R & D Lab

Research and Development Lab 

When a multi-billion dollar drug company wants to address a pressing medical problem or when a small tech company wants to meet a consumer need, they pour their money into research and development – designing and testing new solutions. Social issues are no different and New Mexico Appleseed believes that they should be addressed with the same due diligence and rigor normally reserved for business transactions and research.  Our lab is designed to look at public and philanthropic spending on social issues and create solutions to create better outcomes and cost savings.

New Mexico’s children are in constant peril.  Rarely do families leave the cycle of poverty, food-insecurity, abuse, and housing instability. The war on poverty has largely failed because it has been an uncoordinated and haphazard approach with little focus on evidence or results. Billions of dollars are spent to help these vulnerable children, yet the needle does not move.

NM Appleseed’s Research and Development Lab is a critical first step to help children and families end the generationally perpetuated trauma and pain of being abused, hungry, in the justice system, and often homeless. The only way to properly diagnose and treat this is first to understand who the patients are. Then, and only then, can we begin to seek solutions.

Our hypothesis is that while there are separate and siloed systems to address mental health, substance abuse, homelessness, criminal justice, and child maltreatment, the children and families they serve are often one and the same. Taking the time to understand how these families interact with the systems is as important as understanding the vitals of patients in any clinical pharmaceutical trial.

Our work seeks to: (1) Document the co-occurrences within New Mexico families for child maltreatment, poverty, homelessness, parental incarceration, and mental health/substance abuse issues; (2) Complete an in-depth financial and programmatic analysis of what systems address these problems how effective those systems have been; (3) Link state individual data sets to identify families within two or more of these systems; (4) Assess the efficacy of existing programs available to families; (5) Assess the fiscal savings from coordination and increased use of results-based programs (6) Advocate for better coordination of evidence-based services and funding.