OMB has issued guidance on the fourth phase of implementation of the 2018 Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018, which among other things requires agencies to build a capacity for building evidence and the use of data for key policy-making decisions.
Guidance characterized as phase 4 of implementation focuses on developing and implementing evaluation activities, evaluation policies, and hiring and retaining qualified staff—but also “recognizing that agencies must build policies, evaluation offices, and infrastructure that meet their distinct evaluation needs and responsibilities.”
While memo M-20-12 applies by law to CFO Act agencies—Cabinet departments and the largest independent agencies—”all agencies are strongly encouraged to implement the standards and best practices.”
Standards for conducting evaluations, it says, include relevance and utility, rigor, independence and objectivity, transparency and ethics. The memo also provides examples of “leading practices for agencies to draw upon as they build evaluation capacity, develop policies and procedures, and carry out evaluations to support evidence-based policymaking.”
“These standards and practices apply not just to federal evaluation offices, but also have applicability to other federal units that carry out or sponsor evaluation and to individual evaluators, including federal evaluation staff, outside partners, and recipients of federal awards that are performing work on behalf of the agency,” it says.
OMB said that future guidance will address how agencies should use the information generated from evaluations and other evidence-building activities to more effectively deliver on mission.
Guidance Issued on Evidence-Based Policy Act (7/15/2019)