Good public policy is built on evidence and information, both of which are often lacking in state-level governance. And with partisanship constraining activity at the federal level, states like Massachusetts need tailored analysis if they are going to take the lead on policy innovation.

To fill this gap, we've established a Center for State Policy Analysis (cSPA, pronounced sea-spa) at Tufts University's Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life.

The Center for State Policy Analysis pursues detailed analysis of live legislative issues and ballot questions in Massachusetts in order to:

  1. Give lawmakers the information they need to improve their legislation
  2. Help citizens understand — and productively debate — the stakes of new laws and ballot initiatives
  3. Allow advocates to gauge the trade-offs in proposed regulations

Bridging the divide between lawmakers and universities, cSPA aims to provide academic-quality information on a policy-relevant timeline.

On most projects, we partner with a primary academic expert, who undertakes the main analysis and submits a complete research memo. In parallel, we reach out to other subject-matter experts to ensure the fullest understanding of the issues at play. The full array of information is synthesized in a white paper that is then vetted by the lead researcher, several peer reviewers, and the advisory council.


The Center for State Policy Analysis is supported by Tisch College along with a diverse group of funding sources. To protect the non-partisan nature of our work, cSPA aims to draw support from funders across the political spectrum. For information about our current funders, please reach out to us directly.