July 9, 2020Event Recap

What Works Bootcamp: Helping Governors Use Data and Evidence to Respond to COVID-19

State/ 2020/

On July 8, 2020, Results for America and the National Governors Association hosted a virtual What Works Bootcamp for senior gubernatorial staff from 12 states. At the fourth Bootcamp, state leaders discussed how their governments were leveraging data and evidence to drive their COVID-19 responses and using evidence to inform their budget decisions. The conversations built on past discussions at the March 2020 and October 2019 Bootcamps, which focused on applying an equity and ethics lens to the sharing, integration, and use of data. 

Timothy Blute, Director of the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, provided opening remarks about the importance of data in state governments’ COVID-19 responses, noting “data has also been the key ingredient for how states manage their pandemic response and how they communicate about it with the public.” Simone Brody, Executive Director of What Works Cities from Results for America highlighted the partnership between state and local governments in responding to COVID-19 and the need to place equity at the center of recovery efforts. 

David Williams, Policy Outreach Director at Opportunity Insights briefed participants about the Economic Tracker, a novel data aggregation tool that illustrates the economic impact of the pandemic. He discussed varying consumer spending patterns across neighborhoods, the impact of the small business closures, and the educational effects of the pandemic. 

Bootcamp participants also attended breakout sessions focused on how state governments are using data, evidence, and evaluation in their COVID-19 responses and in addressing their budget deficits. Moderated by experts in the areas of evidence-based policymaking and budgeting, these sessions encouraged peer-sharing of best practices and innovative solutions to common challenges. 

At the Bootcamp, Results for America launched a new resource for states, the Blueprint for Delivering Results in State Governments. The Blueprint is a practical guide for state governments to improve results by doing what works. It was developed by Results for America in collaboration with staff in governors offices from a dozen states across the country as part of previous Bootcamp sessions. As such, the Blueprint reflects the collective experience of many of the country’s most effective state government leaders.

The July 2020 What Works Bootcamp participants included:

  • California: Mike Wilkening, Special Advisor on Innovation and Digital Services, Governor’s Office, State of California
  • Colorado: Leila Al-Hamoodah, Economist and Budget Analyst, Office of State Planning and Budgeting, Governor’s Office, State of Colorado; Ben Henderson, Director of Operations and Cabinet Affairs, Office of State Planning and Budgeting, Governor’s Office, State of Colorado; Mark Santon, Operations Advisor, Governor’s Office, State of Colorado; Edmond Toy, Senior Economist and Budget Analyst, Office of State Planning and Budgeting, Governor’s Office, State of Colorado
  • Connecticut: Mohit Agrawal, Deputy Policy Director, Governor’s Office, State of Connecticut
  • Massachusetts: Mark Attia, Assistant Secretary for Finance and Performance Management, Executive Office for Administration and Finance, State of Massachusetts; Jihae Lee, Government Innovation Fellow at the HKS Government Performance Lab, Executive Office for Administration and Finance, State of Massachusetts
  • Maryland: Allison Cordell, Director, Office of Performance Improvement, Governor’s Office, State of Maryland
  • Minnesota: Pete Bernardy, Chief Data and Evaluation Officer, Minnesota Management and Budget, State of Minnesota
  • North Carolina: Jenni Owen, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Governor’s Office, State of North Carolina; Kristin Walker, Deputy Director of State Budget, Office of State Budget and Management, State of North Carolina
  • Ohio: Frank Kohstall, Chief Data Advocate, InnovateOhio, State of Ohio
  • Rhode Island: Danielle Cerny, Chief Performance Officer, Governor’s Office, State of Rhode Island
  • Tennessee: Adam Jarvis, Deputy Director, Customer Focused Government, State of Tennessee; Christin Lotz, Director of Evidence & Impact, Department of Administration, State of Tennessee; Noelle Suarez-Murias, Evidence Coordinator, Office of Evidence & Impact, Department of Administration, State of Tennessee
  • Utah: Rachel Stone, Chief Data Officer, Office of Management and Budget, Governor’s Office, State of Utah
  • Washington: Christine Bezanson, Director, Results Washington, State of Washington

Guest participants included:

  • Tim Blute, Director, NGA Center for Best Practices, National Governors Association
  • Sara Dube, Project Director, The Results First Initiative, The Pew Charitable Trusts 
  • Andy Feldman, Director, Strategy, Grant Thornton Public Sector LLP
  • David Padrino, Former Chief Performance Officer, State of Colorado
  • Kathryn Vesey White, Director of Budget Process Studies, National Association of State Budget Officers
  • David Williams, Policy Outreach Director, Opportunity Insights