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.
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.
How Counties Can Use Evidence-Based Policymaking to Achieve Better Outcomes
Counties play an essential role in delivering front-line services to residents. From administering state and federal benefits to operating jails and supporting local hospitals, they invest more than $550 billion annually in local communities, according to the National Association of Counties.
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.