Reinvestment Fund conducted analysis of Philadelphia Municipal Court records for debt collection cases that were filed in Small Claims court between January 2016 and April 2020. In total, 90,809 case records were obtained for analysis. The study estimated the racial and ethnic composition of defendants, enabling an examination of differences in filing patterns, case amounts, and outcomes by these characteristics. The efforts also included interviews with defendants, which shed light on events preceding debt cases, the court experience, and impacts beyond the case. The study was commissioned by Community Legal Services.
As Managing Director for Policy Solutions, Emily Dowdall guides a team of analysts conducting quantitative, spatial, and qualitative research in support of more equitable communities in Philadelphia and across the country. Ms. Dowdall also oversees business operations for the department and leads cross-departmental collaboration efforts for Policy Solutions. Her research expertise includes affordable housing needs, neighborhood stabilization, fair housing, early child education access, and program evaluation.
Jacob Rosch conducts quantitative and qualitative research at Reinvestment Fund. He leads projects to help philanthropic, government, and private investors design strategies to support the expansion of high-quality child care, build healthy and thriving communities, and improve the lives of residents and families in disadvantaged communities.
Michelle Schmitt uses quantitative and qualitative analysis to help clients assess their impact, evaluate their programming, and clarify their policy goals for Reinvestment Fund. She is currently working on a national study supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services to understand the different ways museums and libraries contribute to the quality of life in their local communities, in addition to working on an analysis of minority homeownership in Pennsylvania, and a Market Value Analysis of St. Louis, Missouri.
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