Achieving the Promise of the Evidence Act
The principle behind evidence-based policymaking is simple: government decisions should be based on rigorous evidence and data about what works. Policymakers should start each decision-making process by seeking the best evidence and data available, then use that information to adopt policies and direct funding in a way that achieves better results for the people across the country. The Foundations for Evidence-based Policymaking Act (Evidence Act) represents a major step forward in measuring and improving the impact of federal government programs.
This Evidence Act Resource Hub is designed to help federal agency leaders and others within the evidence community make the promise of this law a reality.
Background and Summaries of the Evidence Act:
The following resources summarize the Evidence Act, related July 2019 Guidance, March 2020 Guidance, and July 2021 Guidance from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and agencies’ early progress on meeting the requirements of the Act:
- Background information on the Commission on Evidence-based Policymaking and the passage of the Evidence Act
- A Section-by-Section Summary of Major Provisions of the Evidence Act
- Summary of July 2019 OMB Guidance
- Summary of March 2020 OMB Guidance
- Summary of June 2021 OMB Guidance
- The Promise of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policy Act and Proposed Next Steps
- Update on agencies’ initial progress in implementing the Evidence Act (2019)
Evidence Act Implementation Resources:
Among its first deliverables, the Evidence Act requires agencies to produce an internal capacity assessment and an agency learning agenda. The following resources are to assist agencies in completing these deliverables:
- Brief: A Roadmap for Agency Success: Recommendations for Conducting Evidence Capacity Assessments Required by the Evidence Act (produced by Results for America)
- Webinar: Evidence Capacity Assessments: Opportunities to Strengthen Agency Evidence Strategies (co-hosted by Results for America and the Urban Institute Federal Evaluation Forum)
- Brief: Assessing Evidence Capacity, A multisector overview of the importance of evaluation and data capacity assessments (produced by Project Evident)
- Blog: Making Federal Research Meet the Needs of the American People (co-authored by Melissa Patsalides, Agency Evaluation Officer, U.S. Agency for International Development and Barry Steffen, Social Science Analyst, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)
- Examples: Selected federal agency learning agendas
- Webinar: How Agencies Can Engage Stakeholders in the Learning Agenda Process (co-hosted by the Urban Institute and the Forum for Youth Investment)
- Paper: Future of Open Data: Maximizing the Impact of the OPEN Government Data Act, 2019 (Data Foundation)
- Resources: Evidence Act Toolkits (General Services Administration’s Office of Evaluation Sciences)
- Paper: Staffing to Support Evidence Culture and Capacity in the Federal Government (Urban Institute)
For additional information on evidence-based policy and the federal government, please visit Results for America’s Federal Policy Page and 2019 Invest in What Works Federal Standard of Excellence or contact [email protected].