Chairwoman Abraham, co-chair Haskins, members of the Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission, thank you for the opportunity to provide testimony today on behalf of Results for America.
My name is David Medina, and perhaps like many of you, I am one of the data points we’ve all been discussing here today. I grew up in a tight-knit, low-income Mexican-American family on the south side of Chicago. Throughout my life, my family and I have benefitted from opportunity-expanding federal programs including earned income tax credits, Head Start, Pell grants, Perkins loans, and unemployment benefits. My personal and professional experiences have shown me first-hand that investing taxpayer dollars in effective and efficient programs can help improve outcomes and opportunity for families and communities like mine in Chicago.
That’s why four and a half years ago I co-founded Results for America, a bipartisan nonprofit organization working with decision-makers at all levels of government to accelerate their use of evidence and data. Our mission is to make investing in what works the “new normal,” so that when policymakers make decisions, they start by seeking the best evidence and data available, then use what they find to get better results.
At Results for America, we believe that government at all levels can and should help improve outcomes for young people, their families, and communities by implementing the following Moneyball for Government principles which we developed in 2012 to explain as simply as possible how we think data and evidence should be used in the evidence-based policy-making process:
- Build evidence about the practices, policies and programs that will achieve the most effective and efficient results so that policymakers can make better decisions;
- Invest limited taxpayer dollars in practices, policies and programs that use data, evidence and evaluation to demonstrate they work; and
- Direct funds away from practices, policies, and programs that consistently fail to achieve measurable outcomes.