Guided by the Essential Elements

The Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab was created under the leadership of the Governor’s Office to unlock data-informed solutions to our most pressing social problems. Working together with a broad range of government and community partners, we conduct research with rigor to obtain the best available evidence to address these challenges. With these essential elements guiding our collaborative efforts to improve the lives of Coloradans, our goal is to leverage data to inform policy and practice, set the wheels in motion to achieve and sustain change, and position our partners to pursue additional, meaningful change for the communities they serve.


Building mutual relationships is at the heart of the Colorado Lab’s work. We prioritize relationships to unlock data-informed solutions, learn together to improve and innovate, and harness the power of the research community to accelerate the work. ​

Prioritize Relationships. We strive to become a trusted partner by listening carefully to diverse needs and insights across levels within organizations, making connections across systems, and taking care to be responsive and flexible.

Learn Together. We are committed to learning together with our partners about the data and actions needed to move the needle toward desired outcomes.

Bridge to the Research Community. We foster connections and growth within Colorado’s research and evaluation community, engaging external partners to harness their expertise on selected projects.


We apply systems-thinking at every step of building evidence so that issues and solutions move beyond silos to collective impact. We apply rigor to obtain the best available evidence matched to decision-making goals, make connections across players in different systems to find alignment in opportunity, and welcome risk for reward to disrupt core causes that hold problems in place.

Apply Rigor. We conduct research and evaluation with rigor, tailoring our approach and methods to meet partners where they are and obtain the best available evidence.

Make Connections. We are highly engaged with key players across systems, making connections and advancing opportunities to explore new and aligned issues.

Welcome Risk for Reward. We take on high-risk, high-reward projects that offer the potential to achieve substantial gains and sustained change.


The end goal of every Colorado Lab relationship and project is meaningful action. Our work does not stop at the generation of research evidence. We intentionally activate findings by investing in pathways that move results into opportunities for sustained change that crosses generations and systems.

Activate Findings. We identify data-informed pathways to reach desired outcomes and set wheels in motion to achieve targeted goals.

Sustain Change. We strive to understand the core causes of problems, identify opportunities to foster systemic change, and activate stakeholders from across systems to achieve and sustain change.

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