Non-profits, foundations, and universities are enthused by government’s growing interest in the use of evidence and evaluation. They are chiming in with either support for government initiatives or undertaking their own.
OMB’s guidance to agencies on the development of their FY 2015 budgets promises that “OMB will issue a separate memo at a later date that encourages the increased use of evidence and evaluation, including rigorous testing of innovative strategies to build new knowledge of what works.” This encouragement comes on top of a foundation already under development in many agencies.
Professor Wyld argues that more aggressively managing the tail of government spending - smaller, non-core expenditures that tend to receive less attention - offers the possibility of substantial cost savings.
A recent GAO report on the executive branch’s approach to new requirements in the Government Performance and Results Act recommends that “OMB improve the implementation of the act.” But a sub-theme in the report describes how agencies are actually building a long-term, solid foundation for a performance-driven government.
The Obama Administration has built on efforts from the Bush Administration to embed the use of evidence and evaluation in making funding decisions. There are now four different types of initiatives underway, or proposed, in a range of federal agencies.