OMB Releases Evidence Act-Mandated Guidance on Program Evaluation Standards and Practices

As part of its ongoing work to implement the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 (Evidence Act) (see COSSA’s previous coverage), the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released guidance on evaluation standards to guide agencies in developing and implementing evaluation activities, evaluation policies, and in hiring and retaining qualified staff, as well as examples of best practices for agencies to emulate. OMB plans to release further guidance on how agencies should use evidence to more effectively deliver on their missions. The standards for evidence-building identified and elaborated on in the guidance are relevance and utility, rigor, independence and objectivity, transparency, and ethics. The guidance also identifies the following ten practices for agencies to consider as they undertake evaluation and evidence-building activities:

  1. Build and Maintain Evaluation Capacity
  2. Use Expert Consultation Effectively
  3. Establish, Implement, and Widely Disseminate an Agency Evaluation Policy
  4. Pre-Specify Evaluation Design and Methods
  5. Engage Key Stakeholders Meaningfully
  6. Plan Dissemination Strategically
  7. Take Steps to Ensure Ethical Treatment of Participants
  8. Foster and Steward Data Management for Evaluation
  9. Make Evaluation Data Available for Secondary Use
  10. Establish and Uphold Policies and Procedures to Protect Independence and Objectivity

More information can be found in OMB’s guidance.

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