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OMB's 'Learning Agenda' Looks to Drive Government Innovation

The learning agenda, focused on the federal workforce, government service delivery and equity, is meant to spur research across government silos and spark innovation, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

The Office of Management and Budget released a learning agenda aligned with the administration's management agenda on Thursday in the hopes that it sparks researchers, public servants and others to fill evidence gaps.

Presidential administrations have been releasing management agendas with government-wide goals for years, but this year the Biden administration is offering a learning agenda to accelerate progress in federal human resources, management, service delivery and customer experience. It's a a "first-of-its-kind effort," Jason Miller, deputy director for management at OMB, wrote in a letter included in the agenda. 

The agenda is meant to support the priorities of the president's management agenda, which focuses on the federal workforce, the delivery of federal services and the government's acquisition and financial assistance systems. 

It's a followup to a draft released last year that was modified with input from stakeholders. It has three focus areas  – how the government can strengthen its workforce, deliver government services and promote equity. 

OMB is looking for ideas on how exactly agencies can go about reducing time and effort associated with using government programs while still focusing on reducing fraud and improper payments. 

Although this governmentwide learning agenda based on the administration's management priorities is new, learning agendas specific to agencies are required by the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2019. Agencies released their own learning agendas last spring.

Now, OMB says it "is working closely with agencies to initiate and support evidence building, research activities, and evaluations in support of this PMA learning agenda and agency learning agendas."