A posting on evaluation.gov lists steps ahead under the Equity Learning Agenda, which was part of the recently issued report on the administration’s focus on equity in agency spending under last year’s pandemic relief law, the American Rescue Plan.
It says that the GSA will use a portion of the funding under that law to “conduct evaluations and undertake other evidence-building activities to support federal government learning. Over $10 million dollars will support a national evaluation of equitable implementation of the ARP as well as up to ten separate evaluations conducted by GSA’s Office of Evaluation Sciences, in partnership with agencies, on ARP-funded programs with equity goals. Furthermore, multiple federal agencies are prioritizing Equity Learning Agenda questions by aligning them with their own agency learning agendas.”
“Ultimately, the goal of these activities is to build a body of evidence on what key elements of the ARP helped advance equitable outcomes and to ensure the government can adopt lessons learned to prepare for future recovery efforts,” it says.
Key questions to be answered, it said, include to what extent did ARP investments support equitable outcomes for those they were designed to serve, what strategies contributed to equitable outcomes, and where are different strategies needed.
It adds: “The Equity Learning Agenda also provides selected examples of how these overarching questions may be applied to various ARP investments and includes questions that focus on exploring which specific implementation strategies contributed to achieving equitable outcomes through ARP-funded programs. For example, questions explore the role of government efforts to increase awareness and access to various ARP-funded programs, including among underserved individuals and communities.
“While the Equity Learning Agenda is intended to inform the direction of federally funded ARP equity-related research and analysis, we also hope that it serves as an invitation to academics, researchers, community organizations, state and local governments, philanthropy, and others to generate evidence about how to build an equitable recovery,” it says.