How States Engage in Evidence-Based Policymaking 

11-20-2018 09:47

Evidence-based policymaking is the systematic use of findings from program evaluations and outcome analyses
(“evidence”) to guide government policy and funding decisions. By focusing limited resources on public services
and programs that have been shown to produce positive results, governments can expand their investments in
more cost-effective options, consider reducing funding for ineffective programs, and improve the outcomes of
services funded by taxpayer dollars.

While the term “evidence-based policymaking” is growing in popularity in state capitols, there is limited
information about the extent to which states employ the approach. This report seeks to address this gap by:
1) identifying six distinct actions that states can use to incorporate research findings into their decisions, 2)
assessing the prevalence and level of these actions within four human service policy areas across 50 states and
the District of Columbia, and 3) categorizing each state based on the final results.

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