Tennessee is placing a greater focus on ensuring it invests in what works to best serve citizens across the state. Part of this effort is the development of an enterprise-wide program inventory that is based on the Tennessee Evidence Framework.
A program inventory is a comprehensive list of state-funded programs in the base budget, including whether they are supported by rigorous evidence. It includes information about the services provided and insight into the evidence that is tied to the program's desired outcomes.
The Tennessee Evidence Framework is designed to standardize the language that is used enterprise-wide to classify programs in Tennessee based on the level of available evidence supporting the program.
In this model, five evidence steps build from left to right. Every program has a logic model, or a theory of action, that guides its operation. Outputs are process measures, while outcomes communicate impact on participants or systems over time. The evaluation and causal evidence steps indicate that the program is supported by at least one rigorous evaluation. Various factors can prevent a program from being rigorously evaluated, so ultimately the expectation is that all Tennessee programs are at least measuring outcomes. For more on evaluation, see the evidence-based budgeting page.
In addition to the type of evidence that might be supporting a program, the impact of that program is also important. The symbols to the right are the possible program impact ratings, and which steps they might be associated with. For example, a program might be rigorously evaluated, but demonstrate a neutral impact on its participants.
The work began in 2019 with a pilot that included the Department of Correction and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. After the pilot, the Tennessee evidence framework was strengthened with feedback from these two departments and other field experts, and the interactive inventory redesigned accordingly. Pilot agencies’ inventories are currently being updated to fit within the new framework, but initial versions can be downloaded from the table just below.
Using the updated framework, OEI has completed the inventory process with the Department of Children’s Services. In partnership with OEI, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and the Department of Human Services are working to complete the process in early 2022. Eventually, every cabinet-level state agency will complete the inventory process, adding to the interactive inventory and providing a more comprehensive look at Tennessee’s programs. The inventory will be updated as processes are complete.
The program inventory below is an interactive tableau dashboard. Hover the mouse over various elements, or click the name of a program or intervention to see more information. Click any of the colorful bars to filter by evidence step; filter or search key words with the Filters button in the top right corner. Reset the filters by selecting All in each filter or refreshing the page. For more detailed instructions, see the Tennesee Interactive Program Inventory User Guide and Glossary.
New data will be added as they become available. Note that ratings for programs labeled Pending Panel Review are yet to be determined by an expert panel.