Research Evaluation and Impact Assessment of ARRA Comparative Effectiveness Research Portfolio

Project Overview

This 3-year study provided the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation with a formative, short-term assessment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)-funded comparative effectiveness research (CER) portfolio. The evaluation catalogued how CER funding was invested to achieve the vision of the Federal Coordinating Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research, develop tools for ongoing assessment of the ARRA CER portfolio, and provide guidance to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding future CER evaluations and investments.

The study addressed five broad research questions:

  1. What types of investments were made with ARRA CER funds?
  2. How did the ARRA CER portfolio of investments begin to address strategic priorities for CER in the United States?
  3. What lessons learned during ARRA CER projects could inform HHS for future investments in CER?
  4. What were the implications and potential opportunities for future federal investments based on lessons learned from the ARRA CER portfolio?
  5. What were the primary issues for HHS to consider for a future evaluation of the long-term impact of the ARRA CER portfolio and other CER investments?

The evaluation used a mixed-methods approach that included a principal investigator survey, in-depth interviews with CER project officers and principal investigators, a stakeholder survey, and technical expert panel discussions. Insight conducted case studies on ARRA investments in data infrastructure interviews with CER principal investigators and conducted environmental scans on publications pertaining to CER data infrastructure.


Final report, Research Evaluation and Impact Assessment of ARRA Comparative Effectiveness Research Portfolio: Final Report (September 2013)