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Projects and Clients

The Idaho Policy Institute works to build stronger communities. Our clients include organizations from the public, nonprofit and private sectors. Research generally falls into one of the following categories:

  • Demographic ResearchGroup of men and women in business attire chatting casually.
  • Economic Forecasts and Impact Studies
  • Policy Analysis
  • Program Evaluation
  • Technical Assistance
  • Survey Research

Project Review

American Kestrel Partnership Survey

Postdoctoral Associate Matthew May and Director Greg Hill worked with Masters of Public Administration students to develop a survey gathering data from over 1200 partners involved with the American Kestrel Partnership. The goal of the survey was to help the American Kestrel Partnership gain a better understanding of their network in order to improve education and outreach programs.

Boise State School of Public Service By the Numbers

What is the state of Idaho’s economy? How fast are we growing? Where is the legislature allocating our resources? All of these questions and many more are presented in the By the Numbers (pdf) report, which is a collection of data that can be used to get a holistic picture of Idaho. This annual report involves the efforts of all IPI researchers and staff.

Boise State School of Public Service Food Security at Boise State Review

Postdoctoral Associate Matthew May and Director Greg Hill assisted Masters of Public Administration students in the construction and analysis of a survey of Boise State University UF (University Foundations) 200 students on issues related to food and housing security. The survey was part of the Service-Learning component of the Master’s of Public Administration introductory course. The results were presented to stakeholders both on and off campus and the project was a featured article in the SPS News.

Bonner’s Ferry Visitor Center

In this Master’s of Public Administration Capstone project, Assistant Director Vanessa Fry oversaw the development of a set of recommendations to address the underutilized visitors center in Bonner’s Ferry, Idaho. Research included an assessment of the state of Bonner’s Ferry and the visitors center, an examination of peer locations with bricks and mortar visitor centers and development of a comparative analysis.

Bullitt Foundation Water Use and Management in Boise River Basin

This project, led by Assistant Director Vanessa Fry, assessed the use of science in decision-making in regards to water use and management in the Boise River Basin. Interviews, a survey of managers, and an extensive literature review were used to determine how decisions are informed and whom decision makers consider when making water management decisions. Research Associate Craig Jones provided support to this project.

City of Boise – Housing First

The City of Boise developed a Housing First partnership to address issues related to chronic homelessness. The partnership consists of hospitals, city agencies and nonprofits. The Idaho Policy Institute, in an effort led by Assistant Director Vanessa Fry, is providing technical assistance to recommend goals and outcomes of the program and to develop an evaluation framework for Housing First. The first project, Housing First at New Path Community Housing, is breaking ground September 2017.

City of Boise – Pre Kindergarten

In fall of 2015 a free pre-kindergarten program was launched at two Boise School District elementary schools. Project partners are tracking the outcomes of the program and IPI Assistant Director Vanessa Fry is leading IPI in serving as an independent third party to evaluate their data and provide a report on the findings. Watch the Channel 6 report or Listen to the Boise State Public Radio report.

City of Jerome Comprehensive Review of Comparable Cities

The City of Jerome was interested in how to stimulate its economy. The City commissioned a comparative analysis of cities and towns in Idaho with similar background, economy, and challenges. The intent of the analysis is to provide direction on what other cities were doing to deal with these challenges. Director Greg Hill and then-Graduate Assistant Michael Wallner produced a report that provided alternatives from these communities.

City of Post Falls Budget Analysis

The City of Post Falls has experienced a steady rate in population growth for nearly three decades. In order to best serve its budding community, Post Falls is working with IPI and Assistant Research Professor Cheong Kim to establish a way to budget for growth in its workforce. This will be accomplished through a review of per capita public employee benchmarks for cities of similar size as well as examination of needs and priorities specific to Post Falls.

City of Sandpoint Business Improvement District

The City of Sandpoint was interested in knowing how the property owners in the downtown business core felt about the historical Business Improvement District (BID). With the help of Associate Professor Amanda Ashley and Assistant Professor Monica Hubbard, the Master’s of Public Administration Capstone class conducted a survey of property owners and produced a report for the City to help them decide how to proceed with the BID.

Eagle Fire Commission Consolidation Exploration

Eagle Fire Department is exploring the pros and cons of contracting services with the City of Boise. This study, led by Postdoctoral Associate Matthew May, examines institutional, comparative and financial data for feasibility, gathers stakeholder data through interviews and focus groups, performs a cost-benefit analysis and presents a formal report on the findings.

