10. Evaluation Policies


The Colorado Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB) publishes the results of evaluations funded by the grant program on its website each year. OSPB also publishes annual guidance to state departments requiring the use of data and evidence in the state’s budget process. It also provides definitions for key research and evaluation terms and “encourages agencies to use the evidence continuum outside the budget process as a means to evaluate programming internally, and to guide discussions with OSPB analysts and internal and external stakeholders.”

To align the guidance and definitions across the executive and legislative branches, the Colorado state legislature passed a law in 2021 that establishes a set of evidence-based definitions, aligned with the OSPB evidence continuum, to be used when analyzing a program or practice. The law further requires the joint budget committee staff to “independently analyze and describe the program or practice using the definitions and to include any evidence-based information as part of any recommendation it makes regarding a budget request or budget amendment request.” Beginning in the FY22-23 budget cycle, OSPB requires agencies to complete an evidence inventory, aligned with the state’s tiered evidence continuum, as a part of the annual budget process.

The Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) developed a research agenda to inform education and training policies and programs. Data sharing is required by Colorado law among the Department of Education, Department of Labor, and Department of Economic Development, which collectively generate research covering the education-to-workforce continuum. Additionally, the Colorado Department of Higher Education convenes several stakeholder groups with representation from all types of institutions of higher education ranging from academic affairs staff to data leaders. CDHE works closely with all institutions of higher education to set best practices around evaluation policies and priorities.

Issue Areas: Economic Mobility, Education, Equity, Workforce