Results for America helps state leaders accelerate their use of evidence and data when making budget, policy, and management decisions. Our mission is to make investing in what works the “new normal,” so that when policymakers at the state level make decisions, they start by seeking the best evidence and data available, then use what they find to get better results.

We do this by developing an annual Invest in What Works State Standard of Excellence; supporting policymakers through policy implementation; and mobilizing champions committed to investing in what works.

State Grant Programs that Define and Prioritize Evidence of Effectiveness
State governments can produce better and more equitable results for residents by increasing the proportion of public resources directed toward programs with evidence of effectiveness. Many state agencies use grants and contracts to provide resources to local partners who deliver services.

Starting in April 2022, Results for America is recognizing state grant programs in select issue areas that clearly define evidence of effectiveness when they invite applications from potential grantees and prioritize such evidence when selecting the organizations that will deliver services on their behalf.

Any state agency, department, or program can nominate a program for potential inclusion using this form. Results for America reviews nominations and updates the honor roll on a rolling basis.

Nominations that have been selected for inclusion in the Honor Roll are publicly available here, along with submission guidance.

Invest in What Works State Standard of Excellence

In October 2022, Results for America released the fifth Invest in What Works State Standard of Excellence which serves as a “north star” for how state governments can consistently and effectively use data and evidence in budget, policy, and management decisions to achieve better outcomes for their residents. In the 2022 Invest in What Works State Standard of Excellence, Results for America identified:

  • 263 leading and promising data-driven and evidence-based practices, policies, programs, and systems in effect in 41 states across the country.
  • Eight Leading States: Colorado, Connecticut, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington.
  • Nine Honorable Mention States: Arizona, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Texas.

The purpose of the 2022 Invest in What Works State Standard of Excellence is to inform policymakers and the public about state governments’ use of data, evidence, and evaluation to invest taxpayer dollars in what works. By identifying specific efforts currently underway in state governments, Results for America hopes to facilitate the broader adoption of evidence-based policymaking in state governments across the country.

Additionally, Results for America’s Blueprint for Delivering Results in State Government is a resource for state government leaders with the information they need to incorporate evidence and data into their state’s most critical budget, policy, and management decisions.

Results for America has a State Advisory Committee to help inform the State Standard of Excellence and the Blueprint and highlight the importance of evidence-based policy in state governments.

State Policy Development and Implementation
K-12 Education Policy 
Results for America’s State Education Fellows program, founded in December 2017, is helping 24 state education agency officials from 12 leading states implement the new evidence provisions in ESSA to improve education outcomes for all their students. The fellowship is the first to bring together senior program and evaluation leaders from state education agencies into a single network focused on accelerating the generation and use of evidence.

Workforce Development Policy
Results for America’s Evidence in Workforce Lab, launched in September 2019, features a State and Local Workforce Fellowship to help 30 data-driven state and local government leaders from seven leading states prioritize evidence and data to increasingly shift taxpayer dollars toward results-driven, evidence-based workforce solutions. The fellowship is the first to bring together senior workforce leaders from state and local workforce agencies into a single network focused on accelerating the generation and use of evidence.