Statistics & Evidence

A bubble chart with predictor and response on X and Y axes

We can use data on drivers and responses to understand how a policy works or can be more effective.

The Foundations of Evidence-based Policymaking Act - the Evidence Act - requires Federal agencies to build and use evidence with data, statistics, and evaluation as we serve the Nation. This fundamental tool helps ensure the effectiveness, efficiency, and equity of outcomes. Policy analysis and evidence go hand-in-hand: it's all about determining what we need to do - our desired outcomes - and understanding how we do it.

The Office of Policy Analysis provides leadership and coordination on statistics and evidence for the Department. The Director serves as the Department's Statistical Official, working closely with the Chief Data Officer and the Evaluation Officer to cultivate a culture of evidence, develop evidence-based decision-making policies, and more. The Department's Data Governance Board was established pursuant to the Evidence Act and provides a place for the Evidence Act principals and representatives from bureaus and offices to carry out our "evidence agenda."

Want to get involved? Interior employees should reach out to their bureau or office evidence leads or the Office of Policy Analysis, PPA.

Are you a researcher or policy practitioner outside of government interested in advancing the use of evidence in Interior? Get in touch with PPA!

Logo of the Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology, showing a network graph

The Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology provides coordination and leadership on Federal statistics, a key aspect of evidence-building.

What are statistics? Statistics are evidence, the information we find in data. The Evidence Act (via CIPSEA) defines evidence as "information produced as a result of statistical activities conducted for a statistical purpose." It is not the data itself, but depends on data. We evaluate the statistics and evidence against our goals to determine performance, including the effectiveness, efficiency, and equity of our work. Notably, evidence can take different forms, such as Indigenous Knowledge, which is recognized as evidence in Federal guidance. Hence, we typically reference "statistics and evidence."


Looking for more information about evidence and how it can help advance your mission? Follow this page for updates from PPA and check out these key resources:

We will expand this list as capacity grows in PPA and the Department.

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