Developing Creative, Practical Policy Tools to Assist Federal Officials in Implementing New Federal Evidence-Based Reforms

Funding will allow the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy to continue advancing reforms in federal programs affecting youth by promoting rigorous impact evaluations.

The Coalition’s work with federal officials, which was supported by the Foundation, has led to important evidence-based reforms in federal programs affecting youth. The Coalition plans to work with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and other federal offices and agencies to develop practical policy tools to assist in implementing the new reforms. A potential tool is using federal “waivers” from law and regulations to incentivize state/local program innovations aimed at (1) producing budget savings while improving program effectiveness or participant outcomes without added costs, and (2) requiring rigorous evaluations to determine which innovations work. Another tool is the establishment of a “knowledge bank” to help policy officials at all levels of government understand the impact and cost-effectiveness of their investments in various social services interventions. The end goal is to help institutionalize rigorous impact evaluations across federal social programs, so that they are widely accepted and self-sustaining.

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