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Office of Management and Budget White Papers for the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking

Posted on July 18, 2016 - 1:20 PM CDT

Tags: SMD E/PO Community | Assessment / Evaluation | Use of NASA Data | Grant | Budgets

The four white papers were prepared by staff from OMB, with assistance from staff at other Federal agencies. While the attached are probably more than you want to know you may want to take a look at it as your schedules permit. The Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking will convene its first public meeting on July 22 at 8:30 a.m. EDT. The meeting is open to the public, and will be conducted at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Building, Room NAS-120 at 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C.

The Commission was established under the bipartisan Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act of 2016 (P.L. 114-140), jointly sponsored by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), and signed by President Barack Obama on March 30, 2016. Under the law, the Commission is charged with examining aspects of how to increase the availability and use of data in order to build evidence about government programs. 

Note: “Administrative data,” refers to administrative, regulatory, law enforcement, adjudicatory, financial, or other data held by agencies and offices of the government or their contractors or grantees  and collected for other than evidence-building purposes. 

Nick Hart, Senior Advisor for Evidence-Based Policymaking U.S. Census Bureau, Commission Liaison Team provided these papers to the Federal Evaluators Group. He provided a brief description of each white paper is below:

  • Overview of Federal Evidence-Building Activities. Describes the evidence-building functions carried out by the U.S. Government and the primary organizing structures and capacities that are most relevant to the Commission, including principal statistical agencies, Federal evaluation offices, and Federal evidence-building offices that perform multiple evidence-building functions.
  • Using Administrative and Survey Data to Build Evidence. Describes the role of different types of data and how they relate to different types of evidence. It also includes a series of short case studies that illustrate the many ways administrative and survey data can be used to generate a portfolio of evidence and how that portfolio informs the policymaking process.
  • Barriers to Using Administrative Data for Evidence-Building. Discusses many of the barriers to using administrative data for evidence-building, including the complications created by these barriers, and how resource and capacity concerns can constrain the functional access and use of data even when legal and policy issues are resolved. The paper also provides a case study on how these barriers interact with access to various sources of wage data for evidence-building purposes.
  • Privacy and Confidentiality in the Use of Administrative and Survey Data. Reviews some of the most relevant U.S. privacy laws and discusses how they provide a strong legal framework that informs Federal agencies, using the Census Bureau’s Data Stewardship program as a case study. The paper then considers a range of protocols used by different agencies to provide researcher access to restricted data. As an example of such access, it examines how the National Center for Education Statistics has implemented a data licensing program.
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