Creating a Shared Understanding: The Vision

Evidence-Based Decision-Making in Colorado: A 5-Year Vision


Advancing Evidence-Based Decision-Making in Colorado Policymaking: A 5-Year Vision Focused on Culture and Structure


Promoting Evidence-Based Decision-Making in Colorado State Government: From Vision to Implementation


Promoting Evidence-Based Decision-Making in Colorado State Government: From Vision to Implementation

Strategy Report


This living glossary provides definitions that are used in evidence-based decision-making (EBDM). These definitions are intended for use by all stakeholders in policy development, policy implementation, budget development, strategic planning, research, evaluation, and other EBDM activities.

Tools for Legislators

SMART Act Hearing Cue Card

This cue card provides questions for Colorado state legislators to ask in SMART Act hearings to activate evidence-based decision-making.

Legislative Hearing Cue Card

This cue card provides legislators with a menu of questions they can ask presenters during legislative hearings about a proposed policy or practice.

Tools for State Agencies

Evidence Portfolio Process

The evidence portfolio process was developed to further implement the EBDM vision by supporting agencies in using and building evidence as part of the state budgeting process. The materials below include an overview of the value and sample tools for achieving evidence portfolios.

Executive Summary

Evidence Portfolio Process

Program/Practice Inventory

Evidence Portfolio Tool

Evidence Portfolio Systems Map


Colorado is committed to data-driven decision-making and smart state investments. The Colorado Lab has received philanthropic support to facilitate development of a commonly accepted vision for Colorado’s approach to evidence-based decision-making (EBDM) in policy. By making explicit Colorado’s shared understanding of the work to be done and our approach to it, we can align roles and responsibilities across branches of government, accelerate progress, and build on the good work that has come before.

Where Did This All Begin?

We began this journey by co-developing a commonly accepted vision with members of the executive and legislative branches as well as non-governmental partners, including Joint Budget Committee members and staff; the Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting, Office of Operations, and Office of Information Technology; General Assembly members; several state Departments; and the Colorado Evidence-Based Policy Collaborative.

Together, these stakeholders helped to shape content and articulate the value of Colorado’s approach to EBDM in policymaking. The result is a memo on Advancing Evidence-Based Decision-Making in Colorado Policymaking

This memo serves to anchor Colorado decision-makers in the “why,” “what,” and “how” of EBDM as we move forward in developing the strategies, tools, and supports needed to achieve a successful and sustained EBDM culture in Colorado—a culture that drives outcomes, uses resources effectively, and enables alignment across systems and branches of government.

EBDM Venn Diagram Visual

What Happens Next?

Moving toward a broad-based culture of EBDM in Colorado is a long game. The Colorado Lab is working with government and non-governmental stakeholders to share Colorado’s vision and cultivate the collaborative ownership necessary to drive action. The next step is to co-develop a 5-year strategic plan for executing the vision with representatives from the roles outlined in the memo. The strategic plan will also include communications, change management, and implementation plans that roll out over the next 5 years.

How Can I Get Involved?

The first step to a successful culture of EBDM is for government and non-governmental partners to understand the vision—and think about their piece of the puzzle. We invite you to start by reading the memo! If this excites you and you want to add your voice to the discussion, we welcome you to reach out to Drs. Kristin Klopfenstein and Courtney Everson to discuss ways to get involved.

How Can the Colorado Lab Help Me Make this Vision a Reality?

The Colorado Lab provides boundary spanning leadership to promote, execute, and measure progress on this commonly accepted EBDM vision. We can serve you, your agency, and your partners as an expert intermediary and honest broker for data, research/evaluation, and policy decisions and projects. Are you looking for tools to support you in the effective use of research evidence to inform policy decisions? Maybe you want to build capacity for efficiently leveraging administrative data in your day-to-day operations? Perhaps you are looking for best practices in data sharing, transparency, and accountability? Are you looking to build the confidence of your staff and leadership in evidence-based decision-making frameworks? The Colorado Lab can help you in all of these goals—and more—as we move from vision to execution in EBDM in Colorado policymaking, together.

Special EBDM Blog Series 

Follow our special blog series as we dig into the defining features of an EBDM culture.

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