We help people and government

build better lives

What We Do

We work at the intersection of human-centered design and public policy. We partner with government to design great public services with low-income and at-risk communities.


We conduct in-person research in workplaces, homes, and communities so that we understand people’s problems first-hand.


We prototype and test improved policies and services with community members, policymakers, and front-line staff.


We help run and evaluate low-cost pilots so that new services and policies can be scaled up with confidence.

Work We've Done

Our partnerships with federal and municipal agencies, as well as with philanthropies and universities, result in improved policies and services for millions of Americans.

Veteran Mental Health

School Choice
Jail & Opiate Use
Affordable Housing
Digital Services

High-Need Student Services

  • “The partnership with PPL… has transformed our ability to identify and respond to New Yorkers’ needs for information about housing opportunities…”

    —Chief of Staff, NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation & Development

  • “The jail director said to me that this is the first time anyone was looking for a win for the officer and a win for the inmate in a project. That is what [the Public Policy Lab] does.”

    —Policymaker, Louisville Metro Government

  • “PPL helped create clear principles for our city leaders to build user-friendly digital services. For example, an agency planned to release an app, but because the Digital Playbook advocated for 'meeting users where they are,' the agency opted to create a website instead, because users said they'd be unlikely to download an extra app.”

    —Deputy Director, NYC Mayor’s Office of Digital Strategy

  • “The new Medicare Summary Notice gives seniors and people with disabilities accurate information on the services they receive in a simpler, clearer way… It’s an important tool for staying informed on benefits, and for spotting potential Medicare fraud by making the claims history easier to review.”

    —Administrator, US HHS Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services


We think that all Americans should have the opportunity to pursue a healthy life, a good education, rewarding work, and a secure retirement — and we believe that, at their best, effective public services are powerful tools to help people improve their individual well-being and prosperity. If you work in government and you’re looking to deliver even better services for the people, we’d love to to partner with you.