How states and localities are improving the quality of education, health, and human services through integrated data systems: An interview with Dennis Culhane

Programs and agencies in government often exist in silos, where the efforts of one aren’t necessarily connected with others and their data are not shared between them. That slows the process within government of learning what works, coordinating efforts, spurring social innovation, and continuous improvement. A growing number of states and localities, however, are developing Integrated…

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Dennis Culhane and John Fantuzzo Awarded $1.9M for AISP and IDS Research

Two grants, totaling nearly $2 million, have been awarded to University of Pennsylvania professors Dennis Culhane and John Fantuzzo, enabling the continued development and expanded use of Integrated Data Systems, or IDS, for evidence-based policymaking through the Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy, or AISP, initiative. IDS link existing administrative data across multiple agencies and community…

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Fusing Randomized Trials With Big Data – The Key to Self-learning Health Care Systems?

Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) have revolutionized medicine by providing evidence on the efficacy and safety of drugs, devices, and procedures. Today, more than 40 000 RCTs are reported annually, their quality continues to increase, and oversight mechanisms ensure adequate protection of participants. However, RCTs have at least 4 related problems: (1) they are too expensive and…

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3 Questions: Amy Finkelstein on testing health care systems

Amy Finkelstein, an MIT economist, explains why randomized trials can improve medical care. “About 80 percent of studies of U.S. medical interventions use randomized controlled trials (RCTs), the gold standard of laboratory research. But only about 18 percent of studies of U.S. health care delivery use RCTs. That can and should change, suggests Amy Finkelstein,…

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Low-Cost RCT Competition: Building Evidence To Drive Effective Social Spending

Demonstrating How Low-Cost Randomized Controlled Trials Can Drive Effective Social Spending: Project Overview and Request for Proposals Background and Purpose: In response to the White House and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) call to action for evidence-based reforms across the federal government, the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy has launched a competition to select and…

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RCTs for Health Care Delivery Improvement

A recent NY Times article highlights the use of randomized control trials (RCTs) as an important tool in identifying methods for improving  health care delivery. The article notes that the current use of RCTs for this is rare, but identifies researchers that are currently utilizing this method and obtaining results that have lead to cost and…

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White House Promotes IDS for Low Cost RCTs

The Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy convened leaders from the White House, Federal agencies, Congress, philanthropic foundations, and academia this week to explore an important development in the effort to build credible evidence about “what works” in social spending: low-cost randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The goal of the conference was…

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The Move Towards Rigorous Evaluation

The July 2014 New York Times article, “The Quiet Movement to Make Government Fail Less Often” emphasizes the importance of rigorous evaluation of government programs as the key to a more successful government. Recently, several evaluations have emerged, largely due to the growing availability of data. The article notes that the private sector has utilized…

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New York Times Reports Ways in Which Poverty is Being Addressed

In a recent op-ed, The New York Times described today’s state of poverty and society’s gradual but evident steps towards progress to amend it. Although the issue of poverty has yet to be resolved, progress in repairing social problems has emerged in several identified areas. The report breaks this down into three categories. First, organizations…

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The Coalition for Evidence Based Policy Seeks Letters of Intent for RCT

The Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy recently put out a call for letters of intent for a domestic Randomized Control Trial (RCT). The due date for these letters is February 14, 2014.  Applicants will be notified prior to March 21, 2014 if they are invited to submit a full proposal. Three low-cost RCTs will be funded….

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Administrative Data Systems Key in Producing Rigorous and Low-Cost Program Evaluations Finds the Coalition for Evidence Based Policy

The Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy (http://coalition4evidence.org ) recently published an overview and demonstration of rigorous-but-low-cost program evaluations. The publication highlights the use of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with administrative data systems, providing a number of examples from existing studies. RCTs have long been a best practice with respect to program evaluation. The use of integrated…

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