Evaluation As A Tool For Improving Federal Programs

Since taking office, President Obama has emphasized the need to determine what works and what does not in government, and to use those answers to inform Federal policy and budget decisions. The President’s 21st Century Management Agenda, submitted to Congress with the fiscal year 2010 Budget, set bold goals for building a more efficient, more effective government that contributes to economic growth and strengthens the foundations for economic prosperity (OMB 2009a). Today, evaluating Federal programs and interventions to understand their impact, and developing the infrastructure within agencies to support a sustained level of high-quality evaluations, remains an Administration priority. By rigorously testing which programs and interventions are most effective at achieving important goals, the government can improve its programs, scaling up the approaches that work best and modifying or discontinuing those that are less effective.