Evidence-Based Decision Making is critical to driving smart state investments, continuous quality improvement, innovation, and outcomes. By making explicit Colorado’s shared understanding of evidence-based decision-making and our approach to it, we can align roles and responsibilities, accelerate progress, and build on the good work that has come before.

“The Colorado Lab’s thought partnership has been instrumental in helping Joint Budget Committee staff to advance evidence-based decision making, including HB24-1428. We value their expertise and guidance on using data to drive outcomes and smart state investments.”

Mitch Burmeister Principal Legislative Budget and Policy Analyst

“Your workshop on how to find good research was such a gift! I now see how to dig into searches thoughtfully and better communicate existing evidence. You have opened up the world for me on the policy issue of competency in my Judicial assignment.”

Alfredo Kemm Chief Legislative Budget & Policy Analyst, Joint Budget Committee, Colorado General Assembly

What is Evidence-Based Decision Making?

Evidence-Based Decision Making (EBDM) is the intersection of the best available research evidence, decision-makers’ expertise, and community needs and implementation context. Evidence-based decision making recognizes that research evidence is not the only contributing factor to policy and budget decisions. For example, even if a program has excellent research evidence and low costs, the local labor market may not support expansion of the program in Colorado.

A red and gold venn diagram depicting the three tenets of evidence-based decision making: best available research evidence, community needs & implementation context, and decision-maker expertise

From Vision to Implementation

Achieving an EBDM culture in Colorado requires cross-system support and alignment. Decision makers will be more likely to contribute to an EBDM culture if provided with shared knowledge, skills, and tools for using data effectively and efficiently. As such, the strategy for implementing EBDM in Colorado is organized around both the culture we are striving to achieve and the structures necessary to support the culture.

four-column graphic depicting evidence-based decision-making goals

Goal 1: Building a Shared Understanding of EBDM

Establish a shared understanding of evidence-based decision making in state government and create the conditions necessary for culture building.

Goal 2: Supporting the State Budgeting Process

Equip state agencies with tools to embed evidence-based decision making in their budgeting process and align structures in the budget cycle across executive and legislative branches.

Goal 3: Supporting EBDM in the Legislative Process

Equip members of the General Assembly with tools to employ evidence-based decision making during the legislative process

Goal 4: Developing EBDM Guidance for Funders

Support state government and philanthropic funders in creating opportunities for grantees to learn from their own data to enhance sustainability while meeting the needs of those they serve.