For the past decade, The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Results First initiative has helped state and local leaders throughout the country better understand and use evidence to inform their budgeting and policymaking processes. Results First has developed innovative tools and resources that have assisted these stakeholders when incorporating research and evidence into their decision-making.
These resources have become integral to the way that many states make budgeting decisions, as lawmakers and staff draw on these tools to advance their evidence-based policymaking efforts. Given that level of interest and support, these resources can and should continue to play an important role in shaping and furthering states’ work in this area.
To ensure that these resources live on long after Results First exits the field and to support growing demand for evidence in states’ decision-making, the project is transitioning some of its key assets to prominent national organizations.
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), in collaboration with the Council of State Governments and the Policy Lab at Brown University, will oversee the Peer Learning Community, a formal network of state government leaders who have worked closely with Results First staff and are committed to a shared goal of advancing and sustaining the use of data in budget and policy decisions across branches of government.
Pennsylvania State University’s (PSU) Evidence-to-Impact Collaborative will manage several of the project’s technical assets:
- Results First Clearinghouse Database: an online resource that brings together information on the effectiveness of social policy programs from nine national clearinghouses.
- Cost-benefit model: a customizable tool that enables state and local governments to estimate the expected return on investment for evidence-based programs they fund or are considering funding in a variety of social policy areas.
- Evidence-Based Policymaking Resource Center: a collection of the project’s research, including state-specific case studies, which helps policymakers and staff explore new ideas, identify promising practices, and inform their own approaches to ensuring effective government.
Results First staff is working closely with each organization and providing instructional materials, intensive training, and ongoing technical assistance to help successfully transfer each asset. As the transition is completed, Pew will update its website to reflect that Pew’s work on these assets has ended and will point users to the NCSL and/or PSU for more information and future updates.
Although Results First is transferring responsibility for these key resources to national organizations, the project will continue to work closely with individual partner states to help advance and sustain their evidence-based policymaking efforts and will collaborate with PSU and the NCSL on longer-term strategies to continue and promote the use of evidence among states.
As an early leader in the state-focused, evidence-based policymaking field, Results First recognizes that it is time for states to take the lead as the project makes room for other organizations to advance the work in innovative ways. Results First is committed to ensuring that its state partners and other organizations are in the best position possible to continue to incorporate evidence into the decision-making process for many years to come.
Sara Dube directs The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Results First initiative.