Laura and John Arnold Foundation launches $15 million competition to use evidence-based programs to “move the needle” on major social problems

HOUSTON, TX—As part of its effort to encourage governments to make decisions based on rigorous research and reliable evidence, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) today launched the Moving the Needle Competition, which will provide funding for state and local governments and nonprofit organizations that implement highly effective social programs in an effort to “move the needle” on pressing problems such as poverty, education, and crime. The competition was highlighted today as a key evidence-based initiative in a White House announcement about My Brother’s Keeper, a federal effort to address persistent opportunity gaps and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential.

Through its Top Tier Evidence Initiative, LJAF’s Evidence-Based Policy team systematically reviews all of the rigorous program evaluations that are conducted in every area of social policy.  Unfortunately, most programs do not produce the hoped-for effects. However, the team has identified roughly a dozen programs shown in well-conducted, high-quality evaluations to produce strong outcomes of clear policy importance—such as higher high school graduation rates, increased employment and earnings, and a reduction in the number of criminal arrests.

In the hopes of expanding these credible programs to more communities, LJAF is inviting government and nonprofit agencies to submit proposals for implementing one or more of the programs. Access the complete article.

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