In April, the Forum for Youth Investment and the Urban Institute brought together policymakers and practitioners from across levels of government and the non-profit sector to discuss Using Evidence for Improvement in the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act. The event featured a panel of speakers from federal, state and local agencies to share how they have used evidence to improve programs, with closing remarks from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on what agencies should consider as they begin to implement the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (Evidence Act).
The FY 2020 AP chapter “Building and Using Evidence to Improve Government Effectiveness” can help policymakers, researchers, and service providers understand the federal government approach and priorities for using evidence in policymaking. It focuses on four key areas: (1) evidence-building strategies to learn and improve, (2) evaluation as a tool to learn and improve, (3) harnessing data for learning and improvement, and (4) promoting transparency and accountability in federal evidence-building. These four areas demonstrate how the federal government is moving forward on a number of key ideas found in the Forum’s recent work.
Helping to reconnect youth back to education and employment and get them on a path to a successful transition to adulthood that includes economic self-sufficiency, skills that support independent living and improved health, mental health and well-being can be challenging. Youth development stakeholders and beneficiaries (i.e., the youth themselves) describe significant challenges that hinder meaningful improvements in education, employment, health and well-being outcomes.
There is no question that I am a fan of out-of-school time (OST) systems — data-driven, coordinated community-level efforts to improve access to quality before and after school and summer learning experiences. Just check my track record to know I have helped incubate dozens of them across the country, both as part of The Wallace Foundation team as well as a Big Picture Approach consultant with the Forum for Youth Investment.