Colorado is a recognized leader nationally in evidence-based policymaking. Consistent use of data and research is increasingly understood to be key to achieving policies that are equitable, efficient, and effective.
The Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab received philanthropic support to facilitate the development of a commonly accepted vision for Colorado’s approach to evidence-based decision-making (EBDM). This collaborative endeavor was contributed to by the Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting, Office of Operations, and Office of Information Technology; General Assembly members; Joint Budget Committee staff; several state Departments; and the Colorado Evidence-Based Policy Collaborative. Collectively, our aim was to provide Colorado policy leaders and influencers with a clear, consistent approach to drive smart state investments, continuous quality improvement, innovation, and meaningful outcomes.
The EBDM approach recognizes that research evidence alone is not the only factor influencing policy and budget decisions—community voice, cultural values, availability of resources, and feasibility of implementation are also important. The best available research evidence, the expertise of decision-makers, and a clear understanding of constituent needs and context are foundational components of EBDM.
Moving toward a broad-based culture of EBDM in Colorado is a long game. It requires collective effort across levels and branches of government, including elected, appointed, and career leadership and staff. A common understanding of the why, what, and how of EBDM allows leadership from diverse systems to identify shared goals and develop strategies that contribute to reaching them. This, in turn, promotes consistency among public
sector staff, regardless of branch of government or state agency, in what it means to fulfill Colorado’s commitment to EBDM. It also increases opportunities for state government to collaborate with non-governmental partners, communities, and family stakeholders.
We invite and encourage you to learn more and add your voice to discussions that will help to move the 5-year vision into action. Over the next few months, we will blog about the defining features of a successful EBDM culture, sharing tools, resources, and model processes to support learning and actionability. You can also read a brief summary of the foundational memo we created to launch the EBDM planning process.
To learn more or inquire about hosting a learning and discussion session, contact Dr. Courtney Everson.
Tune in to upcoming blog posts as we dig into the defining features of an EBDM culture.