In Legislator's Words: Evidence-Based Policymaking Q&A Series


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Evidence-based policymaking can help state policymakers allocate resources to programs that are effective, promote innovation, and build and sustain a culture of continuous learning and improvement. Rather than making indiscriminate, across-the-board cuts to government programs, legislators in many states have used evidence to make strategic and results-driven decisions that are tailored to their states’ needs. “Having the capability to understand the programs and their impact can give us a more tailored approach," Alabama Sen. Arthur Orr explained in an interview for NCSL's new Evidence-Based Policymaking Q&A Series. 

To learn more about what evidence-based practices look like in states, NCSL interviewed Orr and state legislators from Oregon and Utah to gather their perspectives on why using evidence matters and which steps have enabled them to incorporate evidence into their budget and policy decisions.

While their approaches vary, their reasons for using an evidence-based approach stem from a similar pursuit of fiscal stewardship, investing in programs that are proven to work, and achieving better outcomes for taxpayers. “When we incorporate evidence into policy, we actually help who we’re trying to help and we save money in the short and long terms,” Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward told NCSL. “Incorporating evidence makes government smarter, and smarter government works better for the people.”  

 Read the Q&As

In the EBP Q&A series, Utah Rep. Eric Hutchings, Oregon Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, and Alabama Sen. Arthur Orr share their insights, lessons learned and steps taken to advance evidence-based practices and decision-making in their states.  

This Q&A series was made possible through generous support from The Pew Charitable Trusts. For more information on evidence-informed policymaking, visit the NCSL Center for Results-Driven Governing or contact Kristine Goodwin (