Welcome to The Institute.

Founded in 2005 as the J. McDonald Williams Institute, the mission of
The Institute for Urban Policy Research is to provide research and evaluation,
education and outreach, and guidance and consulting to inform, motivate,
and inspire community-focused organizations that improve
the quality of life in the communities they serve.

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Research & Evaluation

Research activities provide the fact base and knowledge content for education and outreach activities, while providing the framework and suite of tools to guide and inform client decisions. The Institute's research is action-oriented and results-driven.

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Education & Outreach

Through our education and outreach activities, we work to expand the Institute's reach and develop the capabilities of our constituents, while reinforcing our position as the premier source for guidance and research on outcomes and measurement.

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Guidance & Consulting

Consulting and project guidance provide real-time coaching during program implementation, and often leverage our research and education capabilities. These engagements draw from our multi-disciplinary expertise to provide a variety of customized services.

Certificate in Program Development and Design

The Institute offers a series of noncredit certificate programs designed for professionals that want to make informed, strategic decisions that lead to programmatic success. Our most popular course is the Certificate in Program Development and Design.

In this three-day course, our expert instructors lead participants through the Deliberate Design process. They demystify theory of change, logic models, accountability and resource planning and coach participants on how to integrate these elements into daily practice. The course has benefited numerous agencies, from young to old and small to large.

Who We're Working With


The Institute is a member of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership, which works to create national information systems on neighborhood conditions. The Institute collaborates with other NNIP partners to democratize data in order to improve the conditions and policies of neighborhoods in Dallas and around the country.


Children's Medical Center, Dallas' oldest and most recognized children's hospital, engaged the Institute to provide research, facilitation, and interpretation for its annual Beyond ABC report on the quality of life for area children. We assisted in the design and development of Beyond ABC's first ever five-county report covering Collin, Denton, Cooke, Fannin, and Grayson counties. The Institute's research services for Children's now include regular updates to more than 50 indicators of childhood well-being for six North Texas counties, including Dallas County.


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As their research partner, the Institute provides evaluation of progress toward the community-wide goals in the areas of education, income, and health. We also work closely with the Community Impact staff to provide enhancements to the grant making process through facilitation and program design services that help the United Way realize their goals. We provide data assistance from a local perspective to the Dallas County Home Visiting Project, funded through Texas HHSC in partnership with the UCLA Center for Healthier Children. We have assisted the United Way in the establishment of a regional workforce partnership through policy briefs and survey design and implementation.