Research & Evaluation

The Public Policy Forum strives to produce plentiful, relevant and high-quality public policy research that helps generate informed and fact-based public policy decision-making. Full reports and research briefs cover a range of topics, including economic and workforce development, education, local government finance, and social services. Visit our Research page to search for publications by issue, title, date or keyword.


The Public Policy Forum’s objectivity and expertise make it well suited to facilitate collaboration among different government entities. We bring government leaders together to forge consensus and create an environment that is conducive to problem-solving.

Past efforts have included working with Milwaukee County mayors and village presidents to create a “Shared Services and Consolidation Work Group” to discuss possibilities for service sharing and formal studies commissioned by groups of municipalities on shared or consolidated fire services, dispatch services and public works.

Strategic Planning

The Forum believes that effective and accountable governmental entities must establish clear objectives that are tied to measurable indicators and that emanate from a long-term strategic plan. Forum staff has the expertise to guide local governments through the difficult process of establishing objectives and determining how best to measure them.

Recent strategic planning efforts include working with the Greendale and Whitnall School Districts, the Milwaukee County Community Justice Council, and the Waukesha Criminal Justice Collaborating Council.


Disseminating our research and sharing policy insights with government and civic entities is a top priority of the Forum. We welcome opportunities to present the results of our research to governmental bodies, civic groups and others, and we typically conduct more than 30 presentations annually. Members, civic groups, elected officials and advocacy groups can request Forum staff members to speak on our research or related policy issues by filling out a Presentation Request Form or calling 414-276-8240.


The Public Policy Forum emphasizes open, fact-based public dialogue in a variety of ways, including:

  • Hosting Viewpoint luncheon policy discussions and other events featuring knowledgeable speakers and/or panelists;
  • Annually recognizing innovative and effective government at a Salute to Local Government awards event;
  • Maintaining Wisconsin’s only nonpartisan policy blog, “Milwaukee Talkie;”
  • Moderating candidate debates and policy discussions hosted by other organizations.