Cheng Publishes New Paper on Governments' Use of Evidence-Based Research
October 15, 2023

A research team led by Associate Professor Yuan (Daniel) Cheng has published a new report, Understanding the Use of Evidence-based Practices by State Leaders and Staff. The project was a collaboration with Minnesota Management & Budget and Results for America. 

In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on evidence-based practices, data-driven management, and evidence-based policymaking in public management. Both the general public and government officials are pushing for better use of evidence by state leaders and staff. Employing rigorous causal evidence during decision-making can help leaders understand "what works," impacting the allocation of billions of dollars annually and improving thousands of lives. 

In order to better understand how state leaders and staff use and interpret research, this analysis used qualitative interviews and an online survey of policymakers in the executive branches of three U.S. states: one each from the Midwest, Southeast, and Mountain West. In this report, we share how state leaders and staff understand different types of evidence and systematic barriers they encounter when attempting to enhance the use of scientific evidence.