Evidence Building Plan (Learning Agenda)

An evidence building plan, also referred to as a learning agenda, is a plan for identifying and addressing priority questions relevant to the programs, policies, and regulations of the agency. The evidence building plan identifies, prioritizes, and establishes strategies to develop evidence to answer important short- and long-term strategic questions about how the agency meets its mission and performs its operations. The evidence building plan is intended to emphasize and foster an agency culture of learning and continuous improvement. Once an evidence building plan is implemented, decision makers can use the resulting evidence to guide choices to improve agency programs, policies, and regulations.

The evidence building plan is a cycle; it is not a one-way journey. Getting feedback throughout the process is essential to successfully implement an evidence building plan. The evidence building plan includes priority questions that are structured to provide an understanding of how each answer will be pursued.

General Evidence Building Plan Process

This image shows the Learning Agenda process as a circle made of a set of linked steps depicted in hexagons

The Evidence Act requires the following information to be included in the evidence building plan:

  1. A list of policy-relevant questions for which the agency intends to develop evidence to support policymaking.
  2. A list of data the agency intends to collect, use, or acquire to facilitate the use of evidence in policymaking.
  3. A list of methods and analytical approaches that may be used to develop evidence to support policymaking.
  4. A list of any challenges to developing evidence to support policymaking, including any statutory or other restrictions to accessing relevant data.
  5. A description of the steps the agency will take to accomplish paragraphs (1) and (2) in this list.
  6. Any other information as required by guidance issued by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.


Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, September 29, 2023