Policymaking is a messy, iterative process, with many opportunities for evidence to inform and strengthen decisions. Instead of relying on a single tool, policymakers and practitioners should draw from a "portfolio" of tools to advance evidence-based policy effectively. The Urban Institute's portfolio includes microsimulation models, random controlled trials, analysis of public administrative data, performance measurement, and qualitative methods including site visits, interviews and "alpha testing". To match todays broad array of policy questions, there exists an equally broad array of credible evidence-gathering techniques.
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