The following is a scope of the services that META Lab provides.
Evaluation is an important component of realizing a policy or program’s success, or lack thereof. META Lab researchers use traditional and innovative methods of program and policy evaluation to benefit its clients and partners with actionable policy and programmatic recommendations.
META Lab researchers and evaluators use traditional methods of statistical analysis to effectively evaluate programs and policies.
With “Big Data” becoming increasingly popular, data scientists concurrently strive to create innovative ways to manage such large, complex data sets. The META Lab takes sincere interest in contributing to, and benefiting from, these state-of-the-art approaches to data management.
Social Network Analysis (SNA)
Social network analysis is a technique examines social relationships in the context of Network Theory and Graph Theory. META Lab researchers use social network analysis to better understand relational data relevant to social and philanthropic programs in order to evaluate such programs and larger public policies.
Geospatial analysis is a growing field which applies statistical analysis to data which are inherently geographical. META Lab researchers use geospatial analysis and GIS techniques to test hypothesis and evaluate programs and policies in their geographic context.
Qualitative Research Techniques
META Lab researchers use traditional methods of qualitative research to gain insights and to build context while working to evaluation programs and policies. Also, the META Lab fosters innovative ways to conducting qualitative research through the use and promotion of open source qualitative research software in the Monterey community.
Institute Students who need support regarding their class projects, professional development and technical training are encouraged to come to the META Lab. The office is open to anyone in the Institute community for assistance with data analysis, project design, and mixed-methods evaluation. Additionally, the META Lab provides support for a variety of software including: R (and relevant packages), Excel, ArcGIS, GEPHI, UCINET, Pajek, Google Software (Fusion, Refine, etc) and Neo4j.
The META Lab is currently producing media tools (PowerPoints, Screencasts, podcasts, video tutorials, etc.) to further assist the Institute community in developing their understanding of qualitative and quantitative research methods.
META Lab Field-Work Initiative
Through this program, select candidates of the Institute student body have the opportunity to apply their classroom training. Field analysts represent the META Lab by contributing to active projects with its partners. Concurrently, they are supported by the META Lab directors, fellows and staff, receiving additional instruction and professional development throughout the duration of the program. Field analysts complete the program with tangible and practical deliverables.