The NCSL Blog


By Kristine Goodwin and Luke Howard

After more than a decade of working with state leaders to advance evidence-based policymaking, The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Results First initiative announced plans to transfer select evidence-based policymaking resources to two organizations: NCSL’s Center for Results-Driven Governing and Pennsylvania State University’s Evidence-to-Impact Collaborative.

Pew awarded NCSL its multi-state peer learning community, a formal network of state government leaders dedicated to advancing and sustaining the use of data and evidence in budget and policy decisions.


Pew has worked with states to implement evidence-based policymaking strategies and invest in policies and programs that are proven to work.

 “To encourage state leaders to build on the foundation Results First helped create, and make room for other organizations to continue to advance the field in innovative ways, we are passing the torch by transitioning our key assets to prominent national groups,” said project director Sara Dube.

 “We chose NCSL to take over our peer learning community because it has the reputation, experience, and relationships to strengthen and expand the network and increase the use of evidence in states’ decision-making.”

About the Governing for Results Network

NCSL’s center—in partnership with The Council of State Governments and The Policy Lab at Brown University—launched the Governing for Results Network in August. 

Learning communities and networks bring leaders together to have candid conversations, share challenges and ideas, and learn from other states’ approaches. Legislators, legislative staff and executive branch leaders from eight states—Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina and New York—comprise the network.

The trio of organizations are hosting meetings and releasing reports, including a fact sheet that outlined evidence-based policymaking options and requirements under the American Rescue Plan.

Leaders of NCSL’s center, The Pew Charitable Trusts and Penn State University’s Evidence-to-Impact Collaborative highlighted state efforts to use evidence in the budgeting process at NCSL’s Legislative Summit in November. Case in point: Colorado SB 284, enacted in 2021, defines evidence terms and requires state agencies to provide research about program effectiveness in budget requests.

What’s Next for the Governing for Results Network? 

Going forward, the Governing for Results Network will expand to include new states and members and bring the network together to share challenges and accomplishments in the field evidence-based policymaking. 

On Dec. 6, the network hosted its first virtual convening centered around cultivating a lasting culture of evidence. 

NCSL, CSG and The Policy Lab will produce an array of events and resources for policymakers, not only those in network states. A forthcoming report will profile how states are using American Rescue Plan funds to evaluate programs and ensure that funding decisions lead to long-term results.

Kristine Goodman is associate director and Luke Howard is a policy analyst in NCSL's Employment, Labor and Retirement Program.

Email Kristine.

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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.