The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative, a project of The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, works with states and counties to help them advance evidence-based policies and programs that make the most of limited resources and yield better outcomes for their residents.

Using Evidence to Deliver Results

States and counties spend billions of dollars on critical services and programs to help protect and improve public health, support reentry for formerly incarcerated individuals, and protect children from abuse and neglect, yet many state and county leaders lack comprehensive information about the impact of those expenditures. Results First aims to fill that information gap.

Since 2010, the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative has helped 27 states and 10 counties use evidence and customizable tools such as cost-benefit analysis to inform their policy and budget processes and direct funding to effective programs that can provide a return on taxpayer investments.

How We Conduct Our Work

Results First provides assistance and a suite of tools to help state and county leaders interested in using evidence to improve their programs and policies. Those include:

  • The Results First Clearinghouse Database, an online resource that brings together information on social policy programs from nine national clearinghouses.
  • The Resource Center, a one-stop shop of the project’s research on evidence-based policymaking, including state-specific case studies.
  • Customized trainings and technical assistance.

We support state and county leaders who face tough budget and policy choices by helping them identify programs that are proven to yield the greatest benefits, building a climate for decision-making that is based on research and evidence. Our approach and tools allow states to better understand and assess existing efforts, prioritize investments in proven interventions, eliminate ineffective programs, and shift scarce resources to policies and programs that can generate better outcomes for their citizens.

Results First in Your State

To learn more about our work in your state or county, including our network of high-performing states, please visit Where We Work