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Evaluation & Evidence

Evaluation and analysis provide essential evidence for HHS to understand how its programs work, for whom, and under what circumstances. HHS builds evidence through evaluation and analysis in order to inform decisions in budget, legislative, regulatory, strategic planning, program, and policy arenas. Given the breadth of work supported by HHS, many evaluations and analyses are conducted each year. These efforts range in scope, scale, design, and methodology, but all aim to understand how the effect of programs and policies and how they can be improved.

Across HHS, evaluation comes in many forms, including:

  • Program evaluations using the most rigorous designs appropriate;
  • Capacity-building initiatives to improve administrative data collection, accessibility, and use for management;
  • Exploratory and preliminary quantitative and qualitative analysis to build evidence;
  • Pilots and demonstrations; and
  • Statistical analysis of factors related to health and human services programs and policies.

Findings from a variety of evaluations and analyses are disseminated to the public on HHS agency websites such as the Administration for Children and Families Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation and the Innovation Center at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. ASPE coordinates the evaluation community by regularly convening the HHS Evaluation & Evidence Policy Council, which builds capacity by sharing best practices and promising new approaches across HHS.

Disseminating Evidence: In addition to building evidence through a broad range of rigorous empirical studies, analyses, and evaluations, HHS supports multiple clearinghouses that catalog, review, and disseminate evidence, including:

Select Federal Evaluation Resources

The federal evaluation community continually aims to ensure we are using our resources in accordance with the recommendations from both the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the General Accountability Office (GAO). The following resources are the most recent reports from those and other federal agencies.

GAO Assessments

OMB Recommendations

Federal Agency Evaluation Policies