Initiative helps states develop cost-benefit modeling tool to assess effectiveness of programs
Rhode Island selected as Pew-MacArthur's 14th partner state
Providence, RI - Governor Lincoln D. Chafee announced today that Rhode Island has been selected as the 14th partner state to participate in the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative, which helps states assess the costs and benefits of policy options and use that data to make decisions based on results. Governor Chafee formally requested Rhode Island's participation on March 21, citing the state's recent moves toward data-driven decision-making and improved outcomes.
"Our state has made significant progress in the last two years toward promoting data-driven decision-making in budget and policy matters, as well as improving outcomes of state-run programs," Governor Chafee said. "It is my hope that the technical support and policy matter expertise provided by Results First will allow us to build on recent achievements and strengthen our ability to provide quality services to Rhode Islanders. We are determined to examine nationwide best practices and pursue more program analysis in our policy and budget decision-making, and we look forward to collaborating with Results First in that effort."
"Rhode Island, like many states, is under increasing pressure to ensure that scarce resources are invested in effective programs," said Gary VanLandingham, director of the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative. "We are pleased to be working with the state to use cutting-edge cost-benefit analysis tools to help policymakers make more informed decisions about allocating limited tax dollars. Other states have used this approach to target funding to programs that provide the best bang for the buck, and we are confident that Rhode Island can achieve similar positive results."
Results First is working with states to implement cutting-edge cost-benefit analysis tools to identify options that provide the best outcomes for citizens while improving states' fiscal health. These partnership efforts include:
• Helping states assess the costs and benefits of policy options and use that data to make decisions based on results. • Providing intensive assistance to states to help them adopt and apply a cost-benefit analysis model to their own policies and programs. • Identifying other areas that could benefit from the Results First approach to state policy making.
Results First builds on the successes of the nonpartisan Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP), which developed a research and analysis model to inform its policy and budget decisions. According to Results First, use of the WSIPP cost-benefit model to assess adult and juvenile justice programs helped Washington State achieve considerable savings while reducing crime rates and juvenile arrest rates below national averages. Participation in Results First is Rhode Island's latest effort to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of its government programs. Last year, the General Assembly enacted the Governor's proposal to create an Office of Management and Budget, which will better incorporate program outcome evaluations and long-range planning into policy and budget decisions. Departments have also developed performance measures for programs they administer and report regularly on their progress toward annual goals on the Governor's Transparency Portal (http://www.transparency.ri.gov/performance/).
Results First's initial focus on improving the outcome of criminal justice programs is consistent with Governor Chafee's policy priorities. In November 2011, the Governor signed an executive order creating the Governor's Steering Committee on Prisoner Reentry, designed to bring together government agencies and other stakeholders to develop a comprehensive strategy to facilitate prisoner reintegration into the community and to reduce recidivism rates. In 2012, the Rhode Island Department of Corrections was awarded a Second Chance Act Recidivism Reduction Grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to improve reentry services and substantially reduce recidivism. Results First's policy modeling tools and technical support will allow state officials to evaluate its adult and juvenile justice programs to determine the most effective and cost-efficient methods to improve rehabilitation efforts and reduce crime.