Over the past two years, the prospect of the United States government and key decision-makers becoming more steeped in evidence-based policymaking has become increasingly bright.
On September 7, 2017, the U.S. Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking (Evidence Commission) released its final report to the President and Congress with a strategy for better using the data that government already collects. The report contained 22 unanimous recommendations that focused on responsibly improving access to government data, strengthening privacy protections, and expanding the capacity to generate and use evidence.
Progress on Fulfilling the Commission’s Vision
While action has not yet been taken on all of the Evidence Commission’s recommendations, significant progress has occurred over the past two years. Here are some key highlights of what transpired in the last two years:
Next Steps on Fulfilling the Commission’s Vision
The Evidence Commission set the stage for monumental changes in government data laws, processes, and culture. Agencies have initiated wholesale overhauls of data management practices and the recommendations are quickly becoming reality.
But much work remains to fulfill the bipartisan vision outlined by the Evidence Commission – that government data are meaningfully analyzed to produce credible evidence that is actually used to inform policymaking. In the coming months and years, here are five areas for further attention:
Today, the Evidence Commission’s legacy can be celebrated as a substantial accomplishment in developing a sound and actionable strategy for better using government data. While more attention is needed to change government’s culture and operations to be more evidence-based, the early steps to better manage and use data are exceedingly promising.
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