Beth Simone Noveck in Governing: The Policy Labs We Urgently Need

Andrew Young — February 16, 2018

In an article for Governing, Network chair Beth Simone Noveck and Anirudh Dinesh explore the burgeoning field of collaborative data labs to improve evidence-based policymaking. Based an a series of case studies developed at the GovLab, Noveck and Dinesh reflect on current practice among a number of states that are “establishing offices known as data labs or policy labs to enable them to partner with academia and make use of their administrative data to evaluate and improve programs and policies.”

Noveck and Dinesh go on to discuss some key enabling conditions for establishing a successful data lab:

“The case studies show that several factors need to be taken into consideration when standing up a data lab. These include defining what services the lab will offer (such as evaluation, data cleaning, integration and establishment of knowledge-sharing networks); deciding whether a lab should be established within government or outside it; and determining whether it will serve only government or allow social-sector nonprofits and NGOs to avail themselves of its services. The studies also show that although technology is vital, the real linchpin for a successful lab is its ability to mobilize the human capital and talent needed to generate insights from the data.”

Read more here.