Remote video URL
Data Infrastructure Issues for Evidence-Based Policy and Practice

Good data are essential for conducting good research, statistical analysis, and program evaluations and measuring performance. Among other features, the data must be accessible, timely, secure, and relevant to the particular purpose and users. Each analytic use may have its own data, but often they use the same data sources. Even if they use the same data sources, though, different purposes can require different forms of the same data, such as individual-level versus aggregate information, personally identifiable versus anonymized data, program administrative (reporting) data, proprietary business or company information, and federal, state, or local data.

Join the Urban Institute’s Federal Evaluation Forum for this virtual public event addressing some of the major opportunities and challenges in developing evidence on public policy issues. We will focus on some of the main categories of evidence: statistical reports, program evaluation, performance management, and policy research.


The forum will address the following questions:

  1. What types of data infrastructure are needed to build good evidence in the public sector? How are data needs similar or different for evaluation, statistical reports, policy research, and performance management?
  2. What are some of the key issues to consider to strengthen the kinds of data infrastructure needed for the different types of evidence?
  3. How can privacy and confidentiality be protected while also providing essential data for evaluation, research, and statistical purposes?
  4. What can the federal government and agencies do to build and maintain appropriate infrastructure?



  • Claire Bowen, Principal Research Associate and Statistical Methods Group Lead, Urban Institute
  • Diana Epstein, Evidence Team Lead, Office of Management and Budget
  • Erica Groshen, Senior Economics Advisor, Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations
  • Batia Katz, Research Analyst, Urban Institute
  • Shelley Metzenbaum, Founder, The BETTER Project
  • Demetra Smith Nightingale, Institute Fellow, Urban Institute
  • Irma Perez-Johnson, Independent Consultant
  • Brian Scholl, Principal Economic Advisor and Senior Economist of the Office of the Investor Advocate, US Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Ryan Kelsey, Director, Building America's Workforce, Urban Institute (moderator)


This event is part of the Urban Institute’s Federal Evaluation Forum. Support for the forum and this event is provided by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the William T. Grant Foundation.  For more information on the Urban Institute’s funding principles, go to

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. Please email [email protected] if you require any accommodations or have any questions about this event.  

Date & Time Monday, December 12, 2022

Urban Institute Speakers
  • Research Analyst
  • Institute Fellow
  • Director, Building America's Workforce
  • Senior Fellow
    Statistical Methods Group Lead