Using Evidence:

Learning from Low-Cost Federal Evidence-Building Activities

October 30, 2019 at GSA

The U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) Office of Evaluation Sciences (OES) and numerous agency collaborators presented on how the federal government uses low-cost evaluations, unexpected results, and administrative data to inform policy and program decisions. OES staff, collaborators from multiple agencies, and distinguished academic partners presented new results and lessons learned from over 10 OES evaluations in three sessions: Learning from Low-Cost Evaluations, Learning from Unexpected Results, and Learning from Administrative Data. All sessions included information and examples relevant to meeting the requirements of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 (Evidence Act).

Presentation slides are available here.

Full agenda here

Welcome and Introduction:

Using Evidence: Learning From Low-Cost Federal Evidence-Building Activities will include sessions on:

Learning From Low-Cost Evaluations agency collaborators and OES team members shared new results and lessons learned from using low-cost evaluation. These leaders addressed priority topics such as health monitoring, improper payments, Veterans education, and vaccination uptake. Speakers included:

In Learning from Unexpected Results, agency experts in evaluation discussed how to learn from and act on results that may be surprising. The session presented project examples of different types of unexpected results, and perspectives from agency evaluation leads on how they have learned from such results. Panelists then described studies that yielded null results and answer questions about how they have used unexpected results to advance learning agendas in their agencies:

Unexpected Results Handout

In Learning from Administrative Data, agency and academic collaborators shared the varied ways they have used administrative data in programs and evaluation. This session highlighted how to use administrative data to address the requirements of the Evidence Act in meaningful and useful ways. Speakers included: