Dashboard Spotlights How Leaders Are Using Evidence, Data, and Public Engagement to Increase the Impact of their American Rescue Plan Funds
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Results for America and Mathematica released new state data in the ARP Data and Evidence Dashboard highlighting how all 50 states are investing their American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds — including assessing how they are using evidence and data, tracking outcomes, engaging with the public, and ensuring an equitable recovery for their residents.
The new state data – based on an analysis of each state’s Recovery Plan Performance Report – builds on the data from 150 local governments that was released in December. The dashboard now includes data from 67 cities, 82 counties, 50 states and two Tribal Nations. The dashboard tracks not only these governments’ top funding priorities, but also how they are implementing five key data, evidence, and outcomes provisions, articulated in guidance from the U.S. Treasury Department, to maximize the impact of their ARP investments.
The American Rescue Plan provides $350 billion in State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to states, territories, cities, counties, and tribal governments to make critical investments in people and infrastructure. States and Washington, D.C. will receive $195.3 billion in two tranches, with the second arriving beginning May 2022.
“This new data spotlights how state leaders are seizing this historic opportunity to invest these funds in a way that could leave a lasting impact,” said Michele Jolin, CEO and Co-Founder of Results for America. “State policymakers are learning from each other, piloting innovative new approaches, and tracking the outcomes of these investments for their residents.”
“The data confirm that states and Tribal Nations have big plans to meet the immediate needs of their constituents during the pandemic, and beyond,” said Candace Miller, a principal researcher at Mathematica. “The majority are intentionally allocating resources to achieve equitable outcomes across underserved populations while engaging their constituents in how resources are utilized, and some even have exemplary plans for investing in evidence-based programs and building data capacity to measure progress and ensure money is well spent.”
The ARP Dashboard shows early trends in how state governments are committing their resources:
- COVID Response: 68% are investing or plan to invest in addressing the negative economic impacts of COVID.
- Public Health: 58% are investing or plan to invest in public health, including combating COVID-19 through vaccine outreach and distribution
- Economic Recovery: 48% are investing or plan to invest in expanding services to disproportionately impacted communities.
- Revenue Replacement: 40% are investing or plan to invest to replace lost revenues.
- Housing: 40% are investing or plan to invest in stable housing, housing services, or new housing development.
- Infrastructure: 58% are investing or plan to invest in infrastructure, such as broadband, sewer, and water infrastructure.
- Workforce: 46% are investing or plan to invest in workforce programs to help workers and the local economy recover.
- Innovation: 46% are investing or plan to invest in piloting new programs.
- Education: 36% are investing or plan to invest in education and youth development.
- Criminal Justice: 18% are investing or plan to invest in justice, crime reduction and public safety.
- Other Investments: 4% are investing or plan to invest in guaranteed basic income, 6% are investing or plan to invest in emergency rental assistance, and 10% are investing or plan to invest in premium pay for essential workers.
Evidence, Data, Public Engagement and Equity
The dashboard assesses the strength of each jurisdiction’s Performance Report based on its adherence to five key data, evidence, and outcomes provisions in the U.S Treasury Department’s guidance for how governments should invest these dollars to advance economic recovery, economic mobility, and racial equity: 1.) building and using data and evidence to help deliver services; 2.) prioritizing evidence-based interventions; 3.) assessing investments through rigorous evaluations; 4.) engaging the community and incorporating feedback to help determine funding priorities; and 5.) promoting equitable outcomes across underserved or marginalized groups. Reports were reviewed and provided a composite score based on those metrics. The data showed that:
- Equitable outcomes: 72% of states are investing or plan to invest in ways that will ensure equitable outcomes for all residents.
- Public Engagement: 68% of states are investing or plan to invest in engaging all residents to help shape their spending plans.
- Evidence-Based Interventions: 36% of states are investing or plan to invest in evidence-based interventions.
- Evaluation: 44% of states are investing or plan to invest in evaluation for those programs without a strong evidence base.
- Building Data and Evidence: 26% states are investing or plan to invest in building data and evidence capacity.
Innovative Approaches from States
With the next tranche of ARP funding coming to state, local, and tribal governments in the spring, the data in the Performance Reports can help policymakers better plan their next ARP investments by learning from innovative practices in communities across the country. Here are just a few:
- Build Data and Evidence Capacity: Colorado
To support effective spending and build internal capacity, Colorado has invested in and operationalized an evidence-based policy (EBP) framework, an evidence continuum, that helps policymakers prioritize resources when revenues decline. To support the integration of the framework into the fiscal year 2021-22 budget, the governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting conducted training sessions with leaders across state agencies on how to bring data and evidence into budget processes.
- Leverage Evidence-based Interventions: Connecticut
Connecticut is creating a universal home visiting program that will send registered nurses from the community to the homes of newborns within the first three weeks after birth to conduct health and wellness checks for both the infant and mother. The registered nurses will inform mothers of the core functions of infant and maternal health and of the community resources available to meet their identified needs. The nurse will also document physical assessments, community referrals, and general visitation outcomes, sharing the appropriate information with the family’s health-care providers. The program will first be piloted in cities and then implemented throughout the state.
- Invest in Evaluation: Tennessee
As part of its ARP recovery plan, Tennessee has allocated $2 million to its Office of Evidence and Impact within the Department of Finance and Administration. The funding will accelerate a program inventory across executive branch agencies, allowing the state to gather better performance metrics, understand which programs are working, and re-evaluate funding for those that are not.
- Public Engagement: Georgia
Georgia’s Office of Planning and Budgeting has pursued a multi-pronged stakeholder engagement strategy to raise awareness of ARP funding opportunities. It held outreach sessions with city- and county-level groups in communities across the state. Media outreach and direct outreach to local governments also helped spark raise awareness of the ARP grant application process and plans for ARP funds.
- Ensure Equitable Outcomes: Minnesota
Minnesota offers an example of how to leverage ARP funds in pursuit of equity. Programs run by the state’s Department of Education, including a summer preschool program, specifically target historically underserved communities and children unable to attend a quality early childhood program due to COVID-19.
**Note: The information in the dashboard will be updated as more information on local, state and tribal ARP investments is released publicly. To learn more about the dashboard, contact us.