Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, state government leaders have faced immense challenges, from managing a rapidly evolving public health crisis to investing in an equitable economic recovery. In 2021, the Invest in What Works State Standard of Excellence captures state governments’ use of data and evidence to build the capacity to make better decisions.
The Invest in What Works State Standard of Excellence (State Standard of Excellence) sets a national standard – a “north star” – for how state governments can consistently and effectively use evidence and data in budget, policy, and management decisions to achieve better, more equitable outcomes for their residents.
In 2021, Results for America identified eight states that are leading the way with their use of data-driven and evidence-based practices, policies, programs, and systems. These Leading States include: Colorado, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington.
In 2021, Results for America recognized four Honor Roll states: Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, all of which have demonstrated an increasing commitment to evidence-based policymaking.
In the 2021 State Standard of Excellence, Results for America identified 202 examples of data-driven and evidence-based practices, policies, programs, and systems in effect as of August 2021 in 36 states across the country. This represents a 20% increase from the 169 examples in 2020.