Roundtable: Evidence in Action: Implementing the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018
(Politics, Media, and the Policy Process)

Thursday, November 7, 2019: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
I.M Pei Tower: Terrace Level, Beverly (Sheraton Denver Downtown)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Organizer:  Erica Zielewski, Office of Management and Budget
Moderator:  Molly Irwin, Pew Charitable Trusts
Speakers:  Erika Liliedahl, U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Barry Steffen, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Michael DiDomenico, U.S. General Services Administration

Bringing evidence to bear in decision-making is a critical component of good government. As agencies prioritize efforts to deliver on mission while effectively using resources, data and evidence are essential tools. The Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 (“Evidence Act”), signed into law in January 2019, emphasizes collaboration and coordination to advance evidence-building functions in the Federal government by statutorily mandating federal evidence-building activities, open government data, and confidential information protection and statistical efficiency. While the Evidence Act builds on many prior and existing Federal data and evidence efforts, it creates a new paradigm for using data and developing evidence to make decisions and set priorities.

This roundtable brings together four panelists with unique and varied perspectives on the Evidence Act who will discuss its implications for their work and relationship to related efforts across the Federal Government. Specifically, the panelists will summarize the Evidence Act’s provisions, as well as highlight ongoing cross-agency efforts that will support Evidence Act implementation, focusing on the Federal Data Strategy and its relevance to Title I of the Act. Finally, panelists will describe how the Evidence Act’s requirements will affect operations and functioning in Federal agencies, including reflections from one agency that has already implemented several Title I requirements and additional cross-agency perspectives on emerging challenges and opportunities.

During this roundtable, attendees will learn more about the Evidence Act requirements and its implementation from three perspectives: the Federal policy level, across agencies with widely varying capacity, and within one leading individual agency. Attendees will hear directly from Federal officials responsible for providing government-wide implementation guidance, an agency that has already implemented some of the Act’s activities, and an agency providing support to address the needs and challenges of agencies less mature in their evidence-building capacity. In addition, the audience will have the opportunity to engage with Federal experts from across Government and ask questions about implementation and next steps for the Evidence Act. The session will also offer a venue for non-governmental researchers to better understand how they can engage with and support these efforts.