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United States

Using Evidence and Concrete Data to Improve Public Service Delivery (US0062)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: United States Action Plan 2015-2017

Action Plan Cycle: 2015

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: The general Services Administration

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Capacity Building

IRM Review

IRM Report: United States End-of-Term IRM Report 2015-2017, United States Mid-Term Report 2015-2017

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: No

Relevant to OGP Values: Not Relevant

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Using evidence and concrete data to evaluate government programs and policies can improve public service delivery at all levels of government. In July 2015, the Administration launched an interagency evidence-based policymaking group to promote more effective government service delivery and better results for families and communities in need. The group will work with agencies to build capacity to make better use of evidence and to make more transparent decisions about service delivery programs. The group will catalyze specific actions across Federal agencies that are designed to advance the use of evidence in decision-making and strengthen the use of data and evidence to develop and implement more impactful service delivery programs.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 10. Evidence-Based Policy for Service Delivery

Commitment Text:

Promote Evidence-Based Policy for More Effective Service Delivery

Using evidence and concrete data to evaluate government programs and policies can improve public service delivery at all levels of government. In July 2015, the Administration launched an interagency evidence-based policymaking group to promote more effective government service delivery and better results for families and communities in need. The group will work with agencies to build capacity to make better use of evidence and to make more transparent decisions about service delivery programs. The group will catalyze specific actions across Federal agencies that are designed to advance the use of evidence in decision-making and strengthen the use of data and evidence to develop and implement more impactful service delivery programs.

Responsible Institutions: White House Domestic Policy Council (DPC), Office of Management and Budget, Office of Science and Technology Policy

Supporting Institutions: Federal departments and agencies

Start Date: Not Specified End Date: Not Specified

Commitment Aim

This commitment aimed to make public service delivery more effective through data-driven evaluations of government policies, specifically for families and communities in need. The government expected work on this commitment to be carried out by an interagency, evidence-based policymaking group. The group would build capacity to use evidence to evaluate policies and advance the use of evidence-based policymaking across the federal government.

Status

Midterm: Limited

At the midterm, the government had made limited progress on this commitment. In December 2015, the White House organized an event that convened government officials from nine agencies to share their work on evidence-based policymaking. Besides this, the government took no verifiable action toward meeting this commitment.[1] The government’s midterm self-assessment report[2] indicated that 22 government agencies proposed 75 actions linked to evidence-based decision making. These efforts align with the commitment under the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation. However, the IRM researcher found no information to corroborate this assertion by the close of the midterm reporting period.

End of Term: Limited

A page on the website of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation references the 22 government agencies working on actions with evidence-based components.[3] This page was posted during the second year of implementation. In a general description, the page notes that these actions include the following:

  • Building the capacity of staff to develop logic models, identify performance measures, and conduct rigorous evaluations;
  • Offering training, technical assistance, and clearinghouses to disseminate evidence of what works;
  • Expanding tiered-evidence grant-making and pay for success activity;
  • Using behavioral sciences, rapid cycle testing, and rigorous evaluation methods to improve and assess program and policy impact; and
  • Using administrative and program data to assess impact and adjust as needed.

However, the page does not provide more specific information on the 75 actions being carried out or their implementation status. The Office of Management and Budget indicated that the US government made notable progress on the actions as of January 2017.[4] However, the agency did not provide evidence of the types of actions taken, nor evidence of concrete results. At the close of the end-of-term reporting period, the IRM researcher was unable to locate any additional information on these activities. Completion, therefore, remains limited at the end of term.

Did It Open Government?

Access to information: Did not change

Civic participation: Did not change

Public accountability: Did not change

This commitment had unclear relevance for the OGP values of open government because it lacked a public-facing element. As a result, it did not contribute to greater access to information, civic participation, or public accountability.

Carried Forward?

At the time of writing, the US government had not published its fourth national action plan, so it is unclear if this commitment will be carried forward. The team responsible for coordinating evidence-based policymaking across the federal government is now the Evidence Team in the Economic Policy Division of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This small team supports other OMB offices and agencies to improve capacity to build and use evidence. If this commitment is included in a future action plan, it is essential that this team clearly specify the intended goals and activities. In addition, for the commitment to achieve greater openness in government, the improvement of public service delivery should directly involve the public. This can be accomplished by allowing users to evaluate the services they receive. The government could also publish the results of the evaluations and/or improve channels for the public to call for recourse or consequences as necessary.


[1] “Remarks of Acting OPM Director Beth Cobert,” US Office of Personnel Management, 8 March 2016, http://bit.ly/2rvG22u, consulted 2 October 2017.

[2] United States of America, Midterm Self-Assessment Report for the Open Government Partnership: Third Open Government National Action Plan, 2015-2017, September 2016, 12, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2001/01/USA_NAP3_self-assessment-report_20160916.pdf, consulted 2 October 2017.

[3] “Find What Works,” Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/administration/eop/sicp/initiatives/find-what-works, consulted 10 September 2017.

[4] The IRM received this information in a comment submitted by the US government during the pre-publication review of this report. The comment was received via e-mail on 30 April 2018.


United States's Commitments

  1. Federal Data Strategy

    US0105, 2019, E-Government

  2. Grants Accountability

    US0106, 2019, E-Government

  3. Public Access to Federally Funded Research

    US0107, 2019, E-Government

  4. Workforce Data Standards

    US0108, 2019, E-Government

  5. Chief Data Officers

    US0109, 2019, Capacity Building

  6. Open Data for Public Health

    US0110, 2019, E-Government

  7. Enterprise Objective

    US0111, 2019, Capacity Building

  8. Developing Future Action Plans

    US0112, 2019, OGP

  9. Reconstitution of the USA.gov

    US0053, 2015, E-Government

  10. Accessibility of Government Information Online

    US0054, 2015, Marginalized Communities

  11. Access to Educational Resources

    US0055, 2015, Open Data

  12. Public Listing of Every Address in the US

    US0056, 2015, Open Data

  13. Informed Decisions About Higher Education.

    US0057, 2015, Open Data

  14. New Authentication Tools to Protect Individual Privacy and Ensure That Personal Records Go Only to the Intended Recipients.

    US0058, 2015, Public Service Delivery

  15. Transparency of Open311

    US0059, 2015, E-Government

  16. Support Medicine Research Throught Opening up Relevant Data of the Field

    US0060, 2015, Health

  17. Access to Workforce Data

    US0061, 2015, Open Data

  18. Using Evidence and Concrete Data to Improve Public Service Delivery

    US0062, 2015, Capacity Building

  19. Expand Use of the Federal Infrastructure Permitting Dashboard

    US0063, 2015,

  20. Consolidation of Import and Export Systems

    US0064, 2015, E-Government

  21. Improving Government Records

    US0065, 2015, Open Data

  22. Starred commitment Ammendments to FOIA

    US0066, 2015, Open Data

  23. Streamline the Declassification Process

    US0067, 2015, Capacity Building

  24. Implement the Controlled Unclassified Information Program

    US0068, 2015, Open Data

  25. Transparency of Privacy Programs and Practices

    US0069, 2015, Capacity Building

  26. Transparency of Federal Use of Investigative Technologies

    US0070, 2015, E-Government

  27. Increase Transparency of the Intelligence Community

    US0071, 2015, Capacity Building

  28. Open Science Through Open Data

    US0072, 2015, Open Data

  29. Open Data Portal

    US0073, 2015, E-Government

  30. Increase Transparency of Trade Policy and Negotiations

    US0074, 2015, E-Government

  31. Develop a Machine Readable Government Organizational Chart

    US0075, 2015, E-Government

  32. Improving Public Participation

    US0076, 2015, Public Participation

  33. Expand Public Participation in the Development of Regulations

    US0077, 2015, Public Participation

  34. Civic Engagement in Decision-Making Processes

    US0078, 2015, Public Participation

  35. Open Mapping

    US0079, 2015, E-Government

  36. Tracking OGP Implementation

    US0080, 2015, OGP

  37. Strengthening Whistleblower Protection

    US0081, 2015, Capacity Building

  38. Transparency of Legal Entities

    US0082, 2015, Beneficial Ownership

  39. Extractive Industries Transparency

    US0083, 2015, Extractive Industries

  40. Spending Transparency

    US0084, 2015, E-Government

  41. Enhance the Use of U.S. Foreign Assistance Information

    US0085, 2015, Aid

  42. Participatory Budgets and Responsive Spending

    US0086, 2015, Participation in Budget Processes

  43. Expand Access to Justice to Promote Federal Programs

    US0087, 2015, E-Government

  44. Build Safer Communities with Police Open Data

    US0088, 2015, E-Government

  45. Open Federal Data to Benefit Local Communities

    US0089, 2015, E-Government

  46. Support the Municipal Data Network

    US0090, 2015, E-Government

  47. Foster Data Ecosystems

    US0091, 2015, Capacity Building

  48. Extend Digital, Data-Driven Government to Federal Government’S Support for Communities

    US0092, 2015, Capacity Building

  49. Promote Implementation of SDGs

    US0093, 2015, Open Data

  50. Starred commitment Promote Open Climate Data

    US0094, 2015, E-Government

  51. Air Quality Data Available

    US0095, 2015, E-Government

  52. Promote Food Security and Data Sharing for Agriculture and Nutrition

    US0096, 2015, Capacity Building

  53. Promote Data Sharing About Global Preparedness for Epidemic Threats

    US0097, 2015, Capacity Building

  54. Promote Global Interconnectivity

    US0098, 2015, Aid

  55. Open Contracting

    US0099, 2015, Capacity Building

  56. Harness the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development

    US0100, 2015, OGP

  57. Open Government to Support Global Sustainable Development

    US0101, 2015, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  58. Open Collaboration Onf the Arctic

