Prevention Science

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 391–395 | Cite as

Enhancing Capacity for Evidence-Based Policymaking: the Role of Economic Evaluation Standards

  • Mary Bruce Webb


This commentary will describe some ongoing activities that are moving the federal government toward stronger use of evidence in decision-making. In particular, the work of the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking points to directions that have implications for capacity building and the institutionalization of economic evaluation, as well as mechanisms and resources that could make economic evaluation more feasible. Bipartisan legislation incorporates many of the recommendations of the Commission and reinforces efforts already underway at individual agencies as well as among interagency groups. Understanding the current context of evidence-based policymaking in the federal government can enable economic researchers to better influence the processes of capacity building, shape the designs of evaluations, and inform decision-making. The commentary highlights areas where further elaboration of economic evaluation principles could be useful to support evidence building, implementation, and program improvement.


Evidence-based intervention Policymaking Economic evaluation 



The author would like to thank Naomi Goldstein for her thoughtful suggestions in the preparation of this manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of study formal consent is not required.

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that she has no conflicts of interest.


The views expressed in this commentary reflect those of the author and are not necessarily the views of the Administration for Children and Families.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human ServicesWashingtonUSA

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