U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


  1. Home
  2. Tags


The Foundations for Evidence-Based Policy Making Act of 2018 requires agencies to make agency data public when possible and to develop statistical evidence to support policymaking. The Department of Commerce's evaluation policy is that evaluations must be transparent. Evaluation design and findings should be made public to the greatest extent possible and should only be withheld for legal, ethical, or national security concerns. Findings should provide enough detail so that others can review, interpret, or replicate/reproduce the work. 

Learn more about Evaluation at the Department of Commerce.

Evaluation Reports 

An Overview of GHG Monitoring: Objectives and Technologies

This background paper explores the potential for APEC economies to implement innovative technologies to aid the measurement of atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the associated protocols for their adoption. It provides an overview of the current suite of atmospheric measurement systems and devices, emerging technologies in the field, and key examples of what APEC economies are currently using to measure atmospheric GHG emissions. Additionally, this paper dives into the importance of aligning technologies with regulatory frameworks of emissions inventories to support the adoption and integration of effective measurement and monitoring practices.

After the Storm: How Emergency Liquidity Helps Small Businesses Following Natural Disasters

Does emergency credit prevent long-term financial distress? We study the causal effects of government-provided recovery loans to small businesses following natural disasters. The rapid financial injection might enable viable firms to survive and grow or might hobble precarious firms with more risk and interest obligations. We show that the loans reduce exit and bankruptcy, increase employment and revenue, unlock private credit, and reduce delinquency. These effects, especially the crowding-in of private credit, appear to reflect resolving uncertainty about repair. We do not find capital reallocation away from neighboring firms and see some evidence of positive spillovers on local entry.

An Assessment of the Divisions of the Physical Measurement Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology Located in Boulder, Colorado: Fiscal Year 2023

Since 1959, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has annually commissioned the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to assess its various measurements and standards laboratories. This report appraises the Physical Measurement Laboratory (PML), assessing four divisions of PML situated at the  NIST Boulder campus: the Applied Physics Division, the Time and Frequency Division, the Quantum Electromagnetics Division, and the Quantum Physics Division. The report compares the caliber of research at PML with similar international programs to determine whether programs adequately align with its objectives; assesses the range of scientific and technical expertise available within PML; considers the budget, facilities, equipment, and Human Resources to bolster PML technical endeavors and contribute to the fulfillment of its goals; and assesses the efficacy of PML methods for disseminating the products of its work.

Real-Time 2020 Administrative Record Census Simulation
This experiment combined 31 types of administrative records and third-party sources to produce 2020 population estimates with the same reference date, April 1, 2020, and within the same timeframe as the 2020 Census of Population and Housing. The sources and methodology are designed to improve coverage of historically undercounted population groups. The report identifies several improvements critical to developing the Census Bureau’s administrative record infrastructure to facilitate higher-quality administrative record-based population estimates, especially regarding locational accuracy.

The National-Level Economic Impact of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP): Estimates for Fiscal Year 2022

The study’s purpose is to use client-reported outcomes to estimate the overall effect of NIST MEP on the U.S. economy. Using a model developed by Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI), the study estimates the indirect and induced effects of the reported increase in jobs, sales, cost savings, and investments by MEP clients.

Comparing 2019 Census Test and 2020 Census Self-Response Rates to Estimate Decennial Environment
The 2020 Census was accompanied by a diverse array of paid advertisements, partnership outreach programs, news coverage, and more designed to increase knowledge about the census and motivate households to self-respond, specifically through the internet mode. This evaluation estimates the effect of these programs, collectively referred to as the decennial environment. By matching the 2019 Census Test data to the 2020 Census data, we compared self-response rates between the 2020 Census and the 2019 Census Test, which was void of advertisements. 

Closing the Gender Gap in Patenting: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial at the USPTO
Women are underrepresented in patenting, and the gap is not closing quickly. One major roadblock to progress is a dearth of causal evidence on the potential effectiveness of policies to reduce the gender gap in patenting. Analyzing a randomized control trial at the United States Patent and Trademark Office that was designed to provide additional help to applicants who do not have legal representation, we find heterogeneous causal impacts across gender and technologies on the probability of obtaining patent rights. While both men and women applicants benefited, the probability of obtaining a patent was about 11 percentage points greater for women, and the effects were largest for U.S. inventors, new U.S. inventors, and in technology areas where women had the worst relative outcomes. Our results suggest that a portion of the gender gap in patenting could be eliminated through additional assistance during patent examination.

The Future of Place-Based Economic Policy: Early Insights from the Build Back Better Regional Challenge
As the nation seeks to rebuild in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, federal policymakers are increasingly recognizing that supporting bottom-up solutions is a critical path for spurring economic recovery, mitigating climate change, establishing supply chains in critical technologies, and addressing geographic inequities. This is the central premise of place-based economic policies like the $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge (BBBRC)—a challenge grant administered by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) in the U.S. Department of Commerce. As the EDA’s signature American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) recovery program, the BBBRC provides five-year grants ranging from $25 million to $65 million across 21 competitively selected regions. These investments will support the local development of nationally critical industries and technologies in ways that deliver economic opportunity to traditionally underserved people and communities.

Where are U.S. Women Patentees? Assessing Three Decades of Growth
This report maps women’s participation as inventor-patentees across U.S. counties from 1990 through 2019. It identifies counties with the most women patentees by technology field and assesses three decades of growth. Recognizing that increasing the number of women who patent is an important policy objective, the analysis explores characteristics of county economic environments that are correlated with having and increasing the number of women inventor-patentees. The results presented clarify the landscape and lay the foundation for evidence-based approaches to important questions, such as how women’s participation impacts county-level economic performance.

Developing Statistics on the Distribution of State Personal Income: Methodology and Preliminary Results
In recent years, a growing interest in the topic of income inequality has fueled demand for information on the way in which the nation’s prosperity and growth are shared across households as a complement to published data on total income and output. This paper details the methodology and presents preliminary measures of the distribution of income at the regional level. These are based on personal income, a primary economic indicator published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and measure how personal income is distributed across households in each state and the District of Columbia. The methodology allocates detailed components of state personal income to households based on household data from the Current Population Survey supplemented with other sources. The household-level data are then aggregated to generate state-level bottom-up inequality statistics, including Gini coefficients, medians, and quintile shares of state personal income. The results show that many of the trends in inequality are similar across measures.

Understanding Barriers to Access and Equity in the Knauss Fellowship Program

Administrative data and survey responses describe program challenges and opportunities to improve access and equity.

Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s CLDP and SABIT Program in Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia: Evaluation Report for Central Asia (Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan)

The U.S. Department of State has commissioned the evaluation of the Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) and the Special American Business Internship Training (SABIT) Program to assess the performance and effectiveness of the programs’ results from 2007 to 2017. This assessment also more narrowly considers 2018 and 2019 in regard to their use of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) practices in six targeted countries: Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Ukraine. This report presents the evaluation of CLDP and SABIT interventions in the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan.

Related Content

FY25 Department of Commerce Evaluation Plan

The Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 (“Evidence Act”) requires that agency Evaluation Officers coordinate the development of an Annual Evaluation Plan that is published concurrently with the agency's Annual Performance Plan. The Annual Evaluation Plan describes “significant” evaluations and related information for the subsequent fiscal year. Significant evaluations meet one or more of the following criteria:

FY24 Department of Commerce Evaluation Plan

The Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 (“Evidence Act”) requires that agency Evaluation Officers coordinate the development of an Annual Evaluation Plan that is published concurrent with the agency Annual Performance Plan. The Annual Evaluation Plan describes “significant” evaluations and related information for the subsequent fiscal year. The list to the right provides the criteria DOC considered when designating projects as significant. All evaluations presented in this draft FY 24 plan are supported by funding in the FY 24 President’s Budget.

Innovation in Evidence-Building: Evolving Program Data Management Practices within the Department of Commerce

This report summarizes the work of the Department of Commerce (DOC) Data Governance Board (CDGB)’s Metrics Working Group (MWG). The MWG was formed in August 2022 and charged with facilitating the application of recommendations within the CDGB’s Data Governance Working Group (DGWG)’s June 2022 report, “Best Practices for Monitoring and Evaluating the ARP, IIJA (now named BIL), and Other Programs: Report of the Department of Commerce Data Governance Working Group.”

Best Practices for Monitoring and Evaluating the ARP, IIJA and Other Programs

The following report is the culmination of work completed by the Data Governance Working Group to develop a standard approach for agencies to plan the evaluation of programs funded by the federal government, including the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the American Rescue Plan. The report recommends that agencies leverage the Census Bureau's Data Linkage Infrastructure (described in this report) to reduce respondent burden and enable evaluation otherwise not possible.