On May 5, 2020, Johns Hopkins University, REI Systems, and Results for America co-hosted a virtual Government Analytics Breakfast Forum entitled “How Data & Evidence Can Improve Results Achieved by Government.” The conversation focused on how evidence and data are being used by federal agencies and Congress in COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.
Jennifer Bachner, Director of Government Analytics Program at Johns Hopkins provided opening remarks. The morning’s keynote speaker Sean Cairncross, CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, explained the agency’s use of data and evaluation to drive its investments in reducing poverty around the world. While the COVID-19 pandemic has not changed MCC’s culture of measuring impact through evaluations to improve outcomes, Cairncross said “in many ways, it reinforces it.”
Following the keynote, Trey Bradley, Program Manager Strategic Data Initiatives at the General Services Administration; John Righter, Deputy Director of Democratic Staff at the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee; Todd M. Richardson, General Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Office of Policy Development and Research at U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Thomas Kelly, Acting Vice President at the Department of Policy & Evaluation at the Millennium Challenge Corporation, spoke on a panel moderated by Jed Herrmann, Vice President for State and Federal Policy Implementation at Results for America.
The panel discussed the importance and value of using data and evidence in the federal government’s responses to the on-going COVID-19 public health and economic crisis. For example, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is using real-time data to track whether renters will be able to make their monthly payments and is also building evidence about efforts around the country to assist the homeless. The General Services Administration is helping implement the Evidence Act, the Federal Data Strategy, and the new Chief Data Officer Council while helping federal agencies build the data infrastructure they need during crises.
Jeff Myers, Senior Director at REI Systems, provided closing remarks.
A recording of the livestream event can be viewed here.