Garden City – Manufactured Housing Developments in Ada County

In 2007 Boise State University conducted an analysis of mobile homes in Boise. In today’s post-recession economy Ada County is once again experiencing redevelopment of mobile home parks, with Garden City and the City of Boise seeing the highest proposed redevelopments. Under the guidance of Assistant Director Vanessa Fry, Master’s of Public Administration Capstone students examined the current affairs of mobile home parks in Ada County and developed a set of considerations for jurisdictions most impacted.

Idaho 2020 Transportation Infrastructure and Economic Development

What is the state of transportation in the State of Idaho? Idaho Policy Institute Director Greg Hill did a comprehensive review of Idaho’s transportation system and funding mechanisms and assessed the current infrastructure and funding needs. The final report, produced with assistance from Graduate Research Assistant Lantz McGinnis-Brown, also included a comparative review of Idaho’s peer states.

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Lead Risk Index

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is keenly interested in determining the exposure of children to lead poisoning, specifically, which zip codes in Ada, Canyon, Kootenai, Shoshone and Twin Falls counties pose a greater risk of children contracting lead poisoning? Postdoctoral Associate Matthew May calculated lead poisoning index scores based on seven variables. The data were then spatially mapped to produce a graphical representation of lead risk to children under the age of five.

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Medical Survey

Technical assistance was provided by Postdoctoral Associate Matthew May to Idaho Health and Welfare employees on the construction of a survey instrument to measure medical providers’ experience with a specific form of testing.

Idaho Department of Labor Research Design Assistance for Workforce Engagement

IPI was asked to help the Department of Labor construct a survey on workforce engagement. Director Greg Hill and Postdoctoral Associate Matthew May provided technical assistance in the construction and distribution of the survey.

Idaho Drug Courts and Recidivism

Masters of Public Administration students worked with Assistant Director Vanessa Fry to examine how drug courts impact the rates of recidivism in counties throughout Idaho.

Idaho Youth Ranch Attitudinal Survey

The Idaho Youth Ranch (IYR), an Idaho 501(c)(3), offers emergency shelter, residential care, job readiness training, alternative education, adoption services and family counseling for at-risk kids and their families. The organization also operates a network of 29 thrift stores that supply funding to support IYR’s operations. IYR is seeking to better understand how both the general public and individuals affiliated with IYR perceive the organization. Assistant Director Vanessa Fry is conducting a statewide survey that will identify the general public’s awareness of IYR and another that will involve the perceptions of volunteers, employees, donors and other affiliates.

Idaho National Laboratory Contractor Survey

Idaho National Laboratory was interested in knowing the business needs of its contractors. The Idaho Policy Institute surveyed the contractors addressing topics such as employment, business and research partnerships, and supplier relations. School of Public Service Dean Corey Cook oversaw this project and Graduate Research Assistant Lantz McGinnis-Brown contributed support.

Idaho National Laboratory Economic Development Grant

IPI Director Greg Hill partnered with Boise State’s Economic Development Director Cece Gassner for this Idaho National Laboratory Economic Development Grant. The INL grant addressed the City of Arco’s economic development needs through leadership training, website development to promote tourism and a downtown beautification project.

Idaho State Public Defense Commission Workload/Case Study

What is the appropriate maximum caseload for a public defense attorney in Idaho? To address this question, the state Public Defense Commission wanted to make certain Idaho-specific data regarding the current work of public defense attorneys was available. Under the guidance of Assistant Director Vanessa Fry, IPI conducted a state-wide three month time tracking study and implemented a time sufficiency survey to explore the current workload of public defense attorneys in Idaho. The studies were followed by an expert panel of those working in criminal defense to develop a consensus opinion on the time it takes to handle a variety of case types.

University of Chicago Chapin Hall Voices of Youth Count

Boise State’s School of Public Service was the research lead for Ada County in this national study of youth experiencing homelessness. Chapin Hall of the University of Chicago led the project and randomly selected 22 counties for their research. Ada County was one of the participants and the county conducted a point in time count of youth experiencing homelessness, surveyed the youth, conducted focus groups and surveyed service providers assisting youth experiencing homelessness. The City of Boise also contributed to the collaboration. Final results are expected in September 2017.

Zoo Boise Conservation Impact on Capital Campaign Donors

Zoo Boise recently completed a capital campaign raising nearly $9 million for zoo expansion and improvements as well as conservation efforts in Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park. Idaho Policy Institute’s Assistant Director Vanessa Fry worked with the Zoo to survey donors in regards to their primary motivators for giving, specifically their attitudes towards conservation.