Outsmarting poverty starts with working smarter

All across America, service providers are doing great work to take on poverty in all its complexity. But we still know too little about what’s working and why.

Notre Dame’s Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) helps service providers apply scientific evaluation methods to better understand and share effective poverty interventions.

At LEO, we believe rigorous research is a powerful means to an end. An end to injustice. An end to dependence. An end to poverty. And a new beginning for millions of families who are ready to thrive.

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Creating Evidence

by partnering with poverty's fiercest adversaries to learn what works.

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No Small Scale Dreams Here

A recent feature in the Spring edition of the esteemed Notre Dame Magazine richly tells the story of LEO and asks the reader to pause and consider one economist's idea of joy. In this case, that economist is LEO co-founder Bill Evans. This is an article you will not want to miss.

Poverty’s Perjury: A discussion on poverty in America with Prof. James Sullivan

LEO co-founder, Jim Sullivan, recently joined an episode of the Reaganism podcast. On the episode, host Roger Zakheim, Director at the Reagan Institute, speaks with Jim about government policy towards poverty in America and the mistruths and misunderstandings surrounding poverty and being poor in America, today.

Heather Reynolds Testifies before Ways and Means Subcommittee on Work and Welfare

The Ways and Means House Subcommittee on Work and Welfare invited Michael L. Smith Managing Director Heather Reynolds to testify at its hearing “Welfare is Broken: Restoring Work Requirements to Lift Americans Out of Poverty." This hearing, which was hosted by House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith (R-Mo.) and Work and Welfare Subcommittee Chairman Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) focused on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, including discussion about the program’s effectiveness in lifting families out of poverty.

Using Evidence

to turn research into action to lift people out of poverty.

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Fighting to Prevent Homelessness

Catholic Charities Chicago runs the city's Homelessness Prevention Call Center and has helped thousands of families stay off the streets. But Catholic Charities knows funding for public programs is never guaranteed, so it wanted to prove its method was cost-effective and impactful.