Center for Analytical Approaches to Social Innovation (CAASI)

Bridging quantitative social science research and practical social innovation.

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Our mission is to bridge research and practice. 

Our center translates a real-world problem from the community into a set of quantitative research questions and engages experts across disciplines to solve them. Through coordination, we help each team produce outputs that are both publishable in their field and can be used by another team. We then integrate these disparate findings into a solution for the community. 

Research and projects

  • Pitt Smart Living Human Behavior Lab (NSF #1739413)
  • Randomized Controlled Trial on use of services among ex-inmates  (Texas A & M College of Liberal Arts Seed Grant, University of Pittsburgh Central Research & Development Fund, Rapoport Foundation Grant)
  • Pittsburgh Wage Study (Heinz Endowment, Integrative Social-Science Research Initiative Grant)
  • Precarious Work Project: Tolerance for Harassment among Tipped Workers (Social Science Research Initiative grant)
  • United Way 211 Project: Natural language processing and decision support analysis
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2021 Decentralization Conference: Mechanism Design for Vulnerable Populations

This year we will virtually host the 50th anniversary 2021 National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Decentralization Conference. 

Please mark your calendars for April 15-17, 2021. Academics and practitioners are invited to join us virtually to learn more about general mechanism design theory in relation to topics of foster care, refugee resettlement, low-incoming housing, and criminal justice. 

Funded by the National Science Foundation, the goal of the conference is to apply and extend mechanism design to the practical needs of institutions that serve vulnerable populations.


Learn more


Meet the people of CAASI.

The center collaborates with University of Pittsburgh faculty, postdoctoral scholars, researchers and research partners, as well as external research affiliates and field partners. Contact those leading the effort or explore the key stakeholders that help create CAASI's network of impact.