Congress and Program Evaluation: An Overview of Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) and Related Issues

Description:

This report discusses what RCTs are and identifies a number of issues regarding RCTs that might arise when Congress considers making program evaluation policy. For example, in the 109th Congress, Section 3 of S. 1934 (as introduced) would establish a priority for RCTs when evaluating offender reentry demonstration projects; Section 114 of S. 667 (Senate Finance Committee-reported bill) would require RCTs for demonstration projects for low-income families; and Section 5 of S. 1129 (as introduced) would call for RCTs for projects and policies of multilateral development banks. Issues regarding RCTs could also arise when actors in the policy process present specific program evaluations to Congress (e.g., in the President’s budget proposals) to influence Congress’s views and decision making. For many reasons, evaluations often merit scrutiny and care in interpretation.

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Creation Date: March 7, 2006
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UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Collection(s):
Congressional Research Service Reports
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Place of Publication: Washington D.C., USA
Date(s):
  • Creation: March 7, 2006
Description:

This report discusses what RCTs are and identifies a number of issues regarding RCTs that might arise when Congress considers making program evaluation policy. For example, in the 109th Congress, Section 3 of S. 1934 (as introduced) would establish a priority for RCTs when evaluating offender reentry demonstration projects; Section 114 of S. 667 (Senate Finance Committee-reported bill) would require RCTs for demonstration projects for low-income families; and Section 5 of S. 1129 (as introduced) would call for RCTs for projects and policies of multilateral development banks. Issues regarding RCTs could also arise when actors in the policy process present specific program evaluations to Congress (e.g., in the President’s budget proposals) to influence Congress’s views and decision making. For many reasons, evaluations often merit scrutiny and care in interpretation.

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58 pages.

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Partner:
UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Collection:
Congressional Research Service Reports
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Resource Type: Report
Format: Text
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Access: Public