This paper is from Session 5A: Evidence-based policy making
Full topic list
which comes under Topic 5: Statistics education in the disciplines and the workplace

(Monday 14th, 13:45-15:45)

Challenges to evidence-based policy making in the decentralized U.S. statistical system


  • Nancy Potok (United States Census Bureau, United States)



One goal of the current U.S. presidential administration is to accomplish more evidence-based decision making to drive National policy. The FY 2014 President’s Budget contains funding for rigorous evaluations across government as well as evaluation capacity building. The stated purpose is to build knowledge so that spending decisions are based on strong evidence that investments yield the highest social returns. One promising approach to conducting data-driven evaluations cited in the budget documents is using administrative records to conduct low-cost evaluations. The US Census Bureau has extensive experience linking statistical survey data to administrative data to create powerful data sets. However, in a decentralized statistical system, many challenges exist to sharing records and data among federal statistical agencies. This paper discusses both advances and challenges in increasing evidence-based policy making.