    US0102, 2015, Environment and Climate

  59. Support Capacity Building for Extractives Transparency

    US0103, 2015, Capacity Building

  60. Support Responsible Investment and Business Practices for Companies

    US0104, 2015, Private Sector

  61. Improve Public Participation in Government

    US0027, 2013, Capacity Building

  62. Modernize Management of Government Records

    US0028, 2013, Records Management

  63. Modernize the Freedom of Information Act

    US0029, 2013, Capacity Building

  64. Transform the Security Classification System

    US0030, 2013, Records Management

  65. Implement the Controlled Unclassified Information Program

    US0031, 2013, Security

  66. Increase Transparency of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Activities

    US0032, 2013, E-Government

  67. Make Privacy Compliance Information More Accessible

    US0033, 2013, E-Government

  68. Support and Improve Agency Implementation of Open Government Plans

    US0034, 2013, OGP

  69. Strengthen and Expand Whistleblower Protections for Government Personnel

    US0035, 2013, Capacity Building

  70. Increase Transparency of Legal Entities Formed in the United States

    US0036, 2013, Legislation & Regulation

  71. Starred commitment Implement the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

    US0037, 2013, Environment and Climate

  72. Make Fossil Fuel Subsidies More Transparent

    US0038, 2013, Extractive Industries

  73. Starred commitment Increase Transparency in Spending

    US0039, 2013, Fiscal Transparency

  74. Increase Transparency of Foreign Assistance

    US0040, 2013, Aid

  75. Continue to Improve Performance.Gov

    US0041, 2013, E-Government

  76. Consolidate Import and Export Systems to Curb Corruption

    US0042, 2013, Private Sector

  77. Promote Public Participation in Community Spending Decisions

    US0043, 2013, Infrastructure & Transport

  78. Expand Visa Sanctions to Combat Corruption

    US0044, 2013, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  79. Further Expand Public Participation in the Development of Regulations

    US0045, 2013, Capacity Building

  80. Open Data to the Public

    US0046, 2013, E-Government

  81. Continue to Pilot Expert Networking Platforms

    US0047, 2013, Public Participation

  82. Reform Government Websites

    US0048, 2013, E-Government

  83. Promote Innovation Through Collaboration and Harness the Ingenuity of the American Public

    US0049, 2013, Capacity Building

  84. Promote Open Education to Increase Awareness and Engagement

    US0050, 2013, E-Government

  85. Deliver Government Services More Effectively Through Information Technology

    US0051, 2013, E-Government

  86. Increase Transparency in Spending

    US0052, 2013, E-Government

  87. Reform Records Management

    US0001, 2011, Records Management

  88. Lead a Multi-Agency Effort

    US0002, 2011, Capacity Building

  89. Monitor Agency Implementation of Plans

    US0003, 2011, OGP

  90. Provide Enforcement and Compliance Data Online

    US0004, 2011, Environment and Climate

  91. Advocate for Legislation Requiring Meaningful Disclosure

    US0005, 2011, Legislation & Regulation

  92. Apply Lessons from Recovery Act to Increate Spending Transparency

    US0006, 2011, Fiscal Transparency

  93. Government-Wide Reporting Requirements for Foreign Aid

    US0007, 2011, Aid

  94. Use Performanc.Gov to Improve Government Performance and Accountability

    US0008, 2011, Public Service Delivery

  95. Overhaul the Public Participation Interface on Regulations.Gov

    US0009, 2011, Legislation & Regulation

  96. Launch Expertnet

    US0010, 2011, E-Government

  97. Launch International Space Apps Competition

    US0011, 2011, E-Government

  98. Launch “We the People”

    US0012, 2011,

  99. Open Source “We the People”

    US0013, 2011,

  100. Develop Best Practices and Metrics for Public Participation

    US0014, 2011, Capacity Building

  101. Professionalize the FOIA Administration

    US0015, 2011, Right to Information

  102. Harness the Power of Technology

    US0016, 2011, Right to Information

  103. Advocate for Legislation on Whistleblower Protection

    US0017, 2011, E-Government

  104. Explore Executive Authority to Protect Whistleblowers

    US0018, 2011, Legislation & Regulation

  105. Implement the EITI

    US0019, 2011, Extractive Industries

  106. Partnership to Build on Recent Progress

    US0020, 2011, Extractive Industries

  107. Promote Data.Gov to Spur Innovation Through Open Sourcing

    US0021, 2011, Open Data

  108. Data.Gov: Foster Communities on Data.Gov

    US0022, 2011, Education

  109. Begin Online National Dialogue with the American Public

    US0023, 2011, Public Participation

  110. Update Government-Wide Policies for Websites

    US0024, 2011,

  111. Promote Smart Disclosure to Ensure Timely Release of Information

    US0025, 2011, Capacity Building

  112. Publish Guidelines on Scientific Data

    US0026, 2011, Capacity Building