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We help clients refine their research and decision-making goals and then create plans to help meet them.

Our partnerships often start like this: An organization comes to us with a question they want answered or a program or policy decision they need to make. The first thing we do is help them clarify their goals, the audiences they're trying to inform or influence, and their budget and timing constraints. Then, drawing on our decades of expertise and experience, we design a plan for them. While that plan may include conducting data collection and analysis for them, we often help them build their research, analytic, and data science capabilities through consulting, training, or other services. And we support them through the full arc of their projects, advising them on how to disseminate their findings to have the greatest effect.   

We also act as strategy consultants. For instance, we partnered with the Parkinson's Foundation on a strategic plan that will guide all its program offerings and investments over five years and make its outreach more responsive to the needs of Americans with Parkinson's disease. In this case, we leveraged our previous research with the foundation to identify unmet needs and groups that weren't being reached. By collecting and analyzing research data, we've helped other foundations quantify the impact of their grants so they can be more effective donors. We've even drafted organization charts and budgets for clients to staff up new initiatives. 

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Get to Know Our Experts

Explore the community of NORC staff working in strategy and planning. 

Highlighted Projects

Access to Justice Design & Testing Program

A new data collection effort measuring and reporting access to justice for civil legal needs


Bureau of Justice Statistics

Adapting and Implementing a Toolkit to Identify Pneumonia in Patients

Adapting and implementing patient safety practices in ambulatory care


Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Our Areas of Expertise

Needs Assessment & Strategic Planning

Over eight years, NORC supported the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in an expansive review of how information about health care quality is shared with the public and how it could be made more useful and accessible. Our research, which included focus groups, in-depth interviews, and usability testing, aligned and improved all eight of CMS's Compare websites. We also supported the development of the Health Insurance Marketplace Quality Rating System.

Consulting & Capacity Building

In one-on-one workshops that spanned two years, our health care specialists advised administrators of 18 state Medicaid programs plus the District of Columbia on reimbursement plans based on the value of services provided. We and our project partners drew from previous experience as well as new stakeholder research to provide states with practical lessons. Our data and insights empowered states to implement value-based payment plans for many more treatments, lowering costs.

Market Analysis & Environmental Scanning

To help guide efforts promoting health equity and population health in the United States, NORC conducted two rounds of the American Health Values Survey, a study funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as part of its Culture of Health initiative. The work involved the development of six typology groups based on their heath values and beliefs. Survey results were then broken down into the groups, providing insights into their views on the importance of health in personal life, health as a government and societal priority, health care disparities, health equity, and health-related civic engagement.

Convening & Coordinating

For the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NORC created a toolkit and complementary training to improve identification and attribution of disaster-related deaths. The toolkit was put together by a workgroup of experts in medicolegal death investigation, such as coroners, law enforcement agents, and epidemiologists, and brought together stakeholders from the public health and forensic science communities, two overlapping but often separate fields of study.

Data Use & Governance Consulting

NORC’s Data Governance Board (DGB) designs, implements, and enforces all policies around data exchange agreements and business associate agreements. The DGB safeguards data transmission and storage, ensuring that all appropriate data security and protection requirements are clearly defined. Since its formal inception in 2014, the DGB has conducted more than 200 reviews of data sharing agreements for our projects.