Evidence-Based Policymaking Resource Center

A collection of resources and promising state and county examples

Evidence-Based Policymaking Resource Center

In 2014, the Results First initiative developed a framework for state and county leaders interested in evidence-based policymaking. This framework consists of five key components to help governments use rigorous evidence and data to guide policy and funding decisions.

This resource center contains resources that Results First has produced on each component, including briefs exploring their key elements, fact sheets highlighting best practices to approaching each one, and analyses of states and counties implementing them in their jurisdictions. State and local government leaders can use this resource center to explore new ideas, identify promising practices, and inform their own strategies for creating a more effective government. Below, please find links to these resources.

The five key components of evidence-based policymaking:

Program assessment
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Program Assessment

Review public programs to understand their evidence base.

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Program Assessment

In 2014, the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative identified five key components to evidence-based policymaking: program assessment, budget development, implementation oversight, outcome monitoring, and targeted evaluation

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Budget Development

Use evidence of program effectiveness in budget processes to make more informed investment choices.

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Budget Development

States and counties can use data to inform their budgets, what Results First calls evidence-based budget development. Included on this page are links to briefs, fact sheets, and other resources. Along with explanatory documents, this section also includes stories about how select states and counties approach this type of budget development.

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Implementation Oversight

Support effective implementation to ensure the benefits of evidence-based programs are achieved.

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Implementation Oversight

Jurisdictions can achieve the benefits of evidence-based programs by building capacity to support effective implementation, what Results First calls evidence-based implementation oversight. Included below are links to briefs, fact sheets, and other resources. Along with explanatory documents, this section highlights how select states and counties approach this type of oversight.

Outcome Monitoring
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Outcome Monitoring

Measure and report outcome data to determine whether programs or priorities are achieving desired results.

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Outcome Monitoring

In 2014, the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative identified five key components of evidence-based policymaking: program assessment, budget development, implementation oversight, outcome monitoring, and targeted evaluation.

Targeted Evaluation
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Targeted Evaluation

Support impact evaluations of select public programs to learn what works.

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Targeted Evaluation

In 2014, the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative identified five key components of evidence-based policymaking: program assessment, budget development, implementation oversight, outcome monitoring, and targeted evaluation. Taking into consideration and implementing one or more of these components can help states and counties use the Results First evidence-based policymaking framework in ways that yield meaningful changes for their communities.

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How States Engage in Evidence-Based Policymaking

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Evidence-based policymaking is the systematic use of findings from program evaluations and outcome analyses (“evidence”) to guide government policy and funding decisions. By focusing limited resources on public services and programs that have been shown to produce positive results, governments can expand their investments in more cost-effective options, consider reducing funding for ineffective programs, and improve the outcomes of services funded by taxpayer dollars.