White House Releases Learning Agenda

In September, the White House released the final President’s Management Agenda (PMA) Learning Agenda, which identifies questions in need of answering in order to achieve an “equitable, effective, and accountable [federal] government that delivers results for all Americans.” As previously reported, the 2018 Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (“Evidence Act”) called on the Federal Government to make decisions using the best available evidence. In 2021, the Biden Administration issued guidance (memorandum M-21-27) affirming the Administration’s commitment to the goals of the Evidence Act and expanding on previously released guidance related to Learning Agendas and Annual Evaluation Plans. The PMA Learning Agenda released last month details learning gap that exist across the federal government and “[encourages] research within, beyond, and in partnership with Government” to address them.

The PMA Learning Agenda identifies three learning areas of focus:

  1. How can the Federal Government strengthen and empower its workforce, so it can best serve the American people?
  2. How can the Federal Government deliver programs and services effectively and build trust? and
  3. How can the Federal Government advance equity and support underserved communities?

The document contains additional questions within each of these areas and links to the learning agendas of individual federal agencies which were finalized over the last several months. Going forward, the White House states that it will engage researchers, public servants, community members, philanthropic organizations, customers of government services, and others to help address the gaps identified in the PMA and federal agency learning agendas.  In the meantime, you can sign up to receive updates on the federal government’s evidence-building activities and provide your ideas and comments by emailing PMALearningAgenda@omb.eop.gov.


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