The Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement (IPCE) at the University of Illinois at Chicago focuses on transforming democracy by creating a more fully engaged citizenry with more effective leaders. As a catalyst for learning and action, the Institute creates opportunities for scholars, concerned citizens, students, and government officials to actively participate in social discourse, research, and educational programs on policy issues and social trends.

IPCE’s Theory of Change explains how the Institute contributes to more informed and engaged communities. The theory is an effort to connect our assumptions, inputs, activities, outcomes, and impacts. We regularly check in with our Theory of Change by comparing our program outcomes with the hypothesized outcomes of the theory. In this way the work of the Institute constitutes ‘research in action,’ an iterative process through which our programs are informed by research and the research is informed by our programs.

The Institute is committed to the following core values:

  • Public discussions and educational programming that rest upon on a foundation of sound basic and applied research.
  • Educational and training programming that is based on lessons and best practices drawn from research and practice.
  • Institute research that is driven by questions raised in the public and educational programs hosted by the Institute, resulting in research outcomes that directly address the policy issues of current importance and relevance.

(Taken from