Rekha Balu directs the Center for Applied Behavioral Science at MDRC, a nonprofit social policy research firm that conducts large-scale causal evaluations. As a Senior Research Associate, she has led numerous randomized field trials of behaviorally informed interventions in education, parenting, and child welfare. Her research focuses on supporting low-income youth and families to enroll and participate in school and social programs. She has designed interventions that help families develop ongoing routines and help governments or social programs simplify their programs. She also has designed and tested multiple technology-driven interventions including mobile phone applications, web-based decision-making tools, and text-message and email-based information campaigns.


Academic Affiliate

Years active

2019, 2020, 2021, 2022

Agency collaborators

Social Security Administration, Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Affairs