Bipartisan Panel, with NYU Wagner Dean as a Member, Proposes Path to Improved Government Transparency and Evidence-Based Policymaking

A blue-ribbon panel that includes NYU Wagner Dean Sherry Glied issued a report on September 7 advocating the creation of a secure, digital portal for researchers to study the impact of US government spending on healthcare, education, housing, and other sectors of the economy.

The bipartisan Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking, with 15 members in all, was formed to consider how to strengthen the government’s evidence-building and policymaking efforts. It stemmed from a March 2016 law jointly sponsored by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). The panel released its report in Washington on September 7. The report, with a total of 22 recommendations, is titled “The Promise of Evidence-Based Policymaking.”

The new portal recommended in the 114-page report—called the National Secure Data Service—would provide easier access for social scientists evaluating how well government programs work, while improving privacy protection for everyone with personal information in the databases. At present, rules designed to protect privacy can make it difficult for researchers to examine data that agencies collect while managing myriad programs.