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.
To assist policymakers at all levels of government in identifying evidence-based programs and making data-driven budget decisions, the project has created the Results First Clearinghouse Database. This one-stop online resource provides policymakers with an easy way to find information on the effectiveness of various interventions as rated by eight national research clearinghouses.
As state policymakers confront a fiscal and policy environment dramatically altered by the coronavirus pandemic and the economic downturn, they can help achieve more streamlined and effective budgeting by sharing information and collaborating with other officials facing similar issues.
Children in New Mexico have long underperformed compared to many other states. To improve outcomes, The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Results First initiative worked with New Mexico’s Legislative Finance Committee, the state turned to leverage evidence-based policymaking, which can help ensure taxpayer dollars go to programs shown to work.
The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Results First initiative launched the Results First Peer Learning Community in July 2020 to encourage its state partners to network and collaborate on strategies that promote and sustain evidence-based policymaking.
In 2014, the Pew-MacArthur 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.
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