Event Recap

Data-Driven Recovery: How States Are Using Evidence to Deliver Better Results

State/ 2021/

 2021 Invest in What Works State Standard of Excellence
Launch Event

On December 14, 2021, Results for America and the National Governors Association co-hosted a virtual event to release the 2021 Invest in What Works State Standard of Excellence, which highlights how states are using evidence and data to protect the health and safety of their residents, accelerate their economic recovery, and advance equity.

The 2021 State Standard of Excellence recognizes eight Leading States – Colorado, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington – and four Honor Roll States – Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island – for using evidence and data to deliver better results for residents. This year’s State Standard of Excellence showcases 202 examples of data-driven and evidence-based practices, policies, programs, and systems in 36 states across the country – a 20% increase from last year.

The event featured a conversation with Utah Governor Spencer Cox and Robert Shea, the former Associate Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (G.W. Bush Administration), about how Utah is leveraging data and evidence to improve results and government performance.

“Our state’s focus on maximizing the impact of taxpayer dollars has contributed to a culture of innovation and evidence-based decisions which make big impacts possible,” Governor Cox said. “We’re thrilled to be recognized as a leading state and look forward to continuing to improve the function of state government.”

Colorado Governor Jared Polis was interviewed by Cecilia Muñoz, the former Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council and the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (Obama Administration). “We are building a Colorado for All and helping save people time and money by utilizing data and relying on facts, not anecdotes,” said Governor Polis. “Our administration has a data driven approach when it comes to making our state more affordable, improving our schools, achieving 100% renewable energy, addressing inequity and ensuring Colorado remains the best place to live, work and thrive no matter who you are or where you live.”

Additionally, state leaders elaborated on key initiatives to use data and evidence to support economic recovery efforts in North Carolina; to get more equitable outcomes in Minnesota by leveraging disaggregated data; and to make evidence-based fiscal and budget decisions in Tennessee.

Other event speakers included:

  • Tim Blute, Director, NGA Center for Best Practices, National Governors Association
  • Kristin Walker, Chief Deputy Director of State Budget, Office of State Budget and Management, State of North Carolina
  • Patrick Carter, Coordinator, Minnesota Management and Budget, State of Minnesota
  • Christin Lotz, Director, Office of Evidence and Impact, Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration, State of Tennessee
  • David Medina, COO and Co-Founder, Results for America
  • Nichole Dunn, Vice President of Federal Policy, Results for America
  • Josh Inaba, Senior Manager, State and Federal Policy, Results for America

To learn more about each state’s practices, visit the 2021 State Standard of Excellence and RFA’s press release here for further details.

Watch the full event video below: