternoon session will be held on Thursday, May 11 from 1:00-2:30pm at the National Democratic Institute (455 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC)

Please register by May 9. Coffee will be provided. WE members will also have access to the members-only call-in number. 

Illusions and Realities in the Search for Credible Evidence

Lee will discuss her forthcoming book about the history, current status, and the future of what is considered credible and useful evidence for improving social policy and social programs.

Starting with the proposition that public and philanthropic resources aimed at improving lives should be spent on programs and policies that are evidence-based, she will explore the range of beliefs about what evidence-based actually means. She will suggest that by drawing on the lessons learned by researchers, community leaders, advocates and well-informed observers over the past decade, we could build a knowledge base that is far more rigorous and relevant than the one we now rely on. We would replace our current “What Works Knowledge Base” with a vastly expanded knowledge base that could guide the development and implementation of more effective solutions to some of the most fundamental challenges the U.S. faces over the next two decades.

If you are interested in contacting Lee and providing feedback for her forthcoming book, she can be reached by email at lisbeth.schorr@cssp.org.


Lee Schorr is currently focused on efforts to broaden the conventional understanding of evidence as applied to the design, improvement, and evaluation of complex initiatives, and on promoting a results orientation to the reform of social policies and programs. With a group of colleagues, she recently founded The Friends of Evidence, which works to strengthen the role of evidence in efforts (public and philanthropic, local, regional, and national) to ensure the wise allocation of scarce resources, and to improve outcomes among the children and families not faring well in today’s society. Lee’s extensive experience in social policy, community building, education, health and human service programs has made her a national authority on improving the future of disadvantaged children and their families and neighborhoods. She serves on the boards of the SEED Foundation and Educare D.C., is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, and has held leadership positions in many of the major national efforts on behalf of children and families. Lee’s 1988 book, Within Our Reach: Breaking the Cycle of Disadvantage, analyzed programs and strategies that succeeded in combating serious social problems. In Common Purpose: Strengthening Families and Neighborhoods to Rebuild America, published in September 1997, she showed that most effective interventions depend on the systems contexts in which they are implemented.

(c) 2017 Washington Evaluators

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