Achieving Success With the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative

A State Progress Report 2011-13

Achieving Success With the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative


Fourteen states and four California counties have partnered with the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative, a joint project of The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, to apply a customized, innovative cost-benefit approach to policy and budget choices.1

These jurisdictions are still in the early stages of implementing the Results First cost-benefit analysis model and using it to inform their decisions.

In 2013, six states—Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York and Vermont—completed implementation of the Results First analytic model, which typically takes one year, and provided results to legislators and key stakeholders through testimony, presentations, and written reports.

At least two others—Illinois and Santa Barbara County, CA—anticipate completion in time to support their 2014 policy processes. The remaining jurisdictions will complete implementation later in 2014 and plan to use the results to inform their 2015 legislative sessions.

The six states that have deployed their Results First models have already seen important policymaking successes, including:

  • Shifting, cutting, or allocating a total of $38 million in funding, with anticipated returns of as much as $38 for every $1 invested over the next seven to 10 years.
  • Using the model to analyze proposed criminal justice policies.
  • Passing legislation that incorporates the Results First approach into state policy and budget processes as a matter of law.

This brief highlights individual successes and identifies opportunities for states and counties to expand efforts to improve outcomes across a range of policy areas, including adult criminal and juvenile justice, child welfare, education, mental health, and substance abuse.


1The 14 states and four California counties are Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Fresno County, Kern County, Santa Barbara County, and Santa Cruz County.

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