Memo Encourages Increased Use of Evidence and Evaluation in Budget RequestsPublished: Friday, May 25, 2012
In a follow up budget memo OMB also called on agencies to demonstrate the use of evidence throughout their fiscal 2014 budget submissions.
Submissions should include a separate section on agencies' most innovative uses of evidence and evaluation, according to M-12-14.
It said some strategies have little immediate cost and that requests showing a commitment to developing and using evidence are more likely to be funded.
Agencies are invited to propose new evaluations as well, potentially focusing on areas such as evaluations linked to waivers and performance partnerships, expansion of evaluation efforts within existing programs and systemic measurement of costs and cost per outcome. OMB noted that limited funding is available for new evaluations.
Agencies should identify areas where research provides strong evidence regarding the comparative cost-effectiveness of investments, and describe a body of research and then apply its results to support a proposed resource reallocation, according to the memo.
OMB said it is more likely to support an existing resource allocation or a request for new resources supported in this way, and may feature the agency's reasoning in the 2014 budget.
It also said agencies should have a high-level official who is responsible for program evaluation and can: develop and manage the agency's research agenda; conduct or oversee rigorous and objective studies; provide independent input to agency policymakers on resource allocation and to program leaders on program management; attract and retain talented staff and researchers, including through flexible hiring authorities such as the Intergovernmental Personnel Act; and, refine program performance measures, in collaboration with program managers and the performance improvement officer.