Event Recap

The Future of Evidence-based Policymaking: 2020 Invest in What Works Federal Standards of Excellence Launch Event

Federal/ 2020/

On December 3, 2020, Results for America and the National Academy of Public Administration co-hosted the virtual event of the ninth edition of the Invest in What Works Federal Standard of Excellence (Federal Standard of Excellence). 

In the 2020 Federal Standard of Excellence, Results for America highlighted how nine federal agencies are building the infrastructure necessary to use evidence and data in their budget, policy, and management decisions as well as the significant progress these agencies have made to implement the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act. Read more in our press release here

The event was kicked off with opening remarks by Michele Jolin, Results for America CEO and Co-Founder. She discussed Results for America’s mission to help governments at every level harness the power of evidence and data to improve results: “We believe this is more important than ever as governments address the public health, economic and racial justices challenges that are facing our country right now.” Former White House Domestic Policy Council Director and Results for America Senior Fellow Melody Barnes spoke of the potential for the new Administration and Congress to find common ground through the increased use of evidence: “Evidence-based policymaking can be a potent tool, putting tested solutions on the table. We can bridge divides using evidence, facts and data.”

The event featured Ben Harris, Results for America’s Chief Economist, who served as a top economic adviser to the Biden Campaign, in conversation with Terry Gerton, President and CEO of the National Academy of Public Administration, about the future of evidence-based policymaking under a new Biden administration. Harris discussed the role of evidence-based policymaking in addressing COVID-19 and forging an effective economic recovery package: “The way out is going to be led by data and evidence.”

The event also highlighted the efforts of career civil servants at the nine agencies through a panel discussion about the progress they have made in implementing the Evidence Act and how they can accelerate that progress in 2021 and beyond. Agency leaders noted how each agency benefited directly by implementing evidence-based provisions. Lauren Dame of DOL noted “it’s important to build enthusiasm” when it comes to evidence-based policymaking moving forward. 

The panel discussion featured: 

  • Naomi Goldstein, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Susan Jenkins, Director, Office of Performance and Evaluation, Center for Policy and Evaluation, Administration for Community Living
  • Mary Hyde, Director, Research and Evaluation, AmeriCorps 
  • Winston Allen, Agency Evaluation Officer, Bureau of Policy, Planning, and Learning, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Jessica Ramakis, Director, Grants Policy Office, U.S. Department of Education
  • Casey Dunning, Director, Results & Learning, Department of Policy and Evaluation, Millennium Challenge Corporation
  • Jennifer Turnham, Director, Policy Development Division, Office of Policy Development and Research, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development
  • Lauren Damme, Deputy Director, Chief Evaluation Office, U.S. Department of Labor

Other Speakers included:

  • Melody Barnes, Former Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council (Obama Administration); Senior Fellow, Results for America
  • Ben Harris, Chief Economist and Senior Adviser, Results for America
  • Terry Gerton, President and CEO, National Academy of Public Administration
  • Michele Jolin, CEO and Co-Founder, Results for America
  • David Medina, COO and Co-Founder, Results for America
  • Jed Herrmann, Vice President of State and Federal Policy Implementation, Results for America
  • Josh Inaba, Senior Manager, State and Federal Policy, Results for America