In March 2016, Congress created the bipartisan Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking, charged with developing recommendations to support research and evaluation of government programs. The commission’s September 2017 report recommends that agencies adopt evidence-building strategies to support and use rigorous results from research and evaluation. The commission presented recommendations in three areas: improving access to data, strengthening privacy protections, and improving agency evidence-building capacity.  

Urban Institute experts contribute knowledge, expertise, and insights to evidence-based policymaking by conducting rigorous evaluations and research on programs’ outcomes and impacts; analyzing program data and performance; sponsoring conferences, workshops, and forums on evaluation and evidence topics; and providing technical assistance and training on strategies for adopting evidence-based practices. Using evidence from high-quality research can help agencies target resources as efficiently as possible, improve performance and outcomes, and identify the best ways to structure data access, information privacy, and program operations and service delivery.