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From Pilot to Policy:

Considerations for state and local policymakers


Throughout the state, creative and caring Ohioans are working together to design and implement programs that improve health and well-being in their communities. Private philanthropy, nonprofit organizations and public entities are launching pilot programs to test whether an innovative or tailored approach can achieve desired outcomes. Even with proven or promising results, it can be difficult for program leaders to communicate lessons learned with policymakers and others, advocate for policy changes to support the program and secure funding to sustain or expand the program.

Though the challenges Ohioans face are complex and will likely require policy and system changes, improvement is possible. Approaches being taken by different health and human services pilot programs can result in positive change in the lives of Ohioans, and policymakers can invest resources strategically.

To develop “From Pilot to Policy,” HPIO conducted 11 key-informant interviews with 13 experts in Ohio, including current and former policymakers, program staff and individuals involved with state policymaking. Insights shared in the key-informant interviews, as well as key quotes from the interviews, are included in this document.

This document provides recommendations, guidance, tools and resources for use by state agency staff, local policymakers and legislators to:

  • Understand the steps involved in launching, evaluating and scaling up pilot projects and innovative programs
  • Guide effective decision making about scaling pilot projects and supporting evidence-informed approaches through policy change
  • Understand the types of evaluation and evidence that may be available to assess whether a pilot or innovative program has contributed to improvements in health, equity and healthcare spending

Funding for this project was provided through a grant from bi3, a philanthropic initiative of Bethesda Inc., and HPIO’s other core funders.

Key Recommendations

State and local policymakers can promote the development, implementation and sustainability of evidence-informed or promising pilot programs in Ohio by:

  • Engaging with philanthropy and program leaders to learn about existing models, results and lessons already learned before developing or funding new programs
  • Encouraging program evaluation and continuous quality improvement by dedicating training, technical assistance and financial resources for this purpose
  • Sustaining public funding for programs with proven or promising results by removing barriers to success for pilot programs

More resources

From Pilot to Policy: Tools for program staff, philanthropy and other stakeholders

Published On

February 9, 2023

Table of Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Key Recommendations
  3. More resources
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