Finding Quality Evidence
The resources assembled on this page are highly reputable clearinghouses for quality evidence. While the internet offers many potential sources of evidence, the quality of that evidence varies. Clearinghouses vet these potential sources of evidence and present summaries of findings from those studies. The summaries include an aggregated assessment of impact.
If the policy area that you are searching for does not appear in the list below, please review the additional resources section or contact the Results Team.
Minnesota's Results Team Initiative
The Results Team website contains analysis of Minnesota services in several program areas.
- Adult criminal justice (released 12/2016):
- Supervision: Inventory | Benefit-cost analysis
- Prison: Inventory | Benefit-cost analysis
- Adult mental health (released 12/2016):
- Adult and Youth Substance Use (released 9/2017):
- Prevention: Inventory | Benefit-cost analysis
- Treatment: Inventory | Benefit-cost analysis
- Juvenile Justice (released 2/2018):
- Child Welfare (released 4/2018):
- Higher Education (released 8/2018):
- Public Health (released 2/2019):
- Public Education (released 7/2021):
National Results First Clearinghouse Database
This website compiles research from eight national clearinghouses in one, central location. These clearinghouses conduct systematic reviews to understand what works. While each of the contributing clearinghouses covers a different program area and uses slightly different procedures and criteria, each delivers quality evidence.
Program areas include:
- Child & family wellbeing
- Criminal justice
- Employment & job training
- Juvenile justice
- Mental health
- Public health
- Substance abuse
- Other social policies and programs
The Cochrane Review and Campbell Collaboration
These two organizations produce systematic reviews of assorted interventions, programs, and policies. Cochrane is primarily focused on public and personal health topics. The Campbell Collaboration focuses on education, social welfare, and nutrition.
Washington State Institute for Public Policy
The Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) summarizes a wide assortment of quality evidence to support evidence-based policymaking. Their website provides a review of what works in various policy areas, and estimates benefit-cost ratios specific to Washington state.
- Adult criminal justice
- Adult mental health
- Children's mental health
- Child welfare
- Health care
- Higher education
- Juvenile justice
- Pre-K to 12 education
- Public health & prevention
- Workforce development
Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is a federal agency that helps people serve their communities and improve the lives of others. This organization created the CNCS Evidence Exchange, a document that provides a listing and brief description of publicly accessible databases of research, evidence, and evaluations regarding social benefit programs and interventions. The CNCS Evidence Exchange is a guide for CNCS grantees to identify evidence-based programs and interventions or for anyone interested in research and learning.
Administration for Children and Families clearinghouses
In addition to building evidence through a broad range of rigorous empirical studies, the department of Health and Human Services catalogs, reviews, and disseminates evidence related to Administration for Children and Families' programs. These systematic reviews of the effectiveness of interventions are designed to help job seekers who are low-income succeed in the labor market, research on programs and services for children and families to prevent foster care placements, the evidence for early childhood home visiting services, and sponsors the Child Care and Early Education Research Connections.
Department of Labor clearinghouse
The Department of Labor's Clearinghouse for Labor Evaluation and Research (CLEAR) mission is to make research on labor topics more accessible to practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and the public. CLEAR identifies and summarizes descriptive statistical studies and outcome analyses, implementation, and causal impact studies. For causal impact studies, CLEAR assesses the strength of the design and methodology in studies that look at the effectiveness of particular policies and programs.
- For a detailed and user-friendly introduction to quality evidence and evidence-based policy, visit the Center for Evidence-Based Interventions.
- For more information on the principles of evidence-based policymaking, read this article from the Evidence-Based Policymaking Collaboration.
- To learn more about ongoing evidence-based policymaking efforts in Minnesota, read former Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith's article from Governing magazine.
- For an animated insight into the work of the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative, watch this video from the MacArthur Foundation.
- Explore a collection of Results First resources and reports from across the nation at the Pew-MacArthur Evidence-Based Policymaking Resource Center.