evidence-based policymaking

The Research-to-Policy Collaboration Answers “Why Social Science?”

The latest Why Social Science? guest post comes from Taylor Scott and Max Crowley of the Research-to-Policy Collaboration (RPC), who write about how the RPC is connecting social scientists and government officials to enhance the use of research in policymaking. Read it here and subscribe. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

February’s Headlines Webchat to Feature a Deep Dive on Evidence-Based Policymaking

COSSA members are encouraged to sign up for the monthly Headlines webchat on February 14 at 2:00 pm Eastern, in which COSSA staff will recap the most important social and behavioral science news from the past month and answer participants’ questions. The February chat will feature a deep dive discussion on the recently-passed Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 with special guest Nick Hart, Director of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Evidence Project. Individuals employed by or affiliated with a COSSA member organization or university can register for the webchat here. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act Becomes Law

On January 14, President Trump signed the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 into law. Championed by former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), the legislation represents a bipartisan recognition of the importance of science and data in helping to design and improve policies (see COSSA’s previous coverage for more details on the legislation). After the bill was signed, COSSA released a statement applauding the legislation. We will continue to report on details of the bill’s implementation as they become available. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Evidence-Based Policymaking Bill Awaiting President’s Signature

After languishing in the Senate for over a year, the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (H.R. 4174) was passed by both chambers in the last days of 2018 and is currently awaiting the President’s signature. The President has until January 14 to sign the bill into law. The legislation, which is intended to be a “down-payment” enacting some of the less complicated (and less controversial) recommendations of the report from the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking (see COSSA’s coverage and statement), contains some minor changes from the version passed by the House in November 2017 but generally conforms to the recommendations of the Commission. It contains…

White House Seeks Input on New Government Effectiveness Research Center

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently issued a request for information (RFI) to inform the establishment of a new Government Effectiveness and Advanced Research (GEAR) Center. The GEAR Center was proposed in the White House’s plan to reorganize the federal government, Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century, released in June (see COSSA’s analysis for details). The Center was described as a public-private partnership that would “engage researchers, academics, non-profits, and private industry from disciplines ranging from behavioral economics, to computer science, to design thinking to use creative, data-driven, and interdisciplinary approaches to re-imagine and realize…

Event Highlights State Evidence-Based Policymaking

On July 24, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) hosted an event entitled “How States Use Data and Evidence for Policymaking: Current Trends and Future Opportunities.” The event began with a fireside chat between Nick Hart, Director of the Evidence-Based Policymaking Initiative at BPC, and Sara Dube, Director of the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative at the Pew Research Center, who defined evidence-based policymaking (EBP) as “the systematic use of findings from program evaluations and outcome analyses to guide government policy and funding decisions.” Much of the conversation revolved around a report from Pew, “How States Engage in Evidence-Based Policymaking.” The report…

House and Senate Release Bipartisan Evidence-Based Policymaking Bill

On November 1, members of the House and Senate introduced the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act, the “down-payment” legislation that would enact some of the less complicated (and less controversial) recommendations of the report from the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking (see COSSA’s coverage and statement). The bill was introduced in the House by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) as H.R. 4174 and cosponsored by Representatives Blake Farenthold (R-TX), Trey Gowdy (R-SC), and Derek Kilmer (D-WA), and in the Senate by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) as S. 2046 and cosponsored by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI). The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform…

CNSTAT Issues Report on Federal Statistics, Multiple Data Sources, and Privacy Protection

The Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently issued a consensus report entitled Federal Statistics, Multiple Data Sources, and Privacy Protection: Next Steps. The report was produced by the Panel on Improving Federal Statistics for Policy and Social Science Research Using Multiple Data Sources and State-of-the-Art Estimation Methods, chaired by Robert Groves of Georgetown University. The Panel’s first report, Innovations in Federal Statistics: Combining Data Sources While Protecting Privacy, was published in January 2017, and described some of the challenges currently facing the federal statistical system’s current paradigm of heavy reliance on…

COSSA Praises Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking Report

On October 11, COSSA issued a statement on the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking’s final report, released in September (see COSSA’s summary of the report’s recommendations). The statement reads: “COSSA applauds the work of the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking and commends its open, thorough process in producing its final report, The Promise of Evidence-Based Policymaking. The report represents the beginning of what we hope will be an ongoing, nonpartisan discussion on how the federal government can incentivize decision-making based on sound science while ensuring the careful stewardship of confidential information. The Commission’s recommendations demonstrate that expanding the use of evidence and…

Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking Releases Final Report

On September 7, the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking (CEP) released its final report, The Promise of Evidence-Based Policymaking. The Commission was established by the bipartisan Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act of 2016, which had been introduced by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) in the House and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) in the Senate. The Commission consisted of 15 members appointed by the President, Speaker of the House, House Minority Leader, Senate Majority Leader, and Senate Minority Leader, with five members being selected for their privacy expertise. Katharine G. Abraham, University of Maryland, chaired the Commission, with Ron Haskins, Brookings Institution, as her…

Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Seeks Input

The Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking, established by a law passed in March 2016, is charged with producing a report that identifies how the government can enhance its use of data and evidence to improve federal programs and policies, to be delivered to the President and Congress within 15 months of the Commission’s formation. As it begins its work, the Commission is seeking input on existing strategies and practices for generating and incorporating data and evidence into policymaking as well as potential challenges it may encounter. The Commission has requested comments on 19 questions across three broad categories: (1) overarching questions,…

Evidence-Based Policymaking Bill Advances through House

On July 27, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bipartisan Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act of 2015 (H.R. 1831). Introduced by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) with companion legislation introduced in the Senate (S. 991) by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), the bill would establish a 15 member commission tasked with studying how best to expand the use of and/or coordinate federal administrative data for use in evaluation of federal programs. The commission would also explore whether to establish a federal clearinghouse for program and survey data, which would be accessible to “qualified researchers” from the public and private sectors. More information…


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