The nonprofit Results for America has recognized eight states – Colorado, Minnesota, Tennessee, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Washington, Utah, and Connecticut – for their achievements in using data-driven and evidence-based policymaking to “accelerate economic mobility, advance equity, and deliver better results for their residents.”

As part of the 2022 Invest in What Works State Standard of Excellence, Results for America also recognized nine honorable mention states – Massachusetts, Ohio, California, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, Texas, Arizona, and Rhode Island – for building and using evidence and data to deliver better results for residents.

Results for America is a nonpartisan nonprofit aimed at helping policymakers at all levels of government use evidence and data to solve their communities’ great challenges.

According to Results for America, the 2022 State Standard of Excellence highlights 263 examples of data-driven and evidence-based practices, policies, programs, and systems, which is an increase of 61 from 2021, in 41 states across the country, which is an increase of five states from 2021. The nonprofit identified 58 state grant programs, which totaled $770 million in spending for 2022, that are improving outcomes by defining and prioritizing evidence of effectiveness in 32 states – an increase of 24 states and 27 grant programs from 2021.

“In this year’s State Standard of Excellence, we saw a significant acceleration of efforts by state leaders across the country to build evidence and use it to invest in what works,” said Michele Jolin, CEO and co-founder of Results for America. “States are investing their own funds as well as federal funds to build and strengthen their evidence and data capacity, and investing in evaluations to help ensure they are delivering the best results for their residents.”

Results for America highlighted innovative examples of how states are using evidence and data to deliver better results:

  • Tennessee allocated $135 million to evidence-based summer learning programs to prevent summer learning loss.
  • Connecticut used American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to launch a universal home visiting program, and has created an ARPA Evidence and Evaluation Unit to coordinate the evaluation of its investments.
  • Colorado used its evidence continuum to help direct spending of America Rescue Plan Act funds, including investing in programs like wraparound services for Medicaid recipients and an evidence-based fall prevention program that will serve 400 aging residents.
  • North Carolina’s Office of Strategic Partnerships (OSP) launched the NC Project Portal, an innovative tool for launching partnerships to help state agencies address their research needs and deliver better results for residents.
  • Maryland’s Department of Human Services launched MD THINK, a cloud-based platform allowing multiple state agencies to share and manage data, and offering a one-stop shop for residents to access key services.
  • Washington is implementing an executive order on Equity in Public Contracting, using a statewide electronic data collection and monitoring system to ensure that all cabinet agencies are tracking the participation of certified minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses in state contracting and procurement.

“Connecticut’s state government is increasingly harnessing the power of data to deliver better services and improve the lives of everyone who lives and does business in our state,” said Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont. “Focusing on data, leaders have improved the way people apply for benefits, focused investments in high-need communities, and demonstrated the success of multiple programs. Our leaders work with agencies and communities to build data capacity and use evidence to continuously improve the impact of services and programs.”

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