The Evidence Act – Part One – An Overview

The Evidence Act of 2018 was passed to enhance the policymaking process by the federal government. This law seeks to boost the use of data and evidence in decision-making by creating measures to encourage using evidence to inform policy decisions.

The Evidence Act compels federal agencies to develop plans to collect and make their data available to policymakers and researchers. The Evidence Act is a positive step towards ensuring the use of data and evidence to improve the federal policymaking process rather than ideologies and anecdotes.

Key Components of the Evidence Act

The EVIDENCE ACT establishes various key components that boost the use of data and evidence in the decision-making processes of federal governments.

Critical Components of the Evidence Act

  •  Creation Of Chief Evaluation Officer (CEO) Position

One of the essential components of the Evidence Act is establishing a post of Chief Evaluation Officer (CEO). The CEO is in charge of managing the design and execution of program evaluations for the federal agency and ensuring that the agency uses evidence to influence its choices.

This component will assist in guaranteeing that evaluations are executed unbiasedly and thoroughly, allowing the agency to make well-informed choices based on the assessment results.

Moreover, the CEO will collaborate with other federal agencies to exchange data and evaluation best practices, which ensures that all federal agencies perform evaluations uniformly and rigorously.

  • Establishment of Federal Evidence-Building Collaborative

The Evidence Act creates a Federal Evidence-Building Collaborative, a group of federal government agencies collaborating to develop and exchange evidence on the most effective strategies to achieve their mutual objectives.

The Collaborative will also identify and close data gaps, exchange data, and evaluation best practices throughout the federal government. This collaboration will guarantee that the federal government bases its choices on the most recent and correct evidence.

  • Creation of National Secure Data Service

The Evidence Act also establishes a National Secure Data Service that will provide secure data access to researchers, decision-makers, and other authorized users. This helps to ensure that the data is utilized ethically and responsibly.

The service will be created to safeguard privacy while facilitating researchers’ access to the data required to conduct in-depth government initiatives analyses. This will make it possible to perform more thorough and accurate evaluations, ultimately increasing the efficacy and efficiency of government programs as a whole.

Requirements of the Evidence Act

The Evidence Act is an essential piece of legislation that sets forth many recommendations for federal agencies to enhance the use of data and evidence in their decisions. Below are the requirements of the Evidence Act.

  • Increased Data Availability for Researchers and Policymakers

The Evidence Act mandates that federal agencies render more of their data accessible to researchers and policymakers, ensuring that evaluations of government initiatives are based on the most precise and comprehensive data possible. This requirement will enable more thorough and accurate reviews, enhancing government programs’ overall efficiency and effectiveness.

  • Use Of Randomized Controlled Trials and Other Rigorous Evaluation Methods

The Evidence Act promotes the use of rigorous assessment techniques, such as randomized controlled trials, to determine the performance of federal government initiatives. This will guarantee that evaluations are carried out in a scientifically valid manner, which will boost trust in the evaluations’ findings.

  • Coordination And Collaboration Between Federal Agencies

Lastly, collaboration and coordination across federal agencies are another of the Evidence Act’s main requirements. This requirement is achievable through a Federal Evidence-Building Collaborative, which features various federal agencies cooperating to generate and exchange evidence on the most effective strategies. The evidence helps these agencies to realize their common goals.

Benefits of the Evidence Act

The Evidence Act offers several potential benefits to individuals by improving the quality and effectiveness of federal government programs. We’ve highlighted some of the benefits of the Evidence Act in this section.

  • Improved Decision-Making Based on Evidence and Data

By mandating federal agencies to use evidence and data more effectively, the Evidence Act can help to improve the quality of the government’s decision-making process. Therefore, government initiatives will be more effective and efficient, eventually benefiting the citizens whom the federal policies and programs will subsequently impact.

  • Increased Effectiveness and Efficiency of Government Programs

The improved effectiveness and efficiency of government initiatives are another advantage of the Evidence Act. According to the Evidence Act, federal agencies must evaluate their programs to establish efficacy. This evaluation will make it easier to determine the effective ones and the ones that aren’t, and it will also provide agencies with the chance to make necessary changes.

  • Protection Of Individual Privacy While Making Data Accessible for Research

The Evidence Act makes essential data available to researchers and other authorized personnel while protecting the privacy of individuals through the National Secure Data Service. The service offers authorized users to secure access to the data required to perform the comprehensive analysis while safeguarding individual privacy.

  • Better Coordination and Collaboration Across Federal Agencies

The Evidence Act helps foster better collaboration and coordination among government agencies through the Federal Evidence-Building Collaborative. This collaboration helps federal agencies share evidence on the most productive strategies to achieve common goals.

Final Thoughts

The Evidence Act is a significant step toward achieving evidence-based policymaking – an essential piece of legislation that will considerably influence federal government decisions. It will assist in guaranteeing that federal policies are founded on the most recent and reliable evidence, therefore improving government effectiveness and efficiency and trickling down to the ordinary citizen who’s the end-user of the programs.