Hi, I'm Nick Hart, an expert on evidence-based policymaking and an advocate for using data to make better decisions in government. Ask Me Anything!
Schedule: Feb 26 at
1 PM EST12 PM EST
Hi Reddit! I’m Nick Hart, director of the Evidence Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center, a non-partisan think tank based in Washington, DC. My work focuses on ethically using data to inform public policy decisions. The topic of evidence-based policymaking has gained steam in public discourse in recent years – I’m here to help parse the nuances, describe the upcoming opportunities, and explain why it matters. Ask me anything!
Why It’s Timely
Late last year Congress passed the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act with overwhelming bipartisan support, and President Trump enacted the bill in January 2019. The law creates new expectations about the availability of open data to ensure government is transparent, facilitates more program evaluation to understand whether government’s activities work, and incorporates strong privacy protections to safeguard confidential information.
Why It Matters
This new law – the Evidence Act – is a sea change for the federal government in making data useful to inform policy. As I’ve written elsewhere: “it’s also a signal that our elected leaders are truly serious about having agreed-upon facts to frame debates and inform critical decisions.”
There’s lots to unpack about the new law and evidence-based policy in the country more broadly. Ask me anything! /u/ nhartBPC
FEB 26 @ 12 pm EST. Thank you all for the incredible interest. We are going to get started a little early to answer your questions. Here we go!
FEB 26 @ 2:30 pm EST. Thank you all for tuning in for the AMA. I'm thrilled to see the enthusiasm for the topic and appreciate your excellent, thoughtful questions. At this point I am heading over to a federal agency to help them plan for implementing the new law, but we were able to respond to more than 40 questions during the AMA. Sorry we could not get to all! Here are some resources to help us continue the discussion:
- Background on the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act
- A Primer on Evidence-Based Policymaking
- Our Research on the Evidence Use in Congress
- Learn about the Evidence Project at BPC
You can also stay up to date with what's happening in the field by following me on twitter at @NickRHart.
FEB 26 @ 830 pm EST. I'm back to answer as many questions that were posted earlier today that I can make it through by 10 pm. I know there are a great many issues we didn't get to yet, but will try to cover some more ground in the next couple hours.
FEB 26 @1045 pm EST. After answering many more questions this evening, this is officially a wrap. Thanks everyone for the incredible interest. Please keep asking questions about how policymakers prioritize the generation and use of evidence!
MAR 1 @ 430 pm EST. Continuing the discussion from the AMA, we recorded an episode of the "Pints and Policy" podcast that addressed some of the questions we weren't able to get to. You can catch the full episode here!