Please enter more characters or use the filters to search the database.
The Pew Results First Initiative created the Results First Clearinghouse Database to provide users with an easy way to access and understand the evidence base for programs in social policy areas such as behavioral health, criminal justice, education, and public health. More specifically, it allows users to see if there have been rigorous evaluations of a program and, if so, to review information on the program's effectiveness.
The database compiles and displays key information from nine national clearinghouses, including the rating they assigned to each program and the program's description, outcomes, setting, and target population (where available). It also contains a link back to the program's original source page on the clearinghouse website so that users can obtain additional details.
Clearinghouses develop this information by reviewing and summarizing rigorous evaluations of programs within their focus area. Then, they assign a rating to each program using their own methodology and terminology (such as top tier, effective, positive, and model).
The database applies color-coding to the clearinghouses' distinct rating systems, creating a common language that allows users to quickly see where each program falls on a spectrum from negative impact to positive impact. This coding consists of five rating colors that correspond to different levels of impact as shown below.
It is important to note that while the clearinghouses' ratings within each rating color are based on similar criteria, the color does not indicate that their methodologies are identical. In addition, there is an "insufficient evidence" classification included in the database that has no corresponding rating color. This indicates that a program's current research base does not have adequate methodological rigor to determine impact.
A Microsoft Excel version of the database is also available for download.
There are currently 2400 programs in the database. The graphs below show how these programs are broken out by clearinghouse and by Results First rating color.
The Results First Clearinghouse Database contains information from nine national clearinghouses that conduct systematic research reviews to identify what works. While each uses slightly different procedures, criteria, and terminology, all use the same overall approach. First, they review and summarize rigorous evaluations of different programs. Such studies must use research designs that involve valid and reliable comparison groups, such as randomized control trials and quasi-experimental designs. Next, the clearinghouses rate the programs based on this information. In general, the ratings reflect the program's level of effectiveness, as well as the quality and quantity of the evidence.
The clearinghouses included in the database are:
The Results First Clearinghouse Database applies color-coding to the clearinghouses' rating systems, creating a common language that allows users to quickly see where each program falls on a spectrum from negative impact to positive impact. This coding consists of five rating colors: green (highest rated), yellow (second-highest rated), blue (mixed effects), gray (no effects), and red (negative effects).
The database assigns each of the clearinghouse's programs only one rating color:
- When a clearinghouse provides an overall rating for a program, the color reflects this rating. For example, if Blueprints rated a program as "promising," the database would designate the program as yellow (second-highest rated). Blueprints, CEBC, CrimeSolutions.gov (programs), EBCCP, Social Programs that Work, and What Works for Health provide one overall rating to each program.
- When a clearinghouse provides multiple ratings based on a program's individual outcomes, the color reflects the highest-rated one. For example, if WWC rated one outcome as "positive" and another as "no effects," the database would designate the program as green (highest rated). CrimeSolutions.gov (practices), NREPP, TPP Evidence Review, and WWC provide ratings to individual outcomes.
In addition, there is an "insufficient evidence" classification included in the database that has no corresponding rating color. This indicates that a program's current research base does not have adequate methodological rigor to determine impact. This classification is applied when a clearinghouse has determined there is not sufficient evidence to rate the program's effectiveness. For example, CEBC refers to these programs as "NR=not able to be rated on the CEBC scientific rating scale." However, this classification is also applied to clearinghouse ratings that Results First has determined do not meet the same rigorous standards as the other ratings in the database. For example, EBCCP's ratings of 2.9 and below and What Works for Health's "expert opinion" fall into this category.
The table below shows the clearinghouses' ratings and the corresponding Results First rating color or insufficient evidence classification. It is important to note that while the clearinghouses' ratings within each rating color are based on similar criteria, the rating color does not indicate that their methodologies are identical.
* "No effects" includes interventions found to have either no or harmful effects.
† In November 2015, NREPP began to review programs under new guidelines. The new ratings are shown in the first row. The legacy ratings, which correspond to the quality of research scores, are shown in the second row.
‡ "Ineffective" includes interventions found to have either no or potentially harmful effects.
§ The ratings are based on the Research Integrity score.
|| Note that one of the four possible criteria to be rated as "Some evidence" or "Mixed evidence" is for the program to have three studies with unmatched comparisons or pre-post measures. Such research designs do not incorporate valid or reliable comparison groups.
For more details on Results First categories, settings, and the rating systems used by each clearinghouse, please see the Technical Appendix.
Download technical appendix