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Governing by the Numbers: The Promise of Data-Driven Policymaking in the Information Age

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Publication Date: April 2007

Publisher(s): Center for American Progress

Author(s): Daniel C. Esty; Reece Rushing

Topic: Government (Public administration)


This paper provides a starting point for thinking about data-driven decisionmaking as a new approach to governing. It describes the major elements that need to be impleĀ­mented at the federal level, explains the potential advantages of this approach, and points out possible downsides that must be overcome. We give particular attention to education, health care and the environment for illustrative purposes. However, data-driven decisionmaking can be applied to meet the full range of challenges facing the country, from homeland security to food safety to energy alternatives to financial fraud. At its heart, this proposal is about building an effective, efficient government that is responsive to the needs of its people.


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