New Jersey State Policy Lab: Release of “Evaluating Evaluations” Report

March 21, 2022

by Tracy P. Glova for New Jersey State Policy Lab

The New Jersey State Policy Lab, at the request of the Office of Governor, today issued a report on evidence-based policymaking and program evaluation in New Jersey. “Evaluating Evaluations: Analyzing Evidence‐Based Policymaking in New Jersey and Insights from other Leading States” compares evidence-based practices related to workforce development, addiction services, and recidivism in New Jersey to practices in other states regarded as “leading” by the 2017 Pew-MacArthur Research’s Results First report. We conclude with recommendations to improve existing program evaluation efforts in the Garden State, as well as opportunities to create and enforce new evidence-based mechanisms.

Research into the three program areas showed that New Jersey has made important steps but still has considerable room for improvement in evidence-based policy-making. The State has done meaningful work to evaluate programs to reduce recidivism, for example, but relies on outdated guidelines for its addiction services. Similarly, regarding workforce development, New Jersey engages in program evaluation, but only at an ad hoc basis. These characteristics undeniably mark New Jersey as a state with strong potential to improve its evidence-based portfolio.

The findings of “Evaluating Evaluations” emphasized the need for legislative mandates, funding for agencies to do evaluation, agency culture shift, and transparent data sharing. Steps in all of these directions across all program areas, will better allow the State to target funding for its most outcome-driven programs and policies and effectively improve public welfare.

Recent Posts

Kelly O’Brien (MCRP ’09) Named Fairfax City Hometown Hero

On July 15th, Kelly O'Brien (MCRP '09)  was recognized as a Hometown Hero during Fox 5 DC's Zip Trip visit to Fairfax City. "Although I don't think of myself as a hero, I am grateful for the chance to express my dedication to serving my community and shed light on the...

Winecoff: Working Paper on Health Insurance Enrollment

Spillovers in Public Benefit Enrollment: How does Expanding Public Health Insurance for Working-Age Adults affect Future Health Insurance Choices? Abstract Enrollment in one public benefit program often affects enrollment in others. We study life-course spillovers by...

$21.1 million Awarded for the Safe Routes to School Program

The Murphy Administration announced $21.1 million for 23 grants under the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program on July 10, 2024. The New Jersey Safe Routes to School Program, supported by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, is a statewide initiative with a...

Deanna Moran Named MA Chief Coastal Resilience Officer

Deanna Moran, AICP (MPP/MCRP '16) was named the Chief Coastal Resilience Officer by the Healey-Driscoll Administration to address climate change impacts along Massachusetts’ coastline. Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rebecca Tepper announced Deanna...

Voorhees Transportation Center seeks new Executive Director

The Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC) seeks a new Executive Director who will oversee the center’s research program, technical services and other initiatives, including external relations, communications, business development, and fundraising. The Executive...

Upcoming Events

Event Series CAREERS

Virtual Career Drop-ins


Stop by virtually on Mondays (except for holidays) beginning September 9th through December 16th between 11 am and 1 pm to ask a quick (15 min) career-related question of Bloustein […]