Our mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable individuals, children, and families by building knowledge and improving the effectiveness and efficiency of public policy and programs. MEF Associates was founded by Mike Fishman and Mary Farrell in 2009. Our staff members are experts in a wide array of social policy areas and have performed work for federal, state, and private clients.

Current projects include work for the Administration for Children and Families, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Center for Urban Families, and the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. In all of our work, we take pride in our ability to deliver policy relevant solutions based on rigorous research and analysis.


Sam Elkin and Emily Ellis wrote a brief on the Status of State Efforts to Integrate Health and Human Services Systems and Data. It presents findings from a questionnaire administered to state health and human services officials about efforts to strengthen connections between health and human services programs through data interoperability and systems integration.

ACF’s Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation recently awarded MEF a contract to conduct the project, Understanding Poverty: Childhood and Family Experiences and TANF Office Culture. MEF, along with its partner MDRC, will conduct qualitative fieldwork in multiple sites to explore the organizational structure and processes of the social safety net and the lives of children and families who are living in poverty.

MEF Associates is working with MDRC on Variations in Implementation of Quality Interventions: Examining the Quality-Child Outcomes Relationship in Child Care and Early Education, a project recently awarded by ACF to rigorously test how different levels and features of classroom quality relate to children’s developmental outcomes.

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