Evaluations play an integral role in carrying out the HHS mission. Evaluation assesses the efficiency, effectiveness, and responsiveness of the Department’s programs or strategies through the analysis of data or information collected scientifically. It also ensures the effective use of resulting information in strategic planning, program or policy decisionmaking, and program improvement.
HHS evaluation planning activities are coordinated with Departmentwide planning initiatives. HHS evaluation activities support the Department’s strategic planning and performance management activities in several ways. Completed evaluation studies help programs determine the means and strategies they will use to achieve HHS strategic goals and objectives. Program evaluations also may identify data that programs can use to measure performance. A sample of current evaluations is listed in Table A-1. Also listed are future evaluations that will inform strategic planning. HHS divisions use findings from their evaluations to support the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993 (Public Law 103-62) annual performance reporting to the U.S. Congress and program budget justifications of various programs. Evaluation findings provide important sources of information and evidence about the success of policies and programs.
Typically, HHS evaluation priorities include congressionally mandated program evaluations, evaluations of Secretarial program or policy initiatives, assessments of new programs, evaluations of programs that are candidates for reauthorization, and reviews of program performance that support management decisionmaking and accountability.The U.S. Congress requests that HHS coordinate all of its Research, Demonstration, and Evaluation (RD&E) programs to ensure that the results of these projects address HHS program goals and objectives. HHS reports to the Congress annually on RD&E activities. The Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) and the Assistant Secretary for Resources and Technology (ASRT) work together with HHS divisions to provide the Congress with a special annual research, demonstration, and evaluation budget plan that coincides with the preparation of the President’s fiscal year budget. The plan outlines HHS RD&E priorities as related to the Department’s strategic goals and objectives.
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