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 ... continued below

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58 pages.

Creation Information

Brass, Clinton T.; Nuñez-Neto, Blas & Williams, Erin D. March 7, 2006.

Context

This report is part of the collection entitled: Congressional Research Service Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 638 times . More information about this report can be viewed below.

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  • Brass, Clinton T. Analyst in American National Government; Government and Finance Division
  • Nuñez-Neto, Blas Analyst in Social Legislation; Domestic Social Policy Division
  • Williams, Erin D. Specialist in Bioethical Policy; Domestic Social Policy Division

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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.

Physical Description

58 pages.

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Congressional Research Service Reports

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is the public policy research arm of Congress. This legislative branch agency works exclusively for Members of Congress, their committees and their staff. This collection includes CRS reports from the mid-1970's through the present--covering a variety of topics from agriculture to foreign policy to welfare.

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Creation Date

  • March 7, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Aug. 10, 2006, 3:06 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Feb. 10, 2017, 12:34 p.m.

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Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Brass, Clinton T.; Nuñez-Neto, Blas & Williams, Erin D. Congress and Program Evaluation: An Overview of Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) and Related Issues, report, March 7, 2006; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9145/: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.