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Why Using Rigorous Evidence in Policymaking Matters

Monday, May 8, 2017

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Washington, D.C.– Lawmakers have made significant strides toward using more rigorous evidence in the policymaking process, which can increase the potential for achieving bipartisan support.

The Bipartisan Policy Center in a new report, Congress and Evidence-Based Policymaking, explains what evidence-based policymaking is and why it matters. The goal is to compile a base of evidence upon which policymakers can rely to target scarce public resources to those policies with the greatest chance of success.

The report offers ideas for creating an evidence-based culture in Congress and creating incentives to use evidence.

Rigorous evidence of what works has the potential to forge a consensus in a variety of policy areas.

“The common thread weaving through initiatives that have used rigorous evidence in the legislative process is strong bipartisan support,” G. William Hoagland, senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said. “Rigorous evidence of what works has the potential to forge a consensus in a variety of policy areas.”

“Federal programs should improve the lives of those they serve as effectively as possible, and at the lowest possible cost,” Sandy Davis, senior advisor at BPC, said. “Establishing a consistent link between policy goals and outcomes could help improve government efficiency and effectiveness.”

Bill Hoagland and Sandy Davis are available for comment.