Earlier this month the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking published a Request for Comment in the Federal Register. The request is general in focus, seeking to gather information on a variety of topics that the Commission is obligated to examine under its mandate. Submissions are due by November 14.
That mandate, and the Commission, was a creation of Congress. The fifteen-member commission has until September of 2017 to complete its work. It will prepare a report for the President and the Congress providing its recommendations after conducting
“[A] comprehensive study of the data inventory, data infrastructure, data-base security, and statistical protocols related to Federal policy-making and the agencies responsible for maintaining that data.”
The bill is resource focused. While there is a provision in the bill to include recommendations on particular evidence-based policymaking techniques such as randomized control trials, the focus in the bill is on optimizing existing data resources and making them more accessible for the purposes of program evaluation.
Back to the Request for Comment. The questions are focused primarily on data, whether it’s data infrastructure and security or how survey and other statistical data can be integrated into program design, analysis and evaluation.
The Commission has met twice since its formation, with the first meeting focused on overall goals and work plan, and the second meeting focused on privacy. Regrettably the Commission website appears to suffer from some link issues.