Program Evaluation & Research

About Program Evaluation & Research

The Office of Evidence and Impact (OEI) promotes and facilitates program evaluation to build evidence for state programs and policies. OEI's program evaluation initiative has three main components: managing the Statewide Learning Agenda, enabling program evaluations, and communicating evidence.

OEI is responsible for producing and maintaining a Statewide Learning Agenda—a strategic roadmap for evidence building to support the state’s priorities. 

OEI also helps departments engage external research partners to evaluate state programs. In some instances, OEI can directly fund program evaluations to build evidence to inform the program's status as measured by the Tennessee Evidence Framework.

Finally, OEI is responsible for communicating key lessons from evaluations to state leaders and the public. OEI will publish briefs on key lessons from evaluations that the office funds, maintain a clearinghouse of evidence, and identify new opportunities for academic researchers to partner with state agencies to build evidence of state programs.

The Tennessee Learning Agenda prioritizes the key areas of learning for the state, seeks partnerships beyond state government to generate evidence and assess innovative practices, and identifies which practices work, why, and for whom so that the state can better use evidence to support Tennesseans.

OEI seeks to build bridges across and within state government to coordinate and facilitate learning and evidence building over the next five years across five priority areas: 

  • Education Quality and Access
  • Workforce Development and Employment
  • Rural Development and Conservation
  • Strong Families and Communities
  • Government Efficiency and Effectiveness

You can contribute to answering these questions, whether you are a researcher or a state employee, from industry, a community organization, or a philanthropy. OEI invites you to share your research, thoughts, or questions, or express your interest in partnering with the state to advance the evidence in that priority area, by emailing

Program Evaluation Guidelines

The Tennessee Evaluation Guidelines are designed to outline and explain the key principles to guide for planning and conducting program evaluations in Tennessee. The guidelines demonstrate the State’s commitment to supporting rigorous, relevant evaluations and to evidence-based decisions to drive continuous improvement and careful, thoughtful use of taxpayer dollars.

The Tennessee Evaluation Guidelines promote a common understanding of language and principles for all program evaluations conducted by and on behalf of the State of Tennessee to enable programs to attain the level of Strong Evidence, as assessed by the Tennessee Evidence Framework.

OEI collaborates with state agencies to develop rigorous evaluations, engage external partners to conduct those evaluations, and leverage the evidence to support budget and program decisions. For more information, please reach out to