Harvard University

The Brief

Harvard University was looking for a world-class design and data visualisation partner to develop a website dedicated to improving the quality of government decision-making by promoting standardisation in policy analysis. In addition to bringing the concept to life, it was also essential to provide the ability for the Policy Impacts team and academic researchers to add new policy research without further back-end development.

Our Approach

Policy Impacts helps policymakers, practitioners, and philanthropists assess the effect of different government policies. Each policy is analysed using a metric known as the Marginal Value of Public Funds, or the MVPF. This methodology allows decision-makers to compare the impacts of different policies, identify the highest returns on investment and produce the most positive social outcomes. The website combines data visualisation with interactive scrollytelling to explain the concepts to encourage exploration and natural interaction. Developed using a combination of the latest web technologies, including; Tailwind, Next.js, Docker, React with the Strapi headless CMS, the website is now prepared to evolve into a global resource allowing research into international government policies to compare effectiveness across leading countries.

Results

The website features the Policy Impacts Library, a collaborative database of over 100 rigorous policy evaluations and their associated MVPFs, and serves as a definitive reference source for researchers to learn what the government spends on programs and policies by taking them on an interactive journey to explore the story behind the research, through detailed policy data analysis and supporting narrative. In the months ahead, the organisation will work with researchers and evaluators to apply the MVPF to new research and incorporate the latest MVPF estimates in the Policy Impacts Library.

We are thrilled with the exciting website that Soak has put together. It enables policymakers, researchers, and the public to access cutting edge research on the most effective government policies.

— Nathaniel Hendren
Professor of Economics at Harvard University and Co-Director of Policy Impacts

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