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2018 HHS Data Strategy: Enhancing the HHS Evidence-Based Portfolio

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The 2018 HHS Data Strategy focuses on improving the Department’s capacity to develop statistical evidence to support policymaking and program evaluation over the next six to eight years. As the principal internal advisory body to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on the Department’s data and statistical policy, the HHS Data Council develops, implements, and updates the Department’s data strategy. Various efforts in HHS and throughout the federal government, including the President’s Management Agenda, Reimagine HHS, and the Report of the Commission on Evidenced-Based Policymaking (CEP) have called for leveraging data to provide insight into the effectiveness of programs and to inform decision making. The newly enacted law, “The Foundations for Evidence Based Policymaking Act of 2018,” which the President signed into law on January 14, 2019, puts a further mandate on HHS to improve its capacity for using data for evidence building purposes. There are six priorities outlined in the strategy: 1) improving access to HHS data, 2) enhancing administrative data for research, 3) increasing data linkages across diverse data assets, 4) modernizing privacy protections, 5) increasing data policy coordination and information sharing across the department, and 6) building a 21st Century data-oriented workforce.