Using Evidence for Improvement in the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act – April 2019

The event marked the release of three case studies from the Forum for Youth Investment examining how different agencies used evidence to improve programs. Cosponsored with the Urban Institute, the event featured a panel with a representative from each of the three profiled organizations to discuss their work, examine the challenges of using evidence for improvement, and highlight potential best practices for federal policymakers to emulate. The panel featured Peter Nelson from ServeMinnesota, Jean-Marie Callan from New York City’s Mayor’s Office of Economic Opportunity, and Barry Steffan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The panel was moderated by Thaddeus Ferber from the Forum for Youth Investment. The event also featured remarks from Diana Epstein, Evidence Team Lead at the Office of Management and Budget, on opportunities to use evidence for improvement as agencies begin to implement the recently passed Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act. A recording of the event is available here.

 

How Can Federal Policymakers Encourage the Use of Evidence at the Local Level – July 2018

The event, cosponsored with the Urban Institute, featured two panels discussing what federal policymakers can do to support the building and use of evidence at the local level. The first panel featured Ilene Berman, Senior Associate at the Annie E. Casey Foundation; Vivian Tseng, Senior Vice President at the William T. Grant Foundation; and John Scianimanico, Policy Lab Manager at the Arnold Foundation. The panel was moderated by Thaddeus Ferber from the Forum for Youth Investment. The panelists spoke about the work each of their foundations are doing to support evidence building in communities across the country and emphasized how important trust and relationship building was for the creation and use of evidence. The second panel featured Matthew Billings, Deputy Director at the Providence Children and Youth Cabinet; Lili Elkins, Chief Strategy officer at Roca Inc.; and Ruth Neild, Director at the Philadelphia Education Research Consortium. The panel emphasized how onerous research can be for their already hardworking staff, particularly for service providers who want to focus more on supporting their program participants. They also mentioned the need for research and evidence to be relevant for their work and not just the researcher’s interests. A recording of the event can be found here. A blog summarizing the event can be found here.

 

Opportunities and Challenges for the Use of Evidence: Lessons Learned in the Past 20 Years – February 2018

The event, cosponsored with the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), featured two panels focused on how evidence was used in previous administrations and lessons learned for policymakers in 2018. The first panel featured Nick Hart, Director of the BPC’s Evidence-Based Policymaking Initiative, and Kathryn Newcomer, Director of the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration. The panelists presented findings from their new technical paper on evidence-based initiatives in the Bush and Obama administrations. The second panel included former political appointees from the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administration. These appointees were John Kamensky, the Former Deputy Director for Vice President Gore’s National Partnership for Reinventing Government; Marcus Peacock, the Former Deputy Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the Bush administration; and Shelley Metzenbaum, the Former Associate Director for Performance and Personnel Management at the White House Office of Management and Budget during the Obama administration. The panel was moderated by the Forum’s cofounder and Executive Vice President, Merita Irby. The panelists spoke about their experiences working in their respective administrations and took questions from the audience about potential best practices and challenges for 2018. The BPC’s new technical paper and a recording of the event can be found here.

 

Moving From Evidence-Based Programs to Evidence-Based Practices – August 2017

The event featured presentations on how policymakers in the juvenile justice and afterschool space can use a practices-based approach, rather than a programs-based approach, to move effectively scale and improve services on the ground. Presenters included Benjamin Adams from the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Mark Lipsey from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody Research Institute, Shay Bilchik from Georgetown University’s Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, Charles Smith from the Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, and Sonia Johnson from the Oklahoma State Department of Education. The presentations from this event can be found here. A blog summarizing this event is available here.

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