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New BPC Case Studies Highlight Successful Use of Evidence in Government

Washington, D.C. – The Bipartisan Policy Center today released a new series of real world case studies for government officials seeking to apply rigorous analysis and data in their decision-making. Evidence Works: Cases Where Evidence Meaningfully Informed Policy presents 20 case studies that highlight when evidence was used, variations in the many approaches to using evidence, and the different types of information that can be relevant.

“Our elected leaders and government officials face difficult choices every day to develop sound policies for the American public, and it’s clear they want to make good decisions based on rigorous research,” said Nick Hart, a fellow at BPC. “We can learn a lot from past examples of when credible, valid evidence was applied to tough decisions. Evidence Works is full of examples that demonstrate our policymakers want to use the best information available.”

The Evidence Works case studies describe policy debates benefit from applying strong evidence. The policies covered include those related to anti-poverty programs, disability insurance, food safety, teen pregnancy prevention, health care, energy assistance, child care, nutrition assistance, and education, among others. For example:

  • The “Entering the Evidence Promise Land” case describes the creation of an independent government commission to study government’s use of data, and how those recommendations led to a new federal law.
  • The “Improving Literacy” case explains how applying evidence to improve early literacy programs helps prepare children for academic success in Tennessee.

The U.S. Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking’s unanimous recommendations suggested the need for accessible, quality, useful government data in the country. The case studies collectively suggest why this infrastructure is needed at the federal, state, or local level. Put simply, when policymakers have access to evidence, they can and do use it to make better decisions.

Explore the case studies.

Nick Hartis available for comment.