The META Lab provides a range of services.
Evaluation is an important component of assessing a policy or program’s success or lack thereof. META Lab researchers use traditional and innovative methods of program and policy evaluation to support the needs of its clients and partners and provide actionable policy and programmatic recommendations.
META Lab researchers and evaluators use a variety of methods of statistical analyses to effectively evaluate programs and policies.
Social Network Analysis
Social network analysis is an analytic field that 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 any programs in order to evaluate the programs themselves or the system in which they are interacting or are embedded.
Geospatial analysis is a growing field that applies visualization and statistical analysis to data that are inherently geographical. META Lab researchers use geospatial analysis and GIS techniques to test hypotheses and evaluate programs and policies in their geographic context.
Qualitative Research Techniques
META Lab researchers employ a variety of qualitative research tools, such as qualitative data analysis and text mining, to gain deeper insights and to build context around the programs and policies we research. The META Lab also fosters innovative ways to conduct qualitative research through the use and promotion of open source qualitative research software in the Monterey community.
Institute students and scholars are encouraged to visit the META Lab for support in conducting their class projects, professional development, and technical training. The office is open to anyone in the Institute community for assistance with analysis, project design, and mixed-methods evaluation. The META Lab also provides support for a variety of software including R (and relevant packages), Excel, ArcGIS, GEPHI, UCINET, Pajek, Dedoose, 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 Fieldwork Initiative
Select candidates from the Institute student body have the opportunity to apply their classroom training through this program. Field analysts represent the META Lab by contributing to active projects with its partners. In the process, they are supported by the META Lab director and staff, receiving additional instruction and professional development throughout the duration of the program. Field analysts complete the program with tangible and practical deliverables to clients.