Science and Evidence

Science and evidence are a central part of Interior's mission: "provide[s] scientific and other information about [natural and cultural] resources." Policy analysis is the synthesis of our knowledge about how the world works—from scientific methods, Indigenous Knowledges, practitioner’s experience, or other forms of evidence—and society’s values. We want to answer questions like, “Given how ecosystems function, do we expect policy X lead to the outcome society wants, like conserving species and habitats or delivering ecosystem services?” or “Given our activities and expenditures managing resources, what does economic science tell us about how much of a contribution Interior made to the Nation’s economy?” The Office of Policy Analysis draws on and helps build science and other forms of evidence as part of our work addressing these and many other questions.

Not only do we do build and use evidence in a classical policy analysis fashion, we also have a central role in implementing the Evidence Act, with the Office Director serving as the Statistical Official for the Department. We help Department leadership understand federal data and statistical systems and how non-federal data and statistics may inform our work. We advise bureaus and programs on how to ensure we can use the best available evidence to inform our policies and decisions.

From evidence to economics, science and evidence are at the fore of our work through:

Was this page helpful?

Please provide a comment