Ideas. Action. Results.

New Report Offers Ideas for Evidence-Based Policymaking in Congress

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Washington, D.C.– A new Bipartisan Policy Center report offers 19 options for encouraging a culture of evidence-based policymaking in Congress to improve insights on how government policies and programs are working.

Evidence Use in Congress: Options for Charting a New Direction is the second of a two-volume report that explains the need for increasing evidence-based policymaking in Congress. This second volume highlights options to propel conversation about this important issue so that policymakers can decide on the way forward. Volume 1 issued last month focused on the challenges for evidence-based policymaking in Congress.

“There are meaningful and feasible steps Congress can take today to improve how the institution uses evidence,” Sandy Davis, senior advisor to BPC’s Evidence-Based Policymaking Initiative, said. “Our goal was to offer practical ideas to overcome the real challenges for making evidence-based policymaking a pervasive activity in Congress.”

The options presented in the second volume are also analyzed for feasibility, a broad measure of how difficult it may be to implement that particular option. For example, establishing a congressional evidence fellowship program has a high feasibility rating in part because there are several existing congressional fellowship programs that could serve as a model. Certain options, such as establishing a biennial budget process, are also well-suited for consideration by the newly formed Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform.

“Creating a wider culture of evidence in Congress will strengthen its capacity to effectively carry out important legislative duties and can begin to restore the trust of the American public in its government institutions,” Nick Hart, director of evidence-based policymaking at BPC, said.

Sandy Davis will discuss the report on a panel at 2 p.m. ET today at the Capitol.

KEYWORDS: 115TH CONGRESS, EVIDENCE-BASED POLICYMAKING INITIATIVE, NICK HART, SANDY DAVIS