Event Recap

2021 Invest in What Works Federal Standard of Excellence Launch Event How Federal Agencies Are Using Evidence and Data to Drive an Equitable Recovery

Federal/ 2021/

On November 4, 2021, Results for America hosted a virtual event to release the 2021 Invest in What Works Federal Standard of Excellence, which highlights the progress that nine leading federal agencies have made in implementing the Evidence Act and using evidence and data to improve the impact of federal investments.

At the event, Acting White Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young praised federal agencies for putting evidence and data at the center of their efforts to help drive an equitable recovery. “We have to have one set of facts—and that’s what data and evidence and science bring us,” Young said in a conversation with former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. “We need to bring that to the construct of government.”

House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) shared how the Appropriations Committee had helped support federal agencies’ work by including funding increases for evidence-based programs and language provisions ranging from evaluation set-asides to evidence-based criteria for competitive and non-competitive grants. “We must continue to support our nation’s federal government officials and civil servants and celebrate their hard work and dedication to promoting evidence-based policymaking across our government,” DeLauro said.

In opening remarks, Results for America COO and Co-Founder David Medina commended the Biden-Harris Administration for “accelerating the evidence-driven efforts of federal agencies through executive actions, Evidence Act guidance, and American Rescue Plan Act guidance to help state and local governments maximize the impact of their recovery funds.”

Federal agency speakers at the event included:

  • Sonali Nijhawan, Director of AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps
  • Winston Allen, Agency Evaluation Officer, Bureau of Policy, Planning, and Learning, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Naomi Goldstein, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Lauren Damme, Deputy Director, Chief Evaluation Office, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Meaghan McHugh, Director, Office of Evaluation, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, SAMHSA
  • Matt Soldner, Commissioner, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance & Agency Evaluation Officer, U.S. Department of Education
  • Caryn Bruyere, Statistician, Administration for Community Living
  • Alicia Phillips Mandaville, Vice President for the Department of Policy and Evaluation, Millennium Challenge Corporation

To learn more about each agency’s achievements, visit the 2021 Federal Standard of Excellence website. You can watch today’s remarks by Director Young and Congresswoman DeLauro here and here, and read more highlights about federal agencies’ progress in the agency snapshots here and RFA’s press release here.

Watch the full event video below: