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Project

Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative

The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative works with states to implement an innovative evidence-based policymaking approach that helps them invest in policies and programs that are proved to work. This is a partnership of The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. MacArthur is placing a few big bets that truly significant progress is possible on some of the world’s most pressing social challenges, including over-incarceration, global climate change, nuclear risk, and significantly increasing financial capital for the social sector. In addition to the MacArthur Fellows Program, the Foundation continues its historic commitments to the role of journalism in a responsible and responsive democracy, as well as the strength and vitality of our headquarters city, Chicago.

State Senate
State Senate
Issue Brief

Implementation Oversight for Evidence Based Programs

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Issue Brief

There is a growing consensus that rigorous evidence and data can and should be used, whenever possible, to inform critical public policy and budget decisions. In areas ranging from criminal justice to education, government leaders are increasingly interested in funding what works, while programs that lack evidence of their effectiveness are being carefully scrutinized when budgets are tightened. As the use of evidence-based interventions becomes more prevalent, there is an increasing recognition that it will be critical to ensure that these programs are effectively delivered. A large body of research now shows that well-designed programs poorly delivered are unlikely to achieve the outcomes policymakers and citizens expect. 

Evidence-based policymaking
Evidence-based policymaking
Report

How States Engage in Evidence-Based Policymaking

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Report

Evidence-based policymaking is the systematic use of findings from program evaluations and outcome analyses (“evidence”) to guide government policy and funding decisions. By focusing limited resources on public services and programs that have been shown to produce positive results, governments can expand their investments in more cost-effective options, consider reducing funding for ineffective programs, and improve the outcomes of services funded by taxpayer dollars.

Finances
Finances
Article

Budget Development: Examples From States and Counties

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Article

Although there’s more available research on the effectiveness of social programs, many governments continue to fund programs with limited knowledge of what’s been proved to work. A better method, which some governments are beginning to implement, incorporates this burgeoning repository of data into the budgeting process, thereby creating an evidence-based approach that uses data and research to inform how tax dollars are spent. 

hand and numbers
hand and numbers
Issue Brief

Results First Clearinghouse Database

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Issue Brief

To assist policymakers at all levels of government in identifying programs that can achieve strong outcomes, and making data-driven budget decisions, The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative has created the Results First Clearinghouse Database.

Our Work

Results First
Evidence-Based Policymaking Made Easy by 'Results First' Tool
3min 13sec
Can Public Policy Be Inventive?
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Our Sue Urahn shares the latest facts and examples from across the U.S. in Trend magazine.

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Our Sue Urahn shares the latest facts and examples from across the U.S. in Trend magazine.

Read essay