Research Approach

NCLR’s approach to conducting and disseminating fact-based, applied, policy-oriented research is based on the following set of principles:

1. Have a significant impact. NCLR’s research is designed to address pressing concerns for Latinos throughout the country and in Puerto Rico. Selected issues often have a direct connection to the formulation of state- or national-level policy, or to specific legislative proposals that would produce important benefits or harms to a large segment of the community.

2. Educate and inform. NCLR’s documents and reports are used to share information and knowledge about Latinos with a range of audiences, including policymakers, researchers, the media, NCLR Affiliates, the private sector, and the general public. Our research is also intended to fill gaps in the social science literature and provide new perspectives on policy issues that lack a Latino voice.

3. Add value to policy or program activities. NCLR’s research has a direct link to and helps to advance its policy and legislative agenda and program activities. Through a careful review of the data and existing research, NCLR synthesizes facts to identify and shape its policy priorities and to design and evaluate its programmatic work.

4. Mobilize and enhance capacity within the community. Through its research, NCLR seeks to share knowledge among the Latino community and play a role in educating and reaching its community-based organization constituency, as well as the larger Latino community. In addition, NCLR encourages community-based organizations to develop their own research capacity and to help identify priority issues that their communities face. In turn, NCLR uses that knowledge to shape and adjust its research agenda to be responsive to Affiliate concerns.

5. Provide a bridge between university-based and policy-oriented research. University-based research contributes to the understanding of important socioeconomic and political concerns while policy-oriented research plays a central role in shaping the future direction on many of these issues. Through its research, NCLR seeks to bridge these two sectors, cull the best of the expertise that each has to offer, and maximize opportunities to understand problems, communicate solutions, and have a measurable impact on the well-being of the Latino population.

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