2016 Federal Index
Did the agency invest at least 1% of program funds in evaluations in FY16? (Note: Meeting this criteria requires both Agency and Congressional action.)
Administration for Children and Families (HHS)
- In FY16, ACF plans to spend $138 million on evaluations, representing 3% of ACF’s $53 billion budget in FY16 (in addition to investments in evaluations by ACF grantees).
- The Administration’s FY17 budget request seeks authority for numerous new investments in learning, including set-asides of up to 5% of the Social Services Block Grant program ($18.5m in FY17, including $10 million for a demonstration and evaluation on supplying diapers to low-income families and $8.5 million for research and evaluation in FY17) and 1% of the Community Services Block Grant program ($3.5 million in FY17) for evaluations.
Corporation for National and Community Service
CNCS plans to spend a total of $5.1 million (representing .46% of CNCS’s $1.1 billion budget in FY16) in evaluation and evaluation capacity building activities (R&E evaluation and program funds combined), including:
- $1.2 million of Senior Corps funding for the supplemental award, program funding used for evaluation and evidence purposes versus funding given to sponsor organizations;
- $400,000 in Senior Corps funds for the longitudinal survey in FY16, an evaluation of the volunteers who participate in Senior Corps programs (examining their health and well-being outcomes over time);
- $500,000 in supporting reviews of grantee evaluation plans and reports, including for research & evaluation expertise to review studies submitted by grantees applying for funding; and
- $3 million in evaluation funds and SIF funds to support program evaluations and technical assistance for grantees to conduct evaluations.
Millennium Challenge Corporation
- In FY15, M&E invested over $17.1 million on monitoring and evaluation of Compact projects, which amounted to 9% of Compact spending for FY15 ($570.7 million). Calculations are still ongoing for FY16. However, MCC expects to disburse amounts similar to FY15. This is reflected in numbers for Q1 & Q2 in FY16, as of March 30, which show M&E investments of $7.5 million.
U.S. Agency for International Development
- In FY15, USAID missions and offices reported completing 244 evaluations with resources totaling approximately $69.3 million and managing another 251 ongoing evaluations, many that span more than one year, with total ongoing budgets estimated to reach $168.9 Overall spending on evaluations completed or ongoing in FY15 ($238.2 million) represents about 1.1% of USAID’s $21.1 billion FY15 program budget.
- This amount does not include the Office of Learning, Evaluation, and Research budget which primarily focuses on evaluation capacity building and technical assistance ($17.5 million FY15) or the investment in the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) ($189 million total in FY13-FY18) or surveys funded by other sector programs that often make up some of the underlying data used in many evaluations.
U.S. Department of Education
- There are a variety of ways that ED generally supports evaluations as well as evaluation technical assistance and capacity-building. In FY15 and FY16, ED has the authority to reserve up to 5% of ESEA funds – except Title I funds, Title III funds, and funds for programs that already have an evaluation provision – to evaluate ESEA programs (which RFA estimates at $41.3 million for FY15). In FY15, ED pooled $8.8 million to conduct evaluations that will build new evidence about the following programs: ESEA Title I, Part A; the migrant education program; and the Indian Education LEA Grants Program; and also provided continued support for program evaluations on ESEA Title I, Part A; ESEA Title I, Part D; and ESEA Title III, which began with FY14 pooled funding. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015, which reauthorized ESEA, continues the pooling authority and includes Title III as an allowable program from which to pool funds. ESSA also authorizes $710,000 for an evaluation of Title I for FY17-FY20. ED spent over $60 million on program evaluations in FY15.
- In addition, many ED programs are authorized to support national activities, including program evaluations, and some programs encourage their grantees to conduct project-level evaluations. One of the key lessons from i3 has been that high-quality technical assistance for grantees on project- level evaluations is critical to producing credible information on project outcomes. In FY15 i3 invested more than $4 million of its appropriation in evaluation technical assistance – virtually no other discretionary grant program has the authority or means to fund such a robust vehicle for technical assistance. ED, with the expertise of IES, has begun to pilot less expensive approaches to evaluation technical assistance for programs like First in the World ($1.5 m), and Supporting Effective Educator Development ($~800,000), which also tasks its grantees with producing rigorous project-level evaluations.
- According to RFA estimates, overall spending on evaluation ($60 million in FY15) and evaluation technical assistance and capacity-building ($6.3 million in FY15) represents 0.1% of ED’s $67.1 billion discretionary budget in FY15.
U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development
- For FY16, Congress appropriated $50 million for core research activities; $10 million for research, evaluations, and demonstrations; and $25 million for technical assistance in the Research & Technology This $85 million total, half of the requested amount, equals 0.19 percent of HUD’s $45.5 billion of FY16 program budget authority, net of Salaries and Expenses. The $10 million devoted to research, evaluations, and demonstrations is about 12 percent of the $85 million total. Additionally, much of the $50 million is used for surveys (especially for the American Housing Survey) and other data acquisition that indirectly support evaluation of HUD’s mission activities in domains such as affordable housing and housing finance.
- In FY10, Congress authorized the transfer of up to 1% of funds from individual HUD program funds to the Transformation Initiative (TI) Fund for: (1) research, evaluation, and program metrics; (2) program demonstrations; (3) technical assistance; and (4) information technology. After FY11, HUD no longer sought to fund information technology with the TI Fund, and Congress has not provided requested levels of evaluation funding or, since FY14, supported transfers to TI.
U.S. Department of Labor
- In FY 16, DOL’s CEO will directly oversee an estimated $40 million in evaluation funding. Additionally CEO will collaborate with DOL agencies on additional evaluations being carried out, with approximately $15 million to evaluate Employment and Training Administration (ETA) pilots, demonstrations and research and evaluations of large grant programs, including, for example, the Performance Partnership Pilots (P3), American Apprenticeship Initiative (AIA), the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant Program, and Reentry Programs for Ex-Offenders. The combined amount of $55 million represents approximately .44% of DOL’s FY16 discretionary budget of $12.4 billion. (For many of the largest programs, however, up to 5% of their budgets is dedicated to program evaluation and related activities).
- DOL’s Chief Evaluation Office directly funds evaluations and also combines CEO funds with agency funds to jointly sponsor some evaluations. The largest discretionary programs can use program funds for evaluations and technical assistance, often up to 5% by statute. For example, three separate rounds of grants funded by H1-B worker visa fees totaling about $400 million in FY16 support training particular populations, such as high school students transitioning to work, long-term unemployed workers, and apprenticeship training, and between 3% and 7% of these grant funds (at least $25 million) is expected to be invested in evaluations in FY16. Another example, in FY14 and FY15, up to 5% of the funds available for the workforce innovation activities were used for technical assistance and evaluations related to the projects carried out with these funds. The legislation provided further that the Secretary may authorize awardees to use a portion of awarded funds for evaluation, upon the Chief Evaluation Officer’s approval of an evaluation plan. Further, several DOL agencies also have separate evaluation appropriations. DOL studies funded through individual agencies are also coordinated with DOL’s CEO.
- The Administration’s FY14-FY17 budget requests recommended allowing the U.S. Secretary of Labor to set aside up to 1% of all operating agencies’ budgets for evaluations, coordinated by CEO. In FYs 2012-2015, Congress authorized the Secretary to set aside up to 0.5% of these funds for evaluations, in addition to the separate evaluation funds that exist in many DOL agencies. In FY16, Congress authorized DOL to set aside up to .75% of operating agency budgets in evaluations.