Workshop 5

Investing in Results: The Promise of Evidence-Based Federal Policy to Fund What Works

The Federal government spends over $800 billion each year on vulnerable populations. Using evidence and data to invest in what works can translate into getting better results faster for millions of American families. For example, evidence-based programs such as the workforce training program Year Up, CUNY ASAP’s college support program, and Milwaukee’s teen pregnancy prevention program have increased earnings, raised graduation rates, and decreased teen pregnancy by large margins. Directing funding towards programs like these can ensure that federal dollars are being invested in what works for families across the country.

Since 2015, Congress has passed landmark bipartisan legislation that is helping identify and invest in what works in K-12 education (the Every Student Succeeds Act), foster care (the Family First Prevention Services Act), juvenile justice (the Juvenile Justice Reform Act), opioid prevention, treatment, and care (SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act) and federal agency operations (the Foundations of Evidence-Based Policymaking Act).

At the same time, the largest federal social services agencies have been increasingly using evidence of effectiveness in their budget, policy, and management decisions. In the past several years, these agencies have made particular strides in building and using evidence within their grant programs generating some promising results.

During this workshop, current and former senior White House officials, federal agency leaders, national policy experts and workshop participants will engage in an interactive conversation about ways the federal government can continue to increase the impact of federal dollars in communities by using evidence, data, and evaluation.


  • Diana Epstein, Evidence Team Lead, White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) (Bio)
  • Dana Hyde, CEO African Leadership Finance Co., Former Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, Former OMB Associate Director (Bio)
  • Robert Shea, Former Member, Commission on EvidenceBased Policy Making, Former OMB Associate Director (G.W. Bush) (Bio)
  • Moderator: Melody Barnes, Former White House Domestic Policy Council Director (Obama), Results for America Senior Fellow (Bio)


Evidence Act Briefs (Results for America)
9 Ways to Make Federal Legislation Evidence-Based: 2017 What Works Guide for Congress (Results for America)