A Framework for Assessing Equity in Federal Programs and Policy

May 2021
Topics: Policy, Government Agency Operations, Decision Analysis, Economic and Cost Analysis, Strategic Planning
The Social Justice Platform Team, The MITRE Corporation
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All aspects of our society are improving the understanding of bias and how to enhance equity. MITRE brings our unique vantage point working across the whole of government to offer an approach and methods for federal agencies to examine programs and policies from the perspective of underserved communities as required by Executive Order 13985. This federal effort seeks to embed equity assessment concepts into program management and policy making.  

This framework is designed to support the directives established. Specifically, this framework:

  • Identifies best practices on equity assessments from local practitioners, global thought leaders, and MITRE subject matter experts, and tailors those practices for use by federal agencies.  
  • Is a systems-based, data-driven approach that incorporates equity and human-centered research, design, and assessment practices currently used in the U.S. and around the world.    
  • Provides detailed guidance for repeatable and inclusive equity assessments that includes both qualitative and quantitative methods.
  • Is anchored by an understanding that each program or policy has unique outcomes and considerations of equity need to be tailored to those outcomes. 
  • Recognizes that federal agencies have limited time and resources to conduct the initial equity assessments that are required by the EO. It offers tools and reference materials to help agencies tailor each step of the process to reflect program outcomes and agency resources.  
  • Includes actionable next steps to help agencies prepare for the planning phase that will follow the assessment. 

For more information about the capability and tools included in the framework or to share recommendations on enhancing the framework, please contact MITRE at socjusticeplatform@mitre.org.



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