Public Interest and Policy

Aspen Institute
The Aspen Institute is a global forum for leaders from various disciplines to address critical issues that affect societies, organizations, and individuals. The website proved information on seminars, which encourage participants to reflect on what good for society; young-Leader fellowship, which brings proven leaders; policy programs and public conferences and events. It also offers annual reports, a list of annoted links to global partners, publication content and summaries and research abstract.

The Brookings Institution
The Brookings Institution holds conferences and conducts and publishes independent research, analysis, and criticism related to public policy issues in the areas of economics, foreign policy, and governance, bringing new knowledge to the attention of decision makers and enhancing scholarly insight into public policy issues. Its economic studies, foreign policy studies, and governmental studies departments form the core of its program. The Web site includes a list of current scholars, publications, research projects, news, and events.

The Carter Center
Founded in 1982 by former President Jimmy Carter in partnership with Emory University, the Carter Center is committed to enhancing freedom, democracy, and human rights and to the alleviation of human suffering that results from war, disease, famine, and poverty by advancing peace and health in neighborhoods and nations worldwide. Towards this end, the center works to prevent and resolve armed and political conflicts, monitors elections, safeguards human rights, fights disease, increases food production, promotes preventive healthcare, and builds strong democracies through economic development around the globe. The Web site has detailed information about the center’s many programs, initiatives, and activities.

Center for Responsive Politics
The Center for Responsive Politics is a nonpartisan Washington, D.C.-based research group that tracks money in politics, and its effect on elections and public policy. The Web site offers a searchable database of political donors, campaign contributions, news and analysis, and donations to PACs, a lobbyists database, and “soft money” donations.

HandsNet is a membership organization of more than 5,000 public interest and human services organizations. The Web site features articles and alerts, which provide daily news updates on human services issues and legislation and the WebClipper news and delivery service, with human services headlines from hundreds of Web sites that can be tailored to your interests
Hoover Institution
Before he became 31st President of the United States, Herbert Hoover founded the Hoover Institution, a public policy research center at Stanford University devoted to the advanced study of domestic and international affairs. Recognized as one of the first “think tanks” in the United States, the institution boasts one of the world’s most complete libraries on political, economic, and social change in the 20th century. The institution’s Web site offers information on the organization’s research program, publications, and library collections.

Hudson Institute
The Hudson Institute is a policy research organization that is interest in research that promoted global freedom and security. The Web site includes a comprehensive listing of more than 800 articles, op-eds, and book reviews; a complete list of the institute’s scholars and their areas of expertise; a standalone Web site for all 10 policy centers, including subjects such as welfare, middle East, national security, European and Eurasian studies, global food issues, crime policy, and much more.

National Center for Youth Law
The National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) focuses particularly on children living in poverty, advocating for their protection from abuse, for their access to housing, healthcare, public benefits, and for improved methods of collecting child support. It also seeks to address the tendency to deal with youth behavior punitively. NCYL works towards these goals by publishing articles, manuals, books, and its bimonthly journal, Youth Law News; providing technical assistance and training; assisting legal advocates who represent poor children; and conducting administrative and legislative advocacy. The Web site includes pertinent news, an overview of the organization, online articles, analyses, publications, and links to related resources.

National Center on Poverty Law
The National Center on Poverty Law develops its advocacy agenda in accordance with the needs of the low-income communities that it serves. Through policy, advocacy, and legal resources, the organization “identifies, develops, and supports creative and collaborative approaches to help achieve social and economic justice.” The major clearinghouse on poverty law, the center’s Web site provides access to an enormous collection of publications and case studies. The site also has information about advocacy, news, and an advanced search function.

National Issues Forums
The National Issues Forums, a voluntary, nonpartisan, nationwide network of forums and study circles, is rooted in the notion that citizens need to come together to deliberate about common problems in order to act on them. The Web site has NIF Reports, a schedule of workshops where citizens come together to learn more about convening and moderating forums, and a message board.

NetAction is dedicated to promoting the use of the Internet for effective grassroots citizen action campaigns and to educating the public, policymakers, and the media about technology policy issues. The Web site provides the Virtual Activist, an online training program for Internet outreach and advocacy.

The New York Public Interest Research Group
The New York Public Interest Research Group is a research and advocacy organization primarily focused on environmental preservation, consumer protection, government reform, and public health issues. The Web site has details of the programs and campaigns which the group is currently working on in New York State and on campuses; news updates on issues of interest to the organization, and information about contacting New York State government officials.

NIRA’s World Directory of Think Tanks
The Japan-based National Institute for Research Advancement provides a no-frills Web site with basic information on specially-selected think tanks from dozens of countries and regions. It also provides an index of institutes by English name and by country. Information available for each organization can include executive personnel, organizational history, areas of research, geographic focus, availability of research findings, and funding sources. Contact information is also available, as are individual Web site links. was created in 1997 to supply activists, policymakers, and other interested parties with print and electronic resources that can assist in enacting progressive change. The Web site offers access to a database of hundreds of foundations that support progressive efforts. There is also an online bookstore that sells hard-to-find works of progressive thinkers and organizations.

Project to Strengthen Nonprofit-Government Relationships
The Project to Strengthen Nonprofit-Government Relationships is geared toward staff members, volunteers, or elected officials of nonprofit organizations or local governments. Working with practitioners and academics, the project helps nonprofit and government agencies collaborate to serve the public more effectively. The project’s Web site provides information about its activities, training exercises, publications, and access to a listserv facilitating communication among professionals in similar fields.

Project Vote Smart
Inaugurated in 1992, Project Vote Smart is a nonpartisan citizen’s organization that researches, tracks, and provides information on candidates and elected officials. The Web site offers a searchable database of voting records, campaign issue positions, polling place and absentee ballot information, ballot measure descriptions, voter registration forms for each state, information about the project’s outreach programs, and contact information for state and county election offices.

Public Agenda Online
Public Agenda Online is a nonpartisan resource for journalists and researchers interested in public opinion and public policy. The Web site features a collection of public opinion data on important issues facing the country, including abortion, campaign finance, healthcare, higher education, the economy, medical research, race, immigration, gay rights, the environment, social security, and the federal budget.

RAND (an acronym for Research and Development) researchers assist public policymakers at all levels, private sector leaders in many industries, and the public at large in efforts to strengthen the nation’s economy, maintain its security, and improve its quality of life. The Web site offers information about the organization’s research activities, areas of expertise, publications, educational opportunities, and board of trustees.

State Public Interest Research Groups
Composed of state-based, citizen-funded organizations that advocate for the public interest, the nonpartisan state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) aim to protect consumers, preserve the environment, and encourage citizen participation in the democratic process. In addition to information about state PIRGs campaigns, the Web site has complete voting records for the delegates of each state and issuses that important to the public.

UCLA Center for Civil Society
The Center for Civil Society was established by the UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research, as the focal point for the school’s programs and activities in nonprofit leadership and management, community organizations and advocacy, international nongovernmental organizations, and philanthropy. The Web site includes nonprofit sector publications; links to research reports; course offerings on public policy, social welfare, and urban planning; fellowships, internships, and faculty grants information; a listing of events; and a set of links to relevant Web sites.

USC Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy
The USC Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy works to promote effective philanthropy and strengthen the nonprofit sector through research that informs philanthropic decision making and public policy; and brings together philanthropic, nonprofit, policy, business and community leaders through a variety of activities, including a Distinguished Lecture Series, roundtable discussions, and periodic research seminars. In addition to reports and research papers, the Web site has links to academic research centers that focus on nonprofits, public policy, or the study of philanthropy.

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