BetaGov Blog

Door opening to light inside dark room

Our Brave New World

Posted on May 6, 2020     By Maureen Hillhouse

Although quite different from Aldous Huxley’s dystopian novel, our world has changed beyond our wildest expectations...(cont'd)

People screaming in fear

Learning Corner: Don't Be Scared!

Posted October 15, 2019    By Maureen Hillhouse & Angela Hawken

Any new venture can be scary, but some experiences get scarier over time because we become more knowledgeable... (cont'd)

Goldfish leaping from smaller fish bowl to larger fishbowl

Learning Corner: Embracing Change

Posted September 17, 2019    By Maureen Hillhouse & Angela Hawken

BetaGov encourages pracademics to test promising changes to practice and process that might improve outcomes... (cont'd)

A stack of books

Learning Corner: Learning About Learning

Posted August 6, 2019    By Maureen Hillhouse & Angela Hawken

We are constantly learning, even though it may not be obvious. For example, you may change lanes on the highway... (cont'd)

Office workers at a table problem solving

Learning Corner: Learning from Our Peers

Posted June 26, 2019    By Maureen Hillhouse & Angela Hawken

Haven't we all had someone in our lives whom we looked up to and tried to emulate? As children, this might have... (cont'd)

Human heads made of mechanical gears

Learning Corner: How to Learn Iteratively

Posted on June 11, 2019     By Angela Hawken

Iterative learning is our favorite sort of evidence-based decisionmaking. You start with an idea and you test it. (cont'd)

Woman floating above the ground in front of a wall

Failing Forward

Posted on May 7, 2019     By Angela Hawken

Our team is in awe of BetaGov Pracademics who have had the courage to “fail forward.” These Pracademics are assets...(cont'd)

Man standing on rock looking at sunset over the ocean

Innovation Can Be a Lonely Enterprise

Posted on March 6, 2019     By Angela Hawken

As pracademics you all know how rewarding this enterprise of innovation and building an evidence base in your organization...(cont'd)

How To Prepare For Your First Call With BetaGov

Posted on September 25, 2017     By Lauren Rilling

When you submit an idea for a trial with BetaGov, we’ll schedule a call to learn more about your idea. From there, we can determine if your idea is appropriate for a randomized controlled trial...(cont'd)

Man in suit drawing flowchart on glass

Let's Talk Process

Posted on August 22, 2017     By Maureen Hillhouse

The prospect of conducting research may be overwhelming and foreign to practitioners with limited experience in empirical science. But...(cont'd)

Woman thinking with light bulbs around her head

Three Reasons To Do A Randomized Controlled Trial

Posted on August 2, 2017     By Lauren Rilling

Wondering if a randomized controlled trial is the best way to test an idea at your agency? Wonder no more. An RCT is the gold standard for...(cont'd)

Girl in graduation cap and gown holding sign that says senior

Calling All Parents And Educators

Posted on July 25, 2017     By Lauren Rilling

BetaGov research assistance is open to educators! As part of BetaGov’s goal to help practitioners in public-sector organizations test their own...(cont'd)

BetaGov & NYU CUSP Partner To Analyze Prosecutor Data

Posted on July 19, 2017     By Allison Weinger

In early July, a team of NYU CUSP master’s students partnering with BetaGov presented data analysis and visualization to the Santa Clara County (CA) District Attorney’s Office. Their analysis is helping the...(cont'd)

Hands in the dark touching a light bulb

BetaGov is Free!

Posted on July 15, 2017     By Maureen Hillhouse

No, you didn’t misunderstand: BetaGov assistance is free! We need a bumper sticker with this message since it is the inquiry that we get most often...(cont'd)

A pile of ticket and coupon stubs

Leave It To Chance: How To Randomize Your Trial Participants

Posted on June 28, 2017     By Lauren Rilling

Say you have a trial with 100 participants. Everything is ready to go and you can’t wait to see the results! There’s just one problem: how do you ...(cont'd)

Tree stump sprouting a leaf

Dream Big, But First Think Small

Posted on June 14, 2017     By Lauren Rilling

Our practitioner partners think of some incredible ideas to test. From placing air plants in prison cells to creating suicide-prevention training...(cont'd)

A stack of smooth rocks by riverbed

Don't Apologize

Posted on June 5, 2017     By Ellyn Schwaiger

As a BetaGov case manager, my role is to help public sector practitioners facilitate randomized controlled trials in their agencies. This offers me great exposure to a particularly resourceful, engaged, and...(cont'd)

A hand holding a green caterpillar

Staying The Course: Don’t Be Overwhelmed When Developing Your Good Idea!

Posted on May 17, 2017     By Maureen Hillhouse

Like most everything in life, interest and enthusiasm for new ideas and projects ebb and flow. We’ve also found this to be true with some of our BetaGov trials. The initial period following identification...(cont'd)

Headshot picture of a smiling Denise O'Donnell

Welcoming Denise O'Donnell To The Marron Institute

Posted on April 14, 2017     By BetaGov

New York University continues to tap exceptional talent from the federal transition. Today, Denise O’Donnell, Director of the United States...(cont'd)

A batch of different kinds of chocolate chip cookies

We Don’t Care About Your Trial's Results, And That's A Good Thing

Posted on April 12, 2017     By Lauren Rilling

How many batches does it take to make a perfect chocolate chip cookie? If you’re a baker at America's Test Kitchen, the answer is ...(cont'd)

Beautiful night skies above snow-covered cliffs

The Best Tool To Fix The Criminal Justice System: Ignorance

Posted on April 4, 2017     By David Farabee

Senator Session’s recent appointment as U.S. Attorney General has elicited predictable concerns from progressives and praise from...(cont'd)

Road blocks with hazard lights in a construction zone

Policies Under Construction

Posted on January 19, 2017     By Andrew Wiens, Director of Policy & Legislative Affairs, Kansas Department for Children & Families (DCF)

Working in a leadership position at a human services agency is a unique experience. These organizations are typically quite large, as state...(cont'd)

Thank-you pad and pen set on table

Being Thankful

Posted on November 23, 2016     By Angela Hawken

The BetaGov team has a great deal to be grateful for. To the public agencies we partner with, we are humbled by your dedication to...(cont'd)

Beautiful sunsent in a wheat field

BetaGov Model For Innovation

Posted on November 14, 2016     By Maureen Hillhouse

The typical research paradigm relies on an academic investigator with an idea to identify a potential funding mechanism, prepare and submit...(cont'd)

Inside of an empty prison cell block

Deliberative Corrections

Posted on August 12, 2016     By Angela Hawken

The people most affected by criminal justice policies are rarely consulted in developing those policies or associated programs and practices. We would like to change that...(cont'd)

A shining lightbulb on a dark ceiling

Some Background on BetaGov

Posted on June 7, 2016     By Angela Hawken

In December 2012, I was invited to speak at a conference that featured the leadership of a federal agency, and I presented an idea that I called...(cont'd)