MacArthur's work to support the use of benefit-cost analysis tools to help states provide the best outcomes for citizens while improving fiscal health is influencing policy. The Office of Management and Budget issued a memo to heads of executive departments and agencies on the use of evidence and evaluation in the 2014 budget. The memo cites the Foundation-supported Results First initiative as a model that helps states assess and consider investment in programs based on the evidence of their return on investment. Results First was also cited in a New York Times commentary about the rise of evidence in shaping policy; the piece also mentions the work of the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy, a Foundation grantee working to increase government effectiveness through the use of rigorous evidence about what works.
MacArthur’s policy-related grantmaking aims to improve and inform decision making at the federal, state and local levels through general operating support to a small portfolio of organizations across an array of issues and special fiscal, demographic and analytical projects with broad implications for domestic policy.