Guest Blog: 13 States Get on Board for Cutting-Edge Cost-Benefit Analysis

Publication: CBKB

Author: Gary VanLandingham

04/17/2012 - Gary VanLandingham is director of Results First, an initiative of the Pew Center on the States and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, with additional support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Gary was CBKB’s first guest to take part in our “Four Questions” series and writes again as Results First reaches its one-year mark. He will be one of the presenters of our upcoming webinar, “Making Sense of the Bottom Line: A Guide to Reading Cost-Benefit Reports,” on Tuesday, April 24, at 2 p.m. Eastern Time.

In an era of persistent budget deficits, at least a dozen states are moving to adapt and implement a cutting-edge tool for policy research and analysis, beginning with criminal justice policy and eventually expanding to other areas.

States are under increasing pressure to ensure that scarce resources are invested in programs that yield the best results. In addition, many policy makers are looking for information that would allow them to target cuts more strategically, rather than making across-the-board reductions that treat effective and ineffective programs alike.


To meet this need, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Vermont, with assistance from Pew’s Results First initiative, are adapting a proven research and analysis model developed and implemented over 15 years by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP).

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