Methods Centers

Policy Analysis

The Policy Analysis Methods Center develops training courses and guidance documents and provides consultations with in-house experts to ensure that Abt Associates policy analysts always use best practices to implement the most current and rigorous approaches to policy analysis. Our center also arranges talks and seminars at Abt offices by the most innovative policy analysis methodologists from both within and outside of Abt.

Our focus is on:

  • Estimating the likely impacts of policy changes, including climate, environmental, agricultural, and development policies;
  • Building economic and integrated assessment models that combine cost, risk, and benefits data to facilitate the calculation and analysis of the benefits and costs associated with alternative policies;
  • Econometric analysis, including understanding behavioral constraints to technology adoption;
  • Incorporating uncertainty analysis to better understand the range of potential policy impacts;
  • Developing new methods for quantifying ecological and human health risks and building computer models to calculate risk efficiently and cost-effectively, and;
  • Developing program sustainability analysis tools to assist governments and donors to develop strong but realistic policy and implementation plans.
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Center Directors

Matt LaPentaMatthew LaPenta is an economist with 10 years of experience managing and conducting economic analyses for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. His technical expertise includes survey implementation, applied econometrics, statistical and uncertainty analyses, cost-benefit analysis, economic impact analyses, and health economics.

LaPenta has a bachelor’s in Economics from Bates College and a master’s in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 
 
Tuluka NarayanTulika A. Narayan, a senior associate in Abt’s International Economic Growth (IEG) division, conducts economic analysis to support agricultural development, low-emissions development and sustainable development. She also provides technical support to monitoring and evaluation activities for IEG. Narayan previously conducted economic analysis to support environmental policy in Abt’s Environment and Resources division.
 
Narayan has a bachelor’s and master’s in Economics from the University of Delhi (India) and a master’s and doctorate in Agriculture and Resource Economics from the University of Maryland.