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Lecture videos: “Using Evidence on Cost-Effectiveness to Guide Social Policy and Spending"

A lecture on "Using Evidence on Cost-Effectiveness to Guide Social Policy and Spending," featuring two prominent guest speakers, was held on Feb. 22, 2012, at the UNC School of Social Work. This event was sponsored by the School's Jordan Institute for Families, and held in conjunction with the Wicked Problems Institute meeting at UNC.

A new drama on 2012 spending decisions is playing out in Washington, D.C. and state capitols. With Congress and the President having agreed to trim 2012 discretionary spending by $7 billion, our leaders have a unique opportunity to focus funding on programs that produce results, and thereby build a leaner, more cost-effective government.

Jon Baron, President of the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy and Ron Haskins, Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution, spoke about the role that evidence-based budgeting is playing in ending the business-as-usual approach of distributing social spending without regard to evidence of effectiveness. They discussed the opportunities for and challenges of using evidence on cost-effective programs to optimize benefits for children, families, communities, and the nation in a tight budgetary climate.

About the guest speakers:

Jon Baron, President of the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy
Mr. Baron founded the nonprofit, nonpartisan Coalition in 2001. Since its founding, the Coalition has built a strong track record of success in working with key Executive Branch and Congressional policymakers to advance evidence-based reforms in major U.S. social programs. A recent independent assessment found that “the Coalition has successfully influenced legislative language, increased funding for evidence-based evaluations and programs, helped shape the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Program Assessment Rating Tool, and raised the level of debate in the policy process regarding standards of evidence.”

Ron Haskins, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution
Dr. Haskins co-directs the Brookings Center on Children and Families. Prior to joining Brookings he spent 14 years on the staff of the House Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee, first as welfare counsel to the Republican staff, then as the subcommittee’s staff director. He is a senior editor of The Future of Children, a journal on policy issues that affect children and families. His areas of expertise include welfare reform, child care, child support enforcement, family composition and marriage, and child protection.


Video of Jon Baron's presentation:

Ron Haskins' presentation:

Audience Q & A with Baron and Haskins, moderated by Dean Jack Richman: