In 2016, the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking (CEP) was established by the bipartisan Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act. Jointly sponsored by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), and signed by President Barack Obama, the Act recognizes that better use of existing data may improve how government programs operate. The mission of the Commission is to develop a strategy for increasing the availability and use of data in order to build evidence about government programs, while protecting privacy and confidentiality. Through the course of the Commission’s work, members will study how data, research, and evaluation are currently used to build evidence, and how to strengthen the government’s evidence-building efforts.
On November 4, 2016, the third meeting of the Commission took place, featuring panels on evaluation capacity considerations, data and capacity needs for government evaluation, capacity to support public good activities, and evaluation of capacity considerations from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The meeting was presided over by Katharine G. Abraham, Chair of the Commission, and Ron Haskins, Co-Chair.