Alexandria, Va. (March 22, 2016) — Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) welcomes the passage by Congress and the signing into law by President Obama of the Evidence-based Policymaking Commission Act, which will create a 15-person commission to discern the best way for the federal government to organize, protect, and analyze data to improve public policy.
“The bipartisan leadership of Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) to introduce and shepherd this legislation through both chambers of Congress demonstrates progress in improving our nation’s response to poverty,” said Sister Donna Markham, OP, PhD, President & CEO of Catholic Charities USA. “CCUSA and Catholic Charities agencies around the country have long been committed to identifying evidence-based approaches to reducing poverty and this legislation will further that cause.”
CCUSA and the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) at the University of Notre Dame have been working with Catholic Charities agencies across the country to quantify the impact evidence-based models have had in addressing and reducing poverty. More research is needed, however, and the Evidence-Based Policy Commission created by this act has the potential to significantly advance this important work.
As a consistent advocate for evidence-based policy, CCUSA is proud to have played a role in advancing this measure by sharing with policymakers how increased evidence strengthens our services. Since the bill was introduced last year, almost 1500 people from the Catholic Charities network took the initiative to reach out to their legislators and asked them to make evidence-based policymaking the primary tool in ensuring that federal funds go to programs that work efficiently and effectively.