OMB releases draft learning agenda

The document is intended to identify critical evidence gaps in the President's Management Agenda.
Eisenhower Executive Office Building
The Eisenhower Executive Office Building. (Wikimedia)

The Office of Management and Budget wants input on its first-ever draft learning agenda, in order to identify critical evidence gaps that need closing to advance the President’s Management Agenda.

Questions proposed in the draft PMA Learning Agenda are intended to spur innovation by prioritizing cross-agency collaboration on implementation or data access and engaging other levels of government and the national research community.

The Biden administration’s PMA released in November stressed improving the federal workforce, customer experience and business management, and agencies are expected to publish their own learning agendas on in early 2022.

“The forthcoming agency learning agendas may pose similar questions that are relevant for their specific operations and mission,” reads the draft. “All of these efforts are critical in communicating and coordinating what evidence is needed and how it can be used to improve the working of government.”


The learning agenda, itself, asks three overarching questions: how to strengthen the federal workforce, how to build trust through program and service delivery, and how to promote equity and support underserved communities.

Within those three learning areas, the draft proposes a subset of additional questions like how to improve employee retention and what approaches create excellent customer experience and, beyond that, another tier of even more refined example questions asking what information agency leaders need to keep employees engaged and how to bundle services for better results.

Studies that arise from the learning agenda should solicit diverse perspectives, ensure the data collected aligns with its intended use, be transparent and openly share results regardless of outcome, according to the draft.

All agencies submitted their interim learning agendas for review in September, per OMB‘s orders. And some, like the U.S. Agency for International Development, incorporated questions from their learning agenda into their evaluation registries, so they know what purpose every evaluation being conducted serves.

Respondents have until Jan. 31, 2022, to offer input on the PMA Learning Agenda.

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