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Goal 2: Supporting the State Budgeting Process

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Goal 2 Overview

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.

A gold and red oblong shape and a money icon that says Goal 2: Supporting the State Budgeting Process

A colored circular graphic depicting the tenets of evidence-based decision making

Goal 2 Activities

State agencies have expressed a need for support in using data to inform budget and policy priorities. In response, the Colorado Lab developed the evidence portfolio process, which is applied to each budget item that involves a program or practice. The evidence portfolio process is based on literature and tools from implementation science and evidence-based policymaking. The process uses a set of criteria tied to the three major domains of evidence-based decision making: best available research evidence, community needs and implementation context, and decision-maker expertise. Through structured tools and guidance, these criteria help to elicit the evidence behind a program or practice. A completed evidence portfolio tells the story of impact and identifies opportunities for strengthening and scaling the program or practice.

A four column graphic depicting the evidence portfolio process

The evidence portfolio process directly supports agencies in developing their annual budget submissions and acts as the “front door” to evidence-based policymaking. Aligning the evidence portfolio process with budget instructions from the Governor’s Office and with definitions of evidence from SB21-284 are important next steps to ensure continuity across the budgeting process.

Goal 2 Actionability

Evidence portfolios help state agencies apply evidence to drive outcomes, leverage data to inform learning and action, and build evidence on what works and for whom, while promoting innovation. Beyond the budgeting process, evidence portfolios have multiple benefits for day-to-day and strategic work of agencies, including for staff cross-training, building cross-system partnerships, identifying continuous quality improvement opportunities, and securing additional resources.

Get Involved

For more information about working with the Colorado Lab, see Government and Community Partnerships or Research Partnerships.