Rapid Response Impact Initiatives are our model for short-term, intensive research responses to high priority dilemmas. The process includes values orientation, problem identification, agenda development, personnel assignment and network building, goal-setting, policy development and dissemination, fundraising, communication and engagement, implementation, and implementation hand-off for urgent problems requiring rapid solutions. We focus on deploying this process specifically for problems that require a multi-disciplinary perspective and have urgent issues of ethics and human values at their core. The course of any particular project should last from 6-12 months, but no longer. We will focus on themes that connect to the Safra Center’s program area of Justice, Health, and Democracy. Our first projects focus on ongoing work of pandemic resilience, health equity, justice reform, social resilience, and democratic governance.
The Rapid Response model is unique in linking expert-driven research and local leader implementation/innovation to federal and state level policy development. The coordination of big picture, bird’s eye view academic research that often takes on the macro perspective with the view from the ground of actual implementers permits faster and better deployment of academic research into policy-making and decision-making spaces in ways that have direct and measurable impact. On the flip side, the integration of research and practice enlivens the academic community by generating research questions of great public importance. Our goal now is to develop a sustainable organizational structure to mount rapid response impact initiatives continuously. It is a powerful model that results in high-impact outcomes.