“If you care about the result, if you care about what happens to kids, if you care about solving problems, that means you have to care about evidence and data.”
Melody Barnes, former Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council for President Barack Obama
John Bridgeland, former director of the White House Domestic Policy Council for President George W. Bush
Brad Dudding, COO, Center for Employment Opportunities
Matt Huckabay, Executive Director, The Center for Violence-Free Relationships
Juan De Angulo, Director of Data and Evaluation, Congreso de Latinos Unidos
Sotun Krouch, Director of Evaluation and Learning, Roca, Inc.
Bridget Laird, CEO, Wings for Kids
Barnes: If you care about the result, if you care about what happens to kids, if you care about solving problems like malaria, if you care about solving problems like HIV/AIDS and hunger and nutrition in America and around the world, then that means that you have to care about evidence and data. It isn't just a matter of the heart, although the heart is so important in all of our work. It's marrying that up with what works most effectively. That's the point at which we can do good things, that's the point at which we can make a difference in the lives of people at home and abroad.
Bridgeland: We are in an era of limited government and limited resources. So we have to learn to do more with less. And I think that gives incentives to Republicans and Democrats alike to emerge with an evidence-based approach that can hold up those things that are actually working so the country has confidence and taxpayers have confidence that we're investing in things that work.
Huckabay: We were shocked at the outcomes that we got with the pilot and the outcomes that we were showing with these kids in reducing symptomology from family trauma—helping them improve their abilities in school, their basic ability to form relationships. So after we ran that first pilot, we were so excited about it that we did something that we probably shouldn't have done which was, ”Let's put this data out there. We want people to see what we're doing.” So we did. And it was well-received—so well-received that people literally started calling and saying, ”Tell me more about this program. Tell me how we can support it.”
Krouch: Based off the historical data, we shifted. We changed our model. We clarified it. We narrowed it. Looking at the data helped us … make those adjustments. We wouldn't have been able to solidify a model without a performance management system, because … it allowed us to understand what worked and what didn't. And we improve and we adjust accordingly for that.
Laird: When you really take a look at it, the cost that you're incurring because of performance management you actually end up saving. So for example, like just a little example: staff turnover. When people aren't happy with their job, and they can't see their success, they're going to leave. And that costs a lot of money to go and recruit and bring new people on and train them. But when people are able to track their success, they stay longer.