The Forum regularly convenes policymakers, practitioners, and other partners to discuss best practices, unpack common challenges, and promote innovative solutions in evidence-based policymaking. Summaries and recordings of our previous events are available below. Subscribe to our Evidence-Based Policymaking Newsletter to stay up to date on future events.

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.


The Forum has frequently used webinars to include stakeholders outside of Washington, D.C. in conversations about evidence-based policymaking. Webinar recordings are available below. Subscribe to our Evidence-Based Policymaking Newsletter to stay up to date on future webinars.

Strategic Financing for Effective, Tested Programs – October 2016

Shifting to tested, effective programs for children and families in a community not only requires agreeing on joint priorities. It also often takes identifying and shifting funding mechanisms to finance a new way of providing services. In the latest webinar in the Using What Works series highlighting tools of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Evidence2Success framework, experts described the components of a strategic financing plan for programs proven to work for children and families and new financing approaches being adopted around the country. This webinar featured staff member Elizabeth Gaines.


Identifying Community Priorities for Child Well-being – July 2016

Many communities gather data on young people to assess what services they need to thrive. But do those efforts document the needs and strengths that really influence outcomes? In the latest webinar in the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Using What Works to Improve Child Well-Being series, an expert panel discusses how the Youth Experience Survey, one of the key tools in the Evidence2Success framework, generates data on risk and protective factors that help communities address problems for youth before they start. This webinar featured staff member Thaddeus Ferber.


Preventing Problems Before They Start – April 2016

Tackle troublesome behavior among youths before it leads to poor outcomes like violence, delinquency, dropping out of school, substance abuse and teen pregnancy. That lies at the heart of “prevention science,” experts told participants in an April 28 webinar, Preventing Problems Before They Start. It’s part of a new Foundation webinar series, hosted by the Forum for Youth Investment, that highlights tools and strategies used in the Foundation’s Evidence2Success framework, now operating in four U.S. communities. The webinar series, Using What Works to Improve Child Well-Being, is designed to help local government officials, community-based service providers, foundation and nonprofit leaders and others working to improve outcomes for children and families.

Changing the odds for young people has never been more important