Panel: Evidence Use in Policymaking: The Next Frontier
(Politics, Media, and the Policy Process)

Friday, November 9, 2018: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Madison A - Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Chairs:  Ron Haskins, Brookings Institution
Discussants:  Ted McCann, Former Advisor to House Speaker Paul Ryan

Charting a New Direction for Evidence Use in Congress
Tim Shaw and Bill Hoagland, Bipartisan Policy Center

The Executive and Legislative Branches of government share common challenges in successfully implementing evidence initiatives and making use of the evidence researchers and evaluators prepare. This panel will discuss three new research products that grapple with challenges to evidence use across branches of government.

The first paper will highlight lessons learned about the generation and use of evidence in the Executive Branch during the Bush and Obama administrations. Specific suggestions are provided from the authors about how Exdecutive Branch initiatives can be better tailored to achieve their intended goals and encourage evidence use.

A second presentation will highlight the institutional, systematic, and perception challenges in the Congress for using evidence successfully across the array of policy mechanisms. A final presentation will discuss the options for improving the legislative institutional infrastructure, constructed from interviews with congressional staff and other knowledgeable individuals for moving forward with greater use of evidence in Congress.

Together the papers suggest the challenges faced in using evidence to inform government decisions, while recognizing the numerous opportunities for improvement in the near future across ethical and societal perspectives. Improving how evidence is made useful and available for policymakers offers the next step for encouraging action on evidence.