The U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) Office of Evaluation Sciences (OES) celebrated the completion of 100 collaborations across the government by hosting a virtual event highlighting an array of speakers who have worked with OES from across government and academia over the last six years. OES and its partners are dedicated to improving programs and services through data-driven decision making. The event shared results from completed projects including:
- A city small business relief program that reduced documentation requirements subsequently received a higher share of completed applications from historically underserved businesses.
- OES studied the effectiveness of different allocation methods on award rates for historically underserved businesses.
- Letters mailed to property owners increased requests for on-site wildfire risk assessments in Montana.
- Text reminders increased clinic visits for family planning services.
- A reminder encouraged Supplemental Security Income recipients to self-report changes in earnings earlier, potentially reducing overpayment.
“The federal government is learning extremely rich and impactful lessons from these 100 studies — and we’ve only scratched the surface,” said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan. “Great outcomes start with good data, and the Office of Evaluation Sciences is a prime example of GSA’s commitment to using data and technology to improve service delivery governmentwide. OES is gathering the evidence we need to make recommendations that improve how the government delivers for the American people.”
The event was organized into 3 panels:
- What leads to a successful evaluation? This session included reflections from over 100 collaborations such as remaining transparent during project implementation by sharing intervention details and results, to ensure federal collaborators and the public can continue to build and use evidence.
- Portfolio of evidence on equity and economic recovery OES presented their portfolio of evaluations with the Small Business Administration. These evaluations focused on how city governments distributed COVID-19 relief to small businesses and lessons learned in order to increase equal access to these resources. This was followed by a panel discussion that included: Clarence Wardell III, White House Domestic Policy Council, Crystal Hall, General Services Administration and University of Washington; Brittany Borg and Jason Bossie, Small Business Administration, and Exodie Roe and Andrea M. O’Neal, General Services Administration.
- New frontier for evidence in government: what’s next? During this panel, Cass Sunstein, Senior Counselor, Department of Homeland Security was joined by Christina Ciocca Eller, Office of Science and Technology, Pam Coleman, Office of Management and Budget, Jeanne Holm, City of Los Angeles, and David Yokum, The Policy Lab at Brown University to discuss the increased focus on Evidence Act implementation through an equity lense.
“Innovative academic partnerships have been crucial to establishing the Office of Evaluation Sciences and central to us meeting the important milestone of 100 completed collaborations with agency partners to date,” said Director of Office of Evaluation Sciences Kelly Bidwell.