Skip to content Skip to navigation

Special Projects

Friday, April 20, 2018

In collaboration with the US Partnership on Mobility from Poverty and the Urban Institute, SPARQ has assembled social psychological scales that measure not only people's economic success, but also their sense of power and feeling valued in their community.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Stanford SPARQ: Social Psychological Answers to Real-world Questions and Illumen Capital are conducting original research to address the lack of gender and racial diversity in the financial services industry.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Infographic displaying the belief of trusting wisdom and doubting innovation
Many economic development programs fall short because they don’t adequately account for cultural differences. SPARQ Graduate Affiliate Catherine Thomas is trying to improve economic development efforts by leveraging cultural psychology. Here are some cultural psychological insights for economic development...
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Strategies for Change

In "Strategies for Change," we present the methods and findings of five research initiatives that examined race relations between the Oakland Police Department and the Oakland Community. We also present 50 evidence-based actions that agencies can take to change department cultures and strengthen police-community ties...

Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Data for Change
In this technical report, we present SPARQ's independent, detailed, and rigorous assessment of 13 months of the Oakland Police Department's stop data. Our analyses reveal that OPD officers disproportionately stop, search, handcuff, and arrest African Americans, relative to other racial groups. At the same time, we found little evidence that disparate treatment arose from explicit racism or purposeful discrimination. Instead, our research suggests...
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Principled Policing Report
The relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve must be grounded in trust in order to ensure safety and protection for all. Recent events in California and across the nation have strained this relationship. As part of Attorney General Kamala D. Harris’ ongoing commitment to identify strategies to strengthen trust between law enforcement and communities, the Department of Justice offered California law enforcement executives a course...
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Two men pointing at a sheet of music in front of drums

In an exciting new education project, SPARQ is partnering with Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) to examine the effects of rigorous orchestral training on children’s development. A program of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, YOLA gives some 700 children, ages 6 to 18, free instruments, intensive music training, and academic support.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015
SPARQ executive director alana conner interviews a man in west africa

For several years, the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Economic Development (SEED) has operated its Transformation Program in West Africa. SPARQ is working with SEED to research and develop ways to increase the impact of this program and amplify the successes of its participants.

Monday, December 15, 2014
Fruits and Veggies
The United States ranks #1 in the world in per capita health care spending, but ranks in the bottom half of wealthy nations in life expectancy, infant mortality, cardiovascular disease mortality, obesity, and diabetes. Low-income and ethnic minority Americans bear a disproportionate amount of this disease burden. With a generous grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, SPARQ is exploring an under-examined source of health disparities...
Monday, November 10, 2014
oakland police badge

In the wake of Ferguson and other high-profile cases, police departments all over the nation are struggling to improve their relationships with the communities they serve. Applying basic social psychological theory, SPARQ is partnering with the Oakland Police Department to research, develop, and implement better policing techniques.