Social Innovation
day one project

Embedding Evidence and Evaluation in Economic Recovery Legislation

12.22.20 | 1 min read | Text by Jed Herrmann & Kate Tromble & Alexandra George & Colleen Chien


The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating impacts on communities across the country. Tens of millions of people lost jobs and millions of school children have fallen behind. To help people recover from the effects of the pandemic, the next administration should invest in proven solutions by working with Congress to embed evaluation and evidence-building into economic stimulus legislation, strengthening the foundation for an equitable and efficient recovery.

The new administration and Congress should ensure that any forthcoming economic stimulus legislation include provisions requiring commitments to build new evidence and utilize existing evidence. Specifically, the administration should establish a task force coordinated by the National Economic Council to:

  1. Work with agencies and Congress to set aside a portion of recovery resources (up to 1%) for evaluation and evidence-building, based in part on agency learning agendas created in response to the Evidence Act.
  2. Create a National Economic Mobility Innovation Fund at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
  3. Empower the Office of Evaluation Services (OES) within the General Services Administration (GSA) to help agencies develop evaluation and evidence-building capacity.
  4. Create Excellence in What Works in Economic Mobility Awards.

These strategies, which we are collectively calling a “Stimulus Evaluation Act,” should be integrated into current and future economic recovery efforts.