The Evidence Act requires agencies to conduct an "assessment of the quality, methods, effectiveness, and independence of the statistics, evaluation, research, and analysis efforts of the agency." This assessment is called a "Capacity Assessment." The purpose of the capacity assessment is to assess the NRC's ability and infrastructure to carry out evidence-building activities such as foundational fact finding, performance measurement, policy analysis, regulatory analysis, and program evaluation. The capacity assessment intends to strengthen the NRC's statistics, evaluation, research, and analysis efforts and enhance the use of evidence in decision-making across the agency.
This assessment provides a comprehensive view of the NRC's evaluation and evidence-building capacity, while also ensuring that the review considers specific needs identified through the development of the NRC's Learning Agenda. The capacity assessment will initially provide a baseline to measure improvements to the NRC's statistics, evaluation, research, and analyses efforts in the following areas:
||evidence-building activities that support the NRC's needs, performance, priorities, risks, and strategic management.
||evidence-building activities meet quality (e.g., accuracy, timeliness, and credibility), objectivity, utility, integrity, and transparency standards
||evidence-building activities follow established procedures/guidance, standards, and relevant, and rigorous methodologies that best support the evidence-building activity being conducted
||evidence-building activities are directed at outcomes that provide oversight and informs organizational learning, program management, performance management, strategic decision-making, interagency, and stakeholder communication, and collaboration. The findings or conclusions inform or support decision-making
||evidence-building activities are free from bias and influence
The Evidence Act requires CFO Act agencies to develop a Capacity Assessment that includes:
An assessment of the coverage, quality, methods, effectiveness, and independence of the statistics, evaluation, research, and analysis efforts of the agency, including—
- a list of the activities and operations of the agency that are currently being evaluated and analyzed;
- the extent to which the evaluations, research, and analysis efforts and related activities of the agency support the needs of various divisions within the agency;
- the extent to which the evaluation research and analysis efforts and related activities of the agency address an appropriate balance between needs related to organizational learning, ongoing program management, performance management, strategic management, interagency and private sector coordination, internal and external oversight, and accountability;
- the extent to which the agency uses methods and combinations of methods that are appropriate to agency divisions and the corresponding research questions being addressed, including an appropriate combination of formative and summative evaluation research and analysis approaches;
- the extent to which evaluation and research capacity is present within the agency to include personnel and agency processes for planning and implementing evaluation activities, disseminating best practices and findings, and incorporating employee views and feedback; and
- the extent to which the agency has the capacity to assist agency staff and program offices to develop the capacity to use evaluation research and analysis approaches and data in the day-to-day operations.
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, February 25, 2021