Social Research and Development of Limited Use to National Policymakers

HRD-77-34: Published: Apr 4, 1977. Publicly Released: Apr 4, 1977.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

Federally-supported social research and development (R&D) includes projects directed toward improving the well-being of people and programs in the areas of: education, staffing, health, income security, social services, housing and community development, civil rights, transportation, and crime. Social R&D projects are intended to provide knowledge for policymakers in developing national social policies.

Federal R&D is generally authorized in broad subject areas to serve State and local government agencies and is of limited use to national policymakers. Social R&D agency planning is fragmented and decentralized and permits agencies wide latitude. Guidance for monitoring social R&D is vague or nonexistent, and the dissemination of social R&D results has been relatively ineffective and uncoordinated. Such factors as the inaccessibility of information has made use of social R&D results difficult. Officials in policymaking positions in 10 Federal agencies and departments expressed dissatisfaction with Federal management in the planning and monitoring of social R&D and in the dissemination and use of results.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Office of Management and Budget should work together to: develop and test alternative systems to obtain the information needs of national policymakers; require that such a system be augmented by procedures for informing policymakers of the type and relevancy of the information available; develop formal mechanisms for encouraging cooperative efforts between agencies; and evaluate the methods used by each agency to manage social R&D.

    Agency Affected:

 

Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Jul 20, 2016

Apr 8, 2016

Jan 20, 2016

Sep 9, 2015

Jul 30, 2015

Mar 13, 2015

Mar 2, 2015

Oct 3, 2014

Looking for more? Browse all our products here