Evidence-Building Plans And Activities: Evidence Act Title I

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Evidence-Building Plans and Activities:Evidence Act Title IDiana Epstein, Evidence Team LeadOMB Evidence TeamSeptember 2020

Phased Implementation ApproachPhase 1:Learning Agendas,Personnel, & PlanningoooooooooooLearning AgendasChief Data OfficersEvaluation OfficersStatistical OfficialsAgency Data GovernanceBoardsChief Data OfficerCouncilEvaluation OfficerCouncilInteragency Council onStatistical PolicyAgency Evaluation PlansCapacity AssessmentsOpen Data PlansLearning Agendas,Personnel, & PlanningPhase 2:Open Data Access& Managemento Make Data Open byDefaulto Comprehensive DataInventoryo Federal DataCatalogueo Repository of Toolsand Best PracticesOpen Data Access& ManagementPhase 3:Data Access forStatistical Purposeso Make Agency DataAssets Available toStatistical Unitso Expand Users’ SecureAccess to Data Assetsthrough Statistical Unitso Allow Recognition ofNew Statistical Unitso Standardize ApplicationProcess for AccessingData Assetso Codify Statistical UnitResponsibilitiesData Accessfor StatisticalPurposesPhase 4: ProgramEvaluationOngoingImplementation &Reportingo Program EvaluationStandards and BestPracticeso Program EvaluationSkills andCompetencies (withOPM)oooooooooProgramEvaluationBudget CyclesInformation ResourceManagement PlansPerformance PlansStrategic PlansFederal Data Strategy AnnualAction PlansOpen Data Biennial ReportStatistical Programs AnnualReportRegulatory PlanningInformation Collection ReviewOngoingImplementation& Reporting2

Title I: Federal Evidence-Building Activities Evaluation Officers, Statistical Officials, and CouncilsLearning Agenda (Evidence-Building Plan)Annual Evaluation PlanCapacity AssessmentProgram Evaluation Standards and CompetenciesAdvisory Committee on Data for Evidence-Building3

Laying the Foundation for Evidence-Building Evidence-based policymaking requires systematic planning Start by identifying priority questions to address Learning Agenda Strategize approaches to obtaining answers Leadership and collaboration of senior officials Data governance Annual Evaluation Plan Assess capacity and needs Capacity Assessment Elevate program evaluation to build evidence Evaluation standards, competencies, and policies4

Leadership and Collaboration Evidence Act establishes three new senior-level positions: Evaluation Officer (EO) with authority and responsibility for leadershipon evaluation and learning agenda activities (CFO Act agencies only) Chief Data Officer (CDO) with authority and responsibility for datagovernance and lifecycle information management Statistical Official (SO) with authority and responsibility to advise onstatistical policy, techniques, and procedures (CFO Act agencies) Emphasis on collaboration and coordination across positions Corresponding Councils for each group of officials5

Learning Agenda Systematic plan for identifying and addressing priority questionsrelevant to the programs, policies, and regulations of the agency Should be iterative, flexible, transparent, and tailored to meet theagency’s needs Promotes deliberate and strategic planning of evidence-buildingactivities Systematic way to identify the data agencies intend to collect, use, oracquire Requires agencies to engage a range of stakeholders Supports greater transparency and accountability for agencies’evidence-building efforts6

Evidence Planning Annual Evaluation Plan Includes all “significant” evaluations that the agency intends toundertake in a given fiscal year Consistent with the Learning Agenda Actionable plan that must be updated annually Capacity Assessment Assessment of the statistics, evaluation, research and analysiscapabilities of an agency Opportunity for agencies to assess the extent to which currentcapacity meets their evidence needs Mechanism to assess evidence capacity across Federal Government7

Program Evaluation Standards and Practices Evidence Act established statutory system for evaluation,complementary to statistics and performance OMB M-20-12, Phase 4 Implementation of the Foundations forEvidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018: Program EvaluationStandards and Practices Provides a common set of standards for high-quality evaluationacross government Provides a framework of practices for agencies to build andimprove evaluation infrastructure8

Program Evaluation Standards Relevance and Utility Rigor Independence and Objectivity Transparency Ethics9

Program Evaluation Practices1. and Maintain Evaluation CapacityUse Expert Consultation EffectivelyEstablish, Implement, and Widely Disseminate an Agency Evaluation PolicyPre-Specify Evaluation Design and MethodsEngage Key Stakeholders MeaningfullyPlan Dissemination StrategicallyTake Steps to Ensure Ethical Treatment of ParticipantsFoster and Steward Data Management for EvaluationMake Evaluation Data Available for Secondary UseEstablish and Uphold Policies and Procedures to Protect Independence andObjectivity10

Intended Use of Standards and Practices Strengthen or build evaluation capacity Implement Evidence Act requirements, including agencyevaluation policy Carry out all evaluation functions and activities, including at theenterprise level and within sub-agencies, operational divisions,and bureaus Hire and retain qualified evaluation staff11

Title I ImplementationOMB M-19-23 issued in July 2019OMB M-20-12 issued in March 2020Designated Officials namedCouncils meet regularlyInterim Learning Agendas, first annual Evaluation Plans, and InterimCapacity Assessments submitted Development of full Learning Agendas and Capacity Assessments inprogress (part of next Strategic Plans) Advisory Committee on Data for Evidence-Building formed Program Evaluation Skills and Competencies with OPM (in progress) 12

Contact Information:depstein@omb.eop.gov13

Evidence Act established statutory system for evaluation, complementary to statistics and performance OMB M-20-12, Phase 4 Implementation of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018: Program Evaluation Standards and Practices Provides a common set of standards for high-quality evaluation across government

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