About Us

The SPHERE (Social Policy and Health Economics Research and Evaluation) Institute is a not-for-profit policy firm established by scholars from Stanford University in 1996.  In conjunction with its affiliated for-profit firm, Acumen, LLC, SPHERE conducts public policy research evaluating health and social service programs supported by public and private funds. 

At SPHERE, our team is committed to the improvement of public policy through information management. SPHERE has worked with several federal and state agencies to develop resources to build their internal databases and self-evaluation capacity.  SPHERE has substantial competence to deliver databases that permit administrators to monitor their operations and report outcomes to benefactors.  To supplement internal sources of information, our team has created and utilized all forms of administrative and survey data to produce outcomes relevant for both service providers and funding organizations.


SPHERE employs a staff of senior researchers with advanced degrees in economics, medicine, health services research, public policy, and demography/statistics, plus technical analysts with extensive experience in the development of information systems, computer programming, data analysis, and the preparation and production of reports.  In addition, SPHERE employees have extensive institutional knowledge of California’s health, human services, and education programs and policies, as well as experience conveying information and research findings to broad audiences of policy makers, program operators, and other stakeholders.

Many of our researchers also have associations with Stanford University, the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy ResearchStanford School of Medicine's Department of Medicine and Department of Health Research and Policy, the John W. Gardner Center, the Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research, the National Bureau of Economics, and the Public Policy Institute of California.