The Foundations for Evidenced-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 (Evidence Act) provided an important opportunity to Federal Agencies to assess and improve, where needed, their evaluation and other evidence building activities. Since the passage of the Evidence Act, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has worked diligently to build on an existing culture of evidence that maintains principles of scientific integrity throughout the evaluation process, ensures adherence to the HHS Evaluation Policy, and upholds the standards delineated in the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Memorandum M-20-12.
The FY2023 Capacity Assessment Update is part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) multi-year approach for addressing the primary capacity building needs identified through the initial FY2023-2026 HHS Capacity Assessment (a required Evidence Act deliverable). This report provides information regarding HHS’ capacity improvements, ongoing capacity building activities, promising practices, opportunities for growth, and resources needed to support current and future capacity building efforts. The initial FY2023-2026 HHS Capacity Assessment, based on data collected in FY2021, highlighted HHS’ strengths and challenges regarding building evidence needed for sound programmatic and policy decision-making. This FY2023 Capacity Assessment Update is based on data collected in FY2022 and focuses on a closer examination of HHS’ organizational capacity including how the evaluation function is operationalized throughout HHS’ Operating and Staff Divisions (Op/Staff Divs).