Evidence-Based Policy & Practice

The Evidence-Based Policy and Practice Initiative creates proactive strategies for policymakers to harness evidence to ensure all young people are ready for college, work and life.

About Evidence-Based Policy

The Evidence-Based Policy and Practice Initiative seeks to inform policymakers of how they can use evidence to improve equity and outcomes for all children, youth and their families.

Building on our existing work to help policymakers and practitioners use evidence for improvement, integrate multiple types of evidence into decision-making processes, and elevate evaluation, the Forum has an emerging equity and evidence body of work. This work applies an equity lens to the processes that underlie how evidence gets generated and used. Specifically, it identifies and promotes tools and leading practices that promote equity in:

  • For, by, and about whom we generate evidence,
  • What knowledge is considered rigorous, valid, and important,
  • Who has voice in the processes of generating and using evidence.

These are big questions with complex implications. So what does success look like?

We believe that, within the Forum’s mission, equity and evidence work will be complete when both policy and practice incentivize the production of evidence for, by, and about all populations in ways that empower all stakeholders to use evidence to change the odds so that all young people are ready for college, work and life by age 21. Importantly, we recognize that this vision can only be realized by prioritizing the knowledge, perspectives, lived experiences, leadership, and participation of historically marginalized communities and stakeholders.

Our work in evidence-based policymaking now includes:

  • Publications (reports, issue briefs, and blogs) on topics related to evidence-based policymaking

  • Webinars on topics related to evidence-based policymaking

  • Convenings designed to support the use of evidence among policymakers, particularly federal career staff

  • Consultations to discuss and analyze potential ways to further the use of evidence in policymaking.

Thaddeus Ferber

Vice President, Policy Advocacy

Co-Founder, SparkAction


Knowledge Center
Putting leadership in action

YPAR: What Is It, And What Can It Do?
How to Pay Young People: Considerations for Equity & Effectiveness
Issue Brief/Policy Paper
What’s the Role of Equity in Evaluation Policy?
Case Study
Housing Choice Vouchers: Using Research to Spur New Approaches and Greater Equity
Case Study
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act: Investments in Youth Work Experiences One Pager

Changing the odds for young people has never been more important