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Molly Irwin - Evidence informed policy making - 27 June 2017


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Presentation by Molly Irwin, Chief Evaluation Officer, U.S. Department of Labor, at the event on Governing better through evidence-informed policy making, 26-27 June 2017. The event was organised by the OECD Directorate for Public Governance in cooperation with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), the Campbell Collaboration and the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA). For further information please see

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Molly Irwin - Evidence informed policy making - 27 June 2017

  1. 1. Using Evidence to Inform Policy Examples and Experience from the US Molly Irwin Chief Evaluation Officer U.S. Department of Labor June 27, 2017
  2. 2. Focus on Evidence and Results • Examples of Evidence-based Policymaking at the Federal Policy Level • The President’s FY18 budget • The Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking • Tiered-Evidence Grantmaking (and Evidence Reviews) • Examples of Using Evidence and Evaluations for Policy Implementation and Program Improvement • Using a Learning Agenda Approach • Behavioral Insights • Evidence Clearinghouses
  3. 3. DOL’s Chief Evaluation Office • Established in 2010 to coordinate, manage, and implement the DOL's evaluation program • Independent evaluation office in the Department of Labor • Works closely with DOL offices and agencies to develop and implement evaluations that advance evidence about DOL programs and priorities • Funding is authorized each year through legislative appropriations • Principles of Rigor, Relevance, Independence, Transparency and Ethics
  4. 4. FY18 Budget Proposal • The President’s FY18 budget, “An effective and efficient Federal government requires evidence— evidence about where needs are greatest, what works and what does not work, where and how programs could be improved…” • Chapter 6 of the Analytical Perspectives: /budget/fy2018/ap_6_evidence.pdf • The Budget Blueprint for the DOL, “Expands Reemployment and Eligibility Assessments, an evidence-based activity that saves an average of $536 per claimant in unemployment insurance benefit costs by reducing improper payments and getting claimants back to work more quickly and at higher wages. “
  5. 5. The Commission on Evidence- Based Policymaking • Established by the bipartisan Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act of 2016 (P.L. 114-140), • Jointly sponsored by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) • Signed on March 30, 2016 • Goal: to develop a strategy for increasing the availability and use of data in order to build evidence about government programs • See:
  6. 6. Tiered-Evidence Grantmaking (and Evidence Reviews) • Directs the majority of funding to programs backed by rigorous evidence of effectiveness • Invests some funds in promising, new, or innovative approaches • Requires the use of rigorous evaluation to determine impact and inform future funding • Examples: • Home Visiting • TAA Community College & Career Training (TAACCCT) • The Investing in Innovation Fund (i3)
  7. 7. Using A Learning Agenda Approach • Five-year learning agenda, updated each year, with each operating agency in DOL • Highlight priority questions that the agencies would like to address • Help to plan, build, and use a body of evidence (performance, implementation, impact, etc.) • Help strengthen a partnership of learning between research staff and program and policy decision makers
  8. 8. Using Behavioral Insights • Application of behavioral science to improve the design of public policies and programs • CEO is testing the application of behavioral insights, with the goal of improving performance and outcomes in DOL programs and populations, for example: • Improving retirement savings among DOL employees • Improving employer responsiveness to DOL enforcement activities • Improving participant engagement in the REA program
  9. 9. Evidence-based Clearinghouses • Clearinghouse for Labor Evaluation and Research - CLEAR - • What Works Clearinghouse - • Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness - • Employment Strategies for Low Income Adults Evidence Review - • Teen Pregnancy Prevention Evidence Review - • Crime Solutions -
  10. 10. Thank You! For more information: