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Our Work

Evaluation Standards 

As part of our efforts to uphold the values of MMB and the State of Minnesota, we are committed to conducting high-quality evaluations and to use that evidence to inform policy and practice. We seek to promote rigor, relevance, transparency, independence, and ethics in the conduct of evaluations. The importance of these goals demands that we support continual innovation and improvement of state-funded activities, as well as those of our partners in public programs. Through research and evaluation, we can learn systematically so that we can make our services as effective as possible. These standards are codified in our Evaluation Policy.

Open Science 

As part of the IEU's commitment to transparency, the unit uses the Open Science Framework for registering and disseminating the technical details of its evaluation plan and analyses. The Open Science Framework (OSF) provides a common platform for researchers across domains to share methodologies, ideas, and study results in a manner that is widely accessible. While the IEU is committed to open science, data is never shared on OSF. Check out our OSF IEU Main Page

Priority Areas 

The Impact Evaluation Unit supports evaluations across the enterprise and welcomes conversations about creating high-quality evidence from all programmatic areas. That said, the legislature has asked us to focus on two areas:

Opioid Epidemic response 

The Opioid Epidemic Response (OER) Advisory Council is empowered to fund services to prevent, treat, and promote recovery for individuals with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). The legislature tasked MMB with assessing whether innovative and promising grants funded by the OER are enhancing the wellbeing of Minnesotans impacted by OUD. The council has a particular interest in serving hard-to-reach or otherwise marginalized populations impacted by the opioid crisis. MMB will support this effort by designing evaluations that, where possible, assess the impact of grants on different populations. 

Evidence-Based Human Services Programs 

Minnesota has a strong tradition of providing high-quality human services programs to enhance the wellbeing of individuals in need. This assistance stretches across health insurance, cash assistance, behavioral health services, workforce programs, home and community services for elderly or disabled individuals, and many other programs. Many of the programs the state invests in are new or innovative—these programs offer an opportunity to assess their effectiveness (and for whom). MMB’s Results First and Impact Evaluation Unit supports this work through inventorying and promulgating existing evidence of efficacy for state human services grants, and creating new evidence through high-quality evaluations, respectively.

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