Under increasing pressure to demonstrate effectiveness and do more with less, many governments are expanding their use of evidence-based programs—those shown in rigorous evaluations to be effective. Committing to such proven programs can help governments strengthen efficiency and accountability and achieve better outcomes for residents.
Legislators across the country have enacted laws that promote the use of evidence-based programs and practices. To examine this trend, the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative reviewed more than 100 state statutes passed between 2004 and 2014 and identified five different approaches to promoting data-driven program choices:
This brief examines several of these laws and looks at how state governments have used them to expand the use of evidence-based policymaking.