There are all kinds of think tanks that do research and publish all kinds of reports on public policy. Some are affiliated with universities or foundations; others with advocacy groups, strident and not. Many are very ideological and political. Others strive to be independent and non-partisan. Below are links to some of the best known that would deal with issues like government public assistance programs. I've labeled them as to their place on the political spectrum. Keep in mind, these are just a few of the better known and most often quoted.