Event Recap

What Works Bootcamp: Leveraging Data for Equitable COVID-19 Recovery

State/ 2021/

On April 21, 2021, Results for America and the National Governors Association co-hosted a virtual What Works Bootcamp for senior 20 gubernatorial staff from 12 states. At the sixth Bootcamp, state government leaders discussed their state’s efforts to leverage data, evidence, and equity in their COVID-19 vaccine distribution and economic recovery efforts. The conversations built on past discussions at the July 2020March 2020, and October 2020 Bootcamps, which focused on applying an equity lens to the use of data for state budgeting and COVID-19 metrics. 

In particular, the first half of the session focused on how states can use evidence-informed strategies on COVID-19 vaccine distribution for hard to reach and vaccine hesitant populations, as well as tracking COVID-19 metrics. Participants also discussed how their states would leverage American Rescue Plan state stabilization funds for evidence-based and data-driven interventions and capacity building in support of an equitable economic recovery.

Ryan Martin, Deputy Director of the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, provided opening remarks about the timeliness of this conversation considering the passage and implementation of the American Rescue Plan, noting “Data and evidence must play a key role in both identifying needs and making sure investments really do improve outcomes.”

Jed Herrmann, Vice President of State and Federal Policy Implementation at Results for America, highlighted the context for evidence-based policymaking and the moral imperative for equity and opportunity, indicating that “Data and evidence are tools to help achieve broader ends to improve outcomes.”

Brittney Roy, Public Health Program Director at the National Governors Association, and Hemi Tewarson, Visiting Senior Policy Fellow at the Margolis Center for Health Policy at Duke University,  provided framing remarks on an equitable COVID-19 vaccine distribution and discussed the importance of “Collecting and reporting race and ethnicity data to inform allocation and distribution decisions” as described in a March 2021 report: Prioritizing Equity in COVID-19  Vaccinations: Promising Practices from States to Reduce Racial Ethnic Disparities.

Bootcamp participants also attended breakout sessions. One session focused on evidence informed vaccine distribution for hard to reach populations. It was moderated by Lindsay Moore from the Behavioral Insights Team. She discussed evidence-informed vaccine messaging strategies described in this resource: Increasing COVID-19 vaccination uptake: Effective messages + best practices from behavioral science. A second breakout session focused on COVID-19 metrics and was moderated by Khalid Yasin and Daniel Bristow of Delivery Associates. These sessions encouraged peer-sharing of best practices and innovative solutions to common challenges that state governments are experiencing.

After a brief break, the Bootcamp reconvened with Andrea Taverna from the U.S. Department of Treasury and Kate Tromble to discuss the American Rescue Plan and its significance to state governments. Following this discussion Pete Bernady and Ross Tilchin discussed leveraging evidence-based interventions for an equitable COVID-19 economic recovery, highlighting Results for America’s Economic Mobility Catalog.

The April 2021 What Works Bootcamp participants included:

  • California: Joy Bonaguro, Chief Data Officer, California Government Operations Agency
  • Colorado: Aaron Ray, Deputy Director for Education, Workforce, and Environment, Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting; Heather Velasquez, Deputy Director of Operations and Cabinet Affairs, Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting
  • Connecticut: Mohit Argawal, Deputy Policy Director, Governor’s Office; Scott Gaul, Chief Data Officer
  • Maryland: Allison Cordell, Director, Governor’s Office of Performance Improvement; Nruti Desai, Senior Analyst, Governor’s Office of Performance Improvement; Justin Jung, Analyst, Governor’s Office of Performance Improvement
  • Minnesota: Pete Bernardy, Chief Data and Evaluation Office, Minnesota Management and Budget
  • North Carolina: Jessica Englert, Policy Director, Office of the Governor; Joy Vermillion Heinsohn, Philanthropy Liaison, Office of Strategic Partnerships, Office of State Budget and Management; Kristin Walker, Deputy Director of State Budget, Office of State Budget and Management
  • Ohio: Christina Frass, Assistant Director, Office of Budget and Management; Charlotte Kirschner, Fiscal Research Supervisor, Office of Management and Budget
  • Rhode Island: Joseph Codega, Deputy Budget Officer, Office of Management and Budget
  • Tennessee: Adam Jarvis, Deputy Director, Customer Focused Government; Christin Lotz, Director of Evidence & Impact, Department of Administration
  • Utah: Rachel Stone, Chief Data Officer, Office of Planning and Budget, Governor’s Office
  • Washington: Christine Bezanson, Director, Results Washington; Stephanie Lee, Director, Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Speakers included:

  • Pete Bernardy, Chief Data and Evaluation Officer, Minnesota Management and Budget
  • Daniel Bristrow, Associate Director, Delivery Associates 
  • Ryan Martin, Deputy Director, NGA Center for Best Practices, National Governors Association
  • Lindsay Moore, Principal Advisor, Head of State and Federal Government, The Behavioral Insights Team North America
  • Brittney Roy, Program Director, Public Health, NGA Center for Best Practices, National Governors Association 
  • Andrea Taverna, Policy Co-Lead, State and Local Fiscal Recovery, Office of Recovery Programs, U.S. Department of Treasury
  • Hemi Tewarson, Visiting Senior Policy Fellow, Margolis Center for Health Policy, Duke University
  • Khalid Yasin, Project Leader, Delivery Associates
  • Jed Herrmann, Vice President, State and Federal Policy Implementation, Results for America
  • Josh Inaba, Senior Manager, State and Federal Policy, Results for America
  • Ross Tilchin, Associate Director of Economic Mobility, Results for America
  • Kate Tromble, Vice President for Federal Policy, Results